PCPCC Statement: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON — The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) advocates for high quality, affordable, and patient-centered primary care for all. We have evaluated the proposed changes to the health care legislation against these goals.

Several provisions contained in the Senate bill, crafted by Senators Bill Cassidy, Lindsey Graham, and Dean Heller, are problematic for advancing primary care and do not appear to align with the PCPCC mission. More specifically:

  • Allowing states to change what qualifies as an essential health benefit could disrupt access to health care services for millions of Americans, erode affordability, and hinder patient access to much needed health care services.
  • Penalizing states that expanded Medicaid -- by having the federal government pay the states a smaller portion of the cost -- will likely lead to reduced coverage for primary care in those states and harm vulnerable patients.
  • Enabling states to have broad flexibility to use funds through block grants could allow states to waive important existing requirements that protect patients, such as prohibiting higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Eliminating the individual mandate on the federal level will likely result in fewer individuals enrolled in the Exchanges and encourage healthy people to exit the market. This would likely lead to much higher costs for those that remain.  Research shows that when patients are faced with higher cost sharing, they forego essential care, especially primary and preventive care.  

This bill would negatively disrupt the Medicaid program, increase out-of-pocket costs, and financially burden Americans. In addition, this bill has the potential to harm those living with pre-existing conditions. We continue to be committed to working with Congress on modifying health care legislation that expands access to primary care while reducing cost. 



About the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative

Founded in 2006, the PCPCC is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to advancing an effective and efficient health care system built on a strong foundation of primary care and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). The PCPCC achieves its mission through the work of its executive members, experts, thought leaders, and other stakeholders focused on key issues of delivery reform, payment reform, patient engagement, and benefit design to drive health system transformation. For more information or to become an executive member, visit www.pcpcc.org.

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