American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Urges House of Representatives to Vote “No” on Latest Healthcare Reform Bill

Supports Empowerment of Physicians and Patients to Make Healthcare Decisions

Alexandria, VA – March 19, 2010 – With a vote in the House of Representatives on comprehensive healthcare reform legislation as soon as this weekend, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (AAFPS) strongly urges its members and the public to tell their local representatives to vote NO.

The AAFPRS supports the need for healthcare reform. However, the proposed legislation and a so-called “side-car” bill would make changes to the Senate-passed “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590). AAFPRS strongly opposes this particular bill because it shifts so much control over medical decisions to the federal government and ultimately may harm the quality of our nation’s health care and decrease timely access to surgical care.

 “With congressional action upon us, we are at a crossroads. America’s physicians deliver the best medical care in the world, yet the systems that have been developed to finance the delivery of that care to patients have failed,” said Daniel Rousso, MD, President of the AAFPRS. “We believe the better path is one that allows patients and physicians to take a more direct role in their healthcare decisions, rather than one that accepts a substantial increase in federal government control over how medical care is delivered and financed.”

Specific Concerns

  • The legislation inappropriately expands the role of the federal government in determining quality of care standards and penalizes physicians who do not participate in Medicare’s flawed quality reporting program.
  • The bill does not contain any proven medical liability reform measures — such as those in force in California and Texas – that have been shown to increase access to care and reduce costs in demonstrable ways.
  • Largely unchecked by Congress or the courts, the bill gives the federal government unprecedented authority to change the Medicare program through the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which could arbitrarily reduce payments to physicians for valuable life-saving care for elderly patients, thereby reducing treatment options in a dramatic way.
  • The legislation fails to address Medicare’s broken physician payment system. Physicians are the foundation of a strong healthcare system and for reform to be successful Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) must be permanently repealed.

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  • By guaranteeing all patients the right to privately contract with their physicians – without penalty — patients will have greater access to physicians and the government will have budget certainty. Nothing in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act addresses these fundamental tenets, which we believe are essential components of real health system reform.

AAFPRS members and the public can be connected to their Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Callers must know the name of their representative, which can be found at www.house.gov and entering your zip code. Senators can be contacted by visiting http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

About the AAFPRS
The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,700 members – whose cosmetic and reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. The AAFPRS fellows and members are board certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in any area by visiting the AAFPRS Web site, www.facemd.org.

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