As the frontline of our health care system, family physicians see the importance of health coverage on a daily basis. They also see the value of ensuring each patient is able to obtain health care coverage regardless of their gender, health history, or socioeconomic status.

Our health care system is not perfect, and there are clearly areas of our insurance and health care system that require additional reforms. That is why AAFP is committed to engaging in a dialogue to identify policies that strengthen our health care system and make health care more affordable for individuals and families. Some areas of the health care overhaul were clearly beneficial, and we believe that many of them should be preserved.

As the national dialogue shifts to coverage for all, we offer the following for your considerations:

  • Currently insured individuals should not become uninsured as a result of any legislative or administrative actions or inactions. Furthermore, individuals should be protected from loss of coverage
  • Patient-centered insurance reforms that prevent discrimination against individuals in the insurance market should be preserved. Specifically, individuals should not be denied health care coverage based upon a current or pre-existing health care condition, family history, race, gender, or income. 
  • Policies prohibiting health insurers from imposing annual and lifetime caps on benefits should be retained.
  • All patients, in all public and private insurance products, should continue to have access to those preventative care services and vaccines identified by the United States Preventative Services Task Force, ACIP, and the Bright Futures program.
  • There should be a viable and equitable safety-net for low-income individuals. Basic functions of the safety-net should be universal, meaning that regardless of the state of residency, low-income individuals are guaranteed health care coverage that is equitable to coverage in any of the other states.
  • Financial assistance and cost-sharing reduction payments aimed at assisting qualifying individuals with the purchase of health care coverage and/or paying their deductibles and co-pays should continue.  
  • The individual and small group markets should be protected. We are deeply concerned that legislative actions could de-stabilize the insurance market, driving insurers out of the individual and small group market, thus decreasing access to health care coverage and raising costs for millions of people