Accessible and Affordable for All
The AAFP has long supported health care coverage for all. The enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 has allowed for the implementation of numerous strategies -- such as Health Insurance Marketplaces and Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or CO-OPs -- for expanding health care coverage, improving health care delivery, and supporting primary care.
The ACA also made changes to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), three governmental programs that provide medical and health-related services to specific populations. Although the three programs differ greatly, one agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, administrates them all.
Because primary care physicians will play a crucial role in the evolution of the health care system, it is essential that physicians understand new provisions and regulations from CMS when they are proposed. At the same time, policymakers need to understand the recommendations, observations and concerns of family physicians and their patients. The AAFP will continue to work to ensure that this two-way communication occurs, so that the vision behind health care reform will be transformed into positive and lasting change.