Physician groups brace for vaccine questions amid Trump presidency
GOP healthcare reform plan causing concern
The association is also keeping a watchful eye—but has not yet outright opposed—the proposed American Health Care Act presented this month.
The bill has fundamental problems related to tax subsidies that disproportionately affect lower income Americans, and it also goes after Medicaid expansion, Martin said. While the bill doesn’t directly touch preventive care, it does eliminate funding for certain wellness-related funding and promotes high-deductible plans that have been shown to create a disconnect between patients and healthcare providers. Emerging evidence shows that patients faced with high deductibles make choices that negatively impact their health—including foregoing vaccines like the pneumococcal vaccine.
“There’s nothing in this bill that makes prevention better,” Martin said.
Savoy, who is on the front lines of patient care and vaccine safety, is also concerned that wellness and preventive medicine cuts will limit patients’ access to services.
“These things that don’t seem directly related to vaccines could have a wide impact,” Savoy told Medical Economics. “One of the challenges of prevention is that you don’t necessarily recover the cost of vaccines up-front.”
Practitioners in her system are already seeing patients afraid of losing care, she said.
“We consider preventive medicine to be necessary, not just nice to have. Whenever people start going after basic insurance coverage, it makes us concerned,” she said. “It’s the folks who can least afford it that have to choose between vaccines or dinner. A lot of people really benefitted from the changes from the [Affordable Care Act]. Now they are concerned about being able to pay for care.”