Permanente Medical Groups Release Statement on Graham-Cassidy Bill

Statement from the Physician Chief Executives of the Permanente Medical Groups Representing 21,000-plus Physicians on the Future of Health Care Reform

The Permanente Medical Groups believe in providing high quality health care for all Americans.

We are deeply concerned about the adverse effects that the current “repeal and replace” legislation will have on patients. These proposals erode patient protections, reduce Medicaid benefits, and disproportionately impact the most vulnerable in our society. Patients with pre-existing conditions may lose their coverage, preventive services may not be widely available, and millions of Americans may be without any health care coverage. These outcomes are inconsistent with our calling as physicians.

The more than 21,000 Permanente physicians that serve over 11.8 million Kaiser Permanente patients and members provide care that espouses optimal quality, service, access, and affordability. Through the practice of Permanente Medicine, we work to prevent disease before it occurs, provide exceptional state-of-the-art care, exemplify value through efficacious and efficient treatments, and create a supportive environment in which the doctor and patient jointly decide what is best. Any policy proposals should increase—not reduce—access to care.

We strive to heal and comfort our patients, using our skills to bring the best of Permanente Medicine to life each and every day. Modern medical care requires a team of professionals to ensure success. As physician leaders, we know that same level of collaboration between patients, clinicians, hospital leaders, insurers, and policymakers will be essential if we want to cure the ills of American health care. Medical excellence must be valued, supported, and enhanced for our patients now and in the future. We urge Congress to reconsider moving this legislation forward and return to the deliberative process that is so cherished in our democracy through hearings about this important subject. We continue to offer our expertise and support to aid in a thoughtful and constructive discussion.

The chief executives and executive medical directors of the Permanente Medical Groups,

Imelda Dacones, MD, Northwest Permanente
Edward M. Ellison, MD, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
Margaret A. Ferguson, MD, Colorado Permanente Medical Group
Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, The Permanente Medical Group and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Geoffrey S. Sewell, MD, FACP, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group
Stephen L. Tarnoff, MD, Washington Permanente Medical Group
Mary L. Wilson, MD, The Southeast Permanente Medical Group

About the Permanente Medical Groups

The Permanente Medical Groups are composed of more than 21,000 physicians dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and the communities in which we provide care. We practice in eight self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente – an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to more than 11.8 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in eight states – from Hawaii to Maryland – and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

In 1997, the Permanente Medical Groups formed The Permanente Federation LLC to represent their shared interests. The Federation serves as the key partner on behalf of the medical groups with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals on national initiatives.