Newswise — American College of Rheumatology Government Affairs Chair Angus Worthing, MD, FACP, FACR, issued the following statement in response to news of a bipartisan Affordable Care Act (ACA) stabilization agreement between Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA):

“The American College of Rheumatology praises Sens. Alexander and Murray for reaching a bipartisan compromise on legislation that would help stabilize the ACA insurance marketplace.

“The rheumatology community supports a key provision of the agreement that would authorize cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers for another two years. These payments help offset deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers and are critical to helping millions of Americans afford insurance coverage under the law.

“Importantly, the agreement would not allow insurers to discriminate against preexisting conditions. It would also leave intact the essential benefits that insurers are required to offer individuals and small businesses under the ACA.

“The ACR is currently assessing how provisions surrounding state flexibility would impact insurance coverage and affordability options for Americans living with chronic illnesses. We will continue to advise Senate leaders of our health care reform principles and advocate for provisions that protect our patients’ access to care.

“Overall, this compromise is an important step toward stabilizing the ACA marketplace and ensuring continued access to affordable health insurance coverage for the 54 million Americans living with arthritis and rheumatologic diseases. We thank Senators Alexander and Murray for their willingness to work together in a bipartisan manner on behalf of millions of Americans who benefit from ACA insurance coverage.”


About the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is the nation’s leading advocacy organization for the rheumatology care community, representing more than 9,500 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. As an ethically driven, professional membership organization committed to improving healthcare for Americans living with rheumatic diseases, the ACR advocates for high-quality, high-value policies and reforms that will ensure safe, effective, affordable and accessible rheumatology care.