Doctors dislike ACA replacement plan, offer their own ideas

The Senate side of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
While the Senate comes up with its plan to replace the ACA, doctors have their own ideas.

Most doctors on the frontline of healthcare overwhelmingly dislike a House bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and have their own ideas about healthcare reform.

A poll by recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins found that 58% of roughly 1,100 physicians had a very negative opinion of the bill passed by the House that modified what's been called the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Major medical societies are also urging the Senate to reject the bill because it rolls back gains in insurance coverage. In the survey, two-thirds of physicians have a negative impression of the Republican-sponsored bill, while only about a quarter support it.

While politicians in the Senate are tweaking that House bill, Medscape asked physicians to submit their ideas for how to fix the ACA (reg. req.). More than 600 physicians submitted their plans, and the publication selected five winners as part of the contest, according to the article.

Doctors offered diverse opinions as to what plans would be best for patients, physicians and the healthcare industry, the publication said. Many wanted to fix the ACA rather than repeal it.

While some physicians favored a single-payer, national health plan, others suggested that consumers should be able to purchase insurance across state lines, plans should provide catastrophic care only, and the government should implement financial incentives and penalties for patients.

RELATED: What's next for AHCA: Policy experts say even bigger battle looms for healthcare bill

For instance, one of the contest winners, Ron Ron Cheng, M.D., a neurosurgeon from Charleston, South Carolina, suggested pricing transparency, different forms of coverage for different types of healthcare and health savings account programs with fewer restrictions.

It’s now up to the Senate to come up with its proposal, and it’s unclear when that might come up for a vote.

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