Permanente Medical Groups Release Statement on Health Care Bill

Statement from the Physician Chief Executives of the Permanente Medical Groups Representing 21,000-plus Physicians of Kaiser Permanente on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

We, the leaders of the Permanente Medical Groups, are profoundly concerned by the significant coverage loss estimated to occur under both the House bill and the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 from the U.S. Senate, according to official estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. We are disappointed that both of these bills undermine essential health benefits that we consider basic, erode protections against catastrophic costs, dramatically reduce the benefits offered by and eligibility for Medicaid, disproportionately affect the socially vulnerable members of society, and destabilize health care markets in unforeseen ways. None of these outcomes is consistent with either our calling as physicians or our mission as Permanente Medical Groups. We believe our country can and must do better.

Permanente Medicine was founded more than 70 years ago on the powerful principles of prevention, group practice, and medical excellence. We partner with our patients in pursuit of their best health; we partner with our colleagues in multi-disciplinary, evidence-based practice; and we partner with the health plans of Kaiser Permanente to realize the promise of truly integrated patient- and family-centered care.

As leaders of the nation’s largest medical groups with over 21,000 physicians, we serve nearly 12 million patients residing in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. We respectfully urge the U.S. Senate and House to reconsider this legislation and bring more diverse voices into these critical deliberations about the future of the American health care system.

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

Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, The Permanente Medical Group and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Imelda Dacones, MD, Northwest Permanente
Edward M. Ellison, MD, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
Margaret A. Ferguson, MD, Colorado 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.