As the Senate considers healthcare reform legislation, Dr. Mac Powell, President of Bastyr University, sent the letter below to U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray for the state of Washington.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, 2017. As the U.S. Senate considers this legislation and the future of health care, Bastyr University recommends that the AHCA be amended to ensure affordable, accessible and comprehensive health insurance coverage.
With campuses in both California and Washington State, Bastyr University provides care to patients at our non-profit teaching clinics and throughout its network of community care sites, most of which are safety net clinics. We are concerned that the loss of health insurance coverage will adversely affect an already vulnerable population of patients by limiting access to primary care services. As a university committed to mission-driven medicine, we would continue to see patients regardless of their health insurance coverage and ability to pay, however this would decrease our overall resources and negatively impact our teaching clinics, our students and the patients we serve.
We encourage Congress to consider the overall health of our nation, as a sick nation may be considered a national security issue. Instead, we have the opportunity to create a health care system focused on wellness and prevention of disease. Healthy people are productive people – tax paying citizens who can contribute positively to our country. Maintaining access to primary care services through expanded insurance coverage remains key to being a healthy nation.
As the debate over the AHCA continues, Bastyr University urges Congress to protect Medicaid expansion and maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions to preserve affordable health insurance and protection for health care consumers. If you have any questions regarding our position, please contact Bastyr University Chief of Staff, Coquina L. Deger, at (425) 602-3006.
Charles “Mac” Powell, PhD