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PNHP RESOURCES

Doctors group calls on Trump to rescind nominations of Price, Verma to key health care posts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 2, 2016
Contact: Mark Almberg, PNHP communications director, (312) 782-6006, mark@pnhp.org

Dr. Robert Zarr, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, made the following statement today:

Physicians for a National Health Program decries President-elect Donald Trump's plans to appoint Rep. Tom Price and Ms. Seema Verma to key health care posts in his administration. These appointments foreshadow policies that would to make Americans' access to medical care even more difficult, costly and inequitable than it is today.

Price, Trump's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, has proposed replacing the Affordable Care Act with a plan that would:

* Slash Medicaid funding and transfer much of the ACA's health insurance subsidies from low-income to wealthier Americans, effectively depriving millions of coverage, and cause thousands of deaths each year.

* Allow the big insurers to sell bare-boned policies that have no minimum benefits, and allow them to drop people with pre-existing conditions from their rolls if the latter were to even briefly miss a premium payment.

* Turn Medicare into a voucher scheme that would undermine coverage and ship hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars to private insurers.

Price's biases against the special health needs of women, including the right to choose, and the LGBTQ community are a matter of record and portend increased discrimination and injustice. And even as he would cut public health programs, Medicaid and Medicare, he would work to lower taxes on the wealthy.

Verma, Trump's pick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was the architect of Indiana's punitive restrictions on Medicaid patients. Her plan forced impoverished Medicaid enrollees to pay dearly for care, imposing unprecedented copayments and premiums on people with little chance of affording them; those who miss a payment are denied coverage. Her actions in Indiana signal that she will inflict cruel and unusual punishment on America's most vulnerable citizens.

Physicians for a National Health Program calls upon the president-elect to rescind these appointments. We recognize that the health care status quo is unacceptable, but reject the backward steps that Price and Verma have championed. Instead, our nation should move forward to the only rational and effective solution for our broken health care system – a publicly financed, nonprofit single-payer system, an improved Medicare for all.

Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) is a nonprofit research and education organization of more than 20,000 doctors who support a single-payer national health program.