ACOG Applauds House Passage of HR 5 Protecting Access to Health Care Act
March 22, 2012
Washington, DC -- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) applauds today’s US House of Representatives passage of HR 5, the Protecting Access to Health Care Act. This legislation incorporates three of ACOG’s top legislative priorities: repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), instituting meaningful medical liability reform, and providing ob-gyns and other on-call physicians who provide care under the Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) important liability protections.
ACOG President James N. Martin, Jr, MD, praised the authors of each of those sections of the bill, Representative Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), who sponsored the IPAB repeal; Representative Phil Gingrey, MD (R-GA), author of the medical liability section of the bill; and Representatives Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) for successfully amending HR 5 to include the EMTALA protections. Reps. Roe and Gingrey are ACOG Fellows.
“The House has recognized and moved on three issues critical to practicing ob-gyns, but more importantly, critical to our patients,” said Dr. Martin. “We urge the Senate to send these measures to the president’s desk. Under IPAB, major health policy decisions will rest in the hands of 15 unelected and largely unaccountable individuals. Even worse, if IPAB fails to report recommendations or never becomes operational, this power will rest solely in the hands of a single individual—the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.”
IPAB repeal, coupled with medical liability reform and liability protections for ob-gyns delivering babies in emergency rooms, will benefit patients by increasing access to high quality care.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org