An Open Letter To My Senators To Preserve The ACA

February 15, 2017

Senator Bob Casey

Senator Pat Toomey

Dear Senators Casey and Toomey,

Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will threaten older American’s access to affordable quality care. This threat is especially significant for those older Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m a geriatrician, co-director of the Penn Memory Center, and a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Each week, I diagnose and treat older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. My patients, their caregivers and my colleagues are counting on you to do the right thing.

At the Penn Memory Center and the geriatric medicine practice, my colleagues and I care for thousands of patients and their caregivers who are benefiting from ACA. These benefits include the comprehensive primary care-plus initiative, the assessment of quality measures, and – for their caregivers who often reduce or cease work – health insurance. Initiatives to train a health care workforce to care for older adults – especially the five million older adults with Alzheimer’s disease – will benefit my patients’ children and grandchildren.

The ACA has made great advances in improving the delivery of complex and chronic care that Medicare pays for. If you allow these advances to be repealed, older Pennsylvanians and their caregivers will suffer. I’m eager to work with you to assure that the older Pennsylvanians and their caregivers do not suffer from the partisan bloodletting to “repeal Obamacare.”

To being this work, I have one very specific ask: Please DO NOT eliminate Medicare’s Innovation Center.

Sincerely,

Jason Karlawish, MD