AAFP Statement: Implementation of Healthcare Reform Continues After Virginia Court Decision on ‘Individual Mandate’

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Statement attributable to:
Roland Goertz, MD, MBA
American Academy of Family Physicians

“U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson’s Dec. 13 ruling on the individual mandate to buy health insurance has been issued, but progress implementing reform has not been halted. There have now been three court rulings on the individual mandate. Two have upheld the healthcare reform law and one has not. There have also been twelve other courts that have thrown out suits over jurisdictional or standing issues. Eventually the United States Supreme Court will likely decide.

"The AAFP has long standing policy, for over twenty years, that advocates for 'coverage for all.' Studies have shown that having coverage improves the health of those who have it. Unless most Americans have health insurance, plans cannot offer coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, cannot eliminate annual or lifetime caps on benefits, and cannot provide other health care insurance reforms that are supported by Americans. Without everyone participating in coverage, the healthcare system will return to its well known trends: skyrocketing increases in insurance premiums, decreasing access to coverage and care, and millions more Americans joining the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured every year.

“Without some process resulting in broad participation in health insurance, health care coverage for all cannot be obtained, let alone sustained.”

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, please contact Leslie Champlin, 800-274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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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).