AAFP Statement: President Obama’s First 100 Days Bring Important Health Care Improvements to Americans

Friday, May 01, 2009

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

“The American Academy of Family Physicians congratulates President Barack Obama on the many accomplishments of his first 100 days in office. Family physicians and their patients appreciate President Obama’s consistent focus on ensuring that all Americans have access to appropriate and efficient health care. In fact, more has been done in the first 100 days than we have seen in a long time.

“In the first weeks of President Obama’s administration, we have seen reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which opens the door to health care for 4 million previously uninsured children in low-income working families. President Obama also called for establishing a reserve fund that, if passed, would have enabled Congress to stabilize Medicare physician payment in an equitable and cost-effective manner.

“We applaud passage of important health-related provisions in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, including:

  • the stabilization of health security for millions of newly unemployed workers;
  • a framework for enabling family physicians in solo and small practices to invest in electronic health records that improve patient safety, care coordination and efficiency;
  • support for comparative effectiveness research that will ensure patients receive the best and most appropriate care for their health needs;
  • support for health professions grants for family medicine under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act and for the National Health Services Corps; and
  • an increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid, enabling states to maintain coverage for low-income families despite increased financial pressure on state budgets.

“We commend President Obama for shepherding such important health-related legislation through the legislative process. We look forward to working with him as he and Congress craft health care reform legislation that will meet the needs of the American people, rein in health care costs and improve the quality of care provided that patients receive.”

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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).