AAFP Statement: Family Physicians Call for Citizen Action to Cover the Uninsured
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Michael O. Fleming, M.D.
WASHINGTON --- More than 43 million people in America live without health insurance. That's almost one in six Americans under the age of 65. Most survive with little health care, and what care they do receive is often too little too late.
Medical research in the United States is among the best in the world, and those providing health care are committed, caring professionals. However, our health care system is a mess: There is a lack of focus on maintaining good health and preventing diseases, records and billing systems are confusing, lists of what is covered under insurance plans are complex and wildly divergent, and costs are skyrocketing.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has taken a long hard look at this problem and developed a plan to assure health care coverage for all who reside in the United States. Our plan would assure basic services to everyone --- those health care services most likely to be used by most people and services that should be used by all people to prevent illness and disease. It would protect against extraordinary medical costs and would allow individuals to purchase coverage beyond the basic health care coverage. The plan provides for funding through a national, broad-based taxing mechanism: everyone benefits and everyone shares the expense.
Finding solutions to provide health care coverage for everyone in the United States benefits all of us. Cover the Uninsured Week is May 10-16. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn more, to talk to our neighbors and to ask tough questions of our elected officials and candidates.
In the best tradition of American democracy, it will take the voice of the people to build the health care system we want and need. Don't leave it for someone else to decide.
To interview Dr. Fleming, please contact Leslie Champlin at (800) 274-2237, ext. 5224 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The AAFP's plan to assure health care coverage for all can be viewed at http://www.aafp.org/x13722.xml
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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.