Newswise — WASHINGTON – The American Psychological Association and its affiliated APA Practice Organization called on the Senate today to defeat any health care legislation that results in fewer Americans having health insurance.

“The Senate should act as a deliberative body by carefully, transparently, and thoroughly evaluating proposals to reshape the U.S. health care system,” APA President Antonio E. Puente, PhD, and CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, said in a letter to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

They urged the Senate to vote down the American Health Care Act, passed by the House; the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (both the original and amended versions); and the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, which would repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act without attempting to replace them.

“We strongly urge you to vote against any of these bills, or any legislation that would cause such long-lasting harm to the American public,” they wrote. “Instead, Congress should go back to the drawing board and work in a bipartisan fashion to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and the individual insurance market. It is imperative that legislation arising from this effort extend comprehensive, reliable health insurance coverage—including coverage for mental health and substance use treatment—to the 28 million currently uninsured Americans.”

APA and the APA Practice Organization oppose the abovementioned bills since they would:

  • Cause at least 22 million people to lose their insurance by 2026.  An estimated 32 million more people would be without health insurance under a “repeal only” bill;
  • Cut at least $750 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, reducing spending by 26 percent or more by 2026, and leaving the program unable to respond effectively to demographic changes in the beneficiary population and public health emergencies;
  • Sharply increase premiums and deductibles for many in the individual health insurance market, particularly older and less healthy Americans, while cutting total federal premium assistance support and cost-sharing assistance payments by hundreds of billions of dollars;
  • Eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and restrict access to reproductive health services. 

“We urge senators to vote against any legislation that includes these provisions, and that would reduce, not increase, the number of Americans with effective, reliable coverage for mental health and substance use treatment,” the APA officials said.



The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.

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