Kelly Thibert, DO, MPH National President
American Medical Student Association
Sterling, VA – January 6, 2017: The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has a mission that is built upon our members’ commitment to advocate for the improvement of healthcare and healthcare delivery to all people. We believe that healthcare is a human right and, as such, we will always advocate for the rights of our patients.
AMSA supports a publicly and progressively financed, privately delivered federal single-payer system of high quality, affordable health care for all persons. In the absence of such of a single payer system, we support a health care system which expands comprehensive coverage and access for all persons living in the United States and does not discriminate, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In the first days of the 115th Congress, we have seen swift movement to begin the repeal of the ACA. As physicians-in-training, we feel it is our moral obligation to speak out on behalf of our patients who rely on, survive and thrive because of the healthcare they are able to receive through this existing system. Repealing the ACA without simultaneously providing a better alternative will be disastrous for health in our country and cause unnecessary suffering of the 30 million people who benefited from this program. We demand the preservation of healthcare access to all people and stress the urgency of moving forward to a single-payer national health program.
AMSA mobilizes students in advocating for quality, affordable health care for all. We work through state and national coalitions to improve existing public programs. In the weeks ahead, we will join several coalitions to decry plans to repeal the ACA while continuing to advocate for single-payer reform.
We support the grassroots, medical student-led campaign to #ProtectOurPatients, to help ensure that Congress will do no harm to our patients throughout the country. We will stand side-by-side with physicians-in-training on Capitol Hill January 9th to demonstrate our concern regarding the ACA repeal. With this coalition, we will deliver a petition to key Senate offices, the signatories of which have expressed concern over their patients’ access to care and key components of the ACA that physicians-in-training demand not be repealed.
We believe that the road to better healthcare is a single-payer national health program, but until then, we do not want to see a repeal of the ACA. We will join with the coalition led by the Physicians for National Health Program (PNHP) to defend health, aiming to move forward from the ACA to universal coverage, not backwards through repeal.
We are America’s physicians of tomorrow and we value access to healthcare. AMSA will continue to put patients over politics and will fight for the care and rights of our patients.
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at http://www.amsa.org.