With the convening of the 115th Congress and the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president on January 20, 2017, medicine and health care in the United States are in flux. The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and payment reform are uncertain, as are the standards of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving drugs and clearing medical devices and women’s access to reproductive health care.
We remember daily why we entered the medical profession and the principles we continue to hold dear. We went to medical school because we wanted to help people improve their health, to feel better, and to live longer. We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and all Americans should have access to high-quality health care, regardless of their income or personal circumstances. The United States has the most advanced health care system in the world by many criteria, but access to the system is uneven. Even with the ACA, 29 million people were without health insurance coverage for the entire 2015 calendar year.1
Steinbrook R, Katz MH, Redberg RF. Advancing the Needs of Patients in the Trump Era. JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 20, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9542