ASPS Response to Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Position
On June 25, in the King vs. Burwell Decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) federal health exchange subsidies. In doing so, the Court solidified the ACA's position as settled law. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) accepts the Court's decision. Still, the case highlighted legitimate questions surrounding a functional pillar of the law, and ASPS sees those questions as a reaffirmation that our consistent call to improve the law has been warranted. ASPS reiterates that call today.
ASPS believes the Affordable Care Act has inadequately addressed many serious problems in the American health care system. Rather than working to control costs by focusing on inappropriate utilization or the cost of defensive medicine, the ACA uses a raft of provider payment penalties, takes a hatchet to provider reimbursements through the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and covers its own remaining costs through new taxes. Rather than ensuring patients have covered access to specialist providers of their choice, the ACA has driven insurers to narrow provider networks. Rather than increasing patient choice and provider competition, the ACA has accelerated the large scale consolidation of private practices into hospital-based systems that do not necessarily reduce the cost of care, but have resulted in higher out-of-pocket expense to the patient.
ASPS does not view the ACA as a complete failure. Continuing coverage for young people adults under their parents' health plan is a good thing. Preventing discrimination based on pre-existing conditions allows those with illness to have coverage and more choice. The onerous burdens placed on physicians for so-called "quality" measures: electronic health records, additional data reporting, and ICD-10 conversion, with reimbursements that do not keep up with the cost of providing care, are issues we will continue to advocate for on behalf of our members. Congress and the Administration must come up with alternative approaches that better serve patients and the physicians who care for them.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 7,000 physician members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 93 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.