Family Physicians Support Congressional Effort to Help the Uninsured
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224
“Our health care system is failing – and it is not just because of the recent economic downturn. In fact, the number of uninsured rose by 4 million in the 1990s, during the longest period of economic expansion in U.S. history, a period marked by moderate health care cost increases and a tight labor market.
“America’s family physicians are on the front lines of the health care system, and we see the consequences of its dysfunctions every day. Many of us discount bills for patients we know are uninsured and volunteer in free clinics, trying to help those who are falling through the cracks of the health care system. Sadly, we know there are many more who receive no health care at all.
“The AAFP has worked with others in the medical community to advocate for health care coverage for everyone in America. We developed a plan to assure coverage for all and we have placed it on the table for consideration. The legislation introduced today by Reps. Kaptur and LaTourette gives us all a chance to move forward in our joint effort to make sure everyone gets the health care they need.
“It is time for a serious national effort to assure health care coverage for all. It should be a basic element of life for the leading democracy in the world.”
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest 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 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.