Principles for the Reform of the U.S. Health Care System

Recognizing that many newly elected Members of Congress campaigned on fixing the heath care system, ten of the nation’s leading physician associations established principles to serve as a guide for Congress to improve both individual health and the collective health care system in the U.S.

The Principles for Reform of the U.S. Health Care System released today call for the following actions:

  1. Health care coverage for all is needed to ensure quality of care and to improve the health status of Americans.
  2. The health care system in the U.S. must provide appropriate health care to all people within the U.S. borders, without unreasonable financial barriers to care.
  3. Individuals and families must have catastrophic health coverage to provide protection from financial ruin.
  4. Improvement of health care quality and safety must be the goal of all health interventions, so that we can assure optimal outcomes for the resources expended.
  5. In reforming the health care system, we as a society must respect the ethical imperative of providing health care to individuals, responsible stewardship of community resources, and the importance of personal health responsibility.
  6. Access to and financing for appropriate health services must be a shared public/private cooperative effort, and a system which will allow individuals/employers to purchase additional services or insurance.
  7. Cost management by all stakeholders, consistent with achieving quality health care, is critical to attaining a workable, affordable and sustainable health care system.
  8. Less complicated administrative systems are essential to reduce costs, create a more efficient health care system, and maximize funding for health care services.
  9. Sufficient funds must be available for research (basic, clinical, translational and health services), medical education, and comprehensive health information technology infrastructure and implementation.
  10. Sufficient funds must be available for public health and other essential medical services to include, but not be limited to, preventive services, trauma care and mental health services.
  11. Comprehensive medical liability reform is essential to ensure access to quality health care.

American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American College of Cardiology
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
American College of Physicians
American College of Surgeons
American Medical Association
American Osteopathic Association