AAFP Statement: Federal Budget Proposes Path to Sustainable, Effective Health Care Reform

Friday, February 27, 2009

Attributable to:
Ted Epperly, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians

President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget summary outlines a plan that promises to put America's health care system onto a track of sustainable, equitable, affordable and high quality health care for all Americans. The American Academy of Family Physicians supports the goals for health care reform set forth in the budget.

Research has consistently shown that primary care is essential to effective and sustainable health care reform. The Obama administration's budget provides a roadmap to meet that goal and to move forward in ensuring that Americans have access to a patient-centered medical home.

Only by making health care coverage available to all can we ensure that all Americans get timely, appropriate and necessary care. And only by emphasizing quality over quantity of care can we begin to control costs. President Obama's budget works to do both.

Also important is the budget's call for rebuilding primary care health professions. In setting aside funds for health professions training and for loan repayment programs for physicians who agree to practice in medically underserved areas, this budget both promotes primary medical education and addresses the need for care in medically underserved areas.

The American Academy of Family Physicians looks forward to working with both the Obama administration and the Congress in developing reforms that meet the needs of the American people, improve the outcomes of their care and ensure the affordability of that care.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions(5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).