AAFP Statement: President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address: “Bush Pressed ‘Restart’ On Health Care Reform Discussion”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Rick Kellerman, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians
WASHINGTON ― President Bush pressed “restart” on the long-stalled national discussion about health care reform tonight.
By putting an innovative proposal to expand health care coverage on the table, he joined America’s family physicians and other health care providers, industry leaders, governors of both parties and everyday Americans who know that the health care status quo, with ever-increasing costs and numbers of uninsured, is no longer acceptable. We applaud the President’s recognition that “the best health care decisions are not made by government, but by patients and their doctors.”
America’s family physicians are always supportive of efforts to expand health care coverage for the people in this country. The President's tax proposal may make it more affordable for some uninsured individuals to purchase health insurance on their own. Reauthorizing the States Children Health Insurance Program will help America take care of our most vulnerable – children in families of modest means.
Investing in a modern health information infrastructure, long an AAFP priority, is an important prerequisite to support quality improvements and reduce medical errors.
And passing common sense medical liability reforms, as called for by the President tonight, will help restrain skyrocketing costs and keep good doctors in their practices. These are solid steps that will improve health care in America.
America’s family physicians call on our elected leaders in Washington to use this opening to consider the fundamental health system reforms that America needs and deserves. The American people will not be well served until every one of us has affordable access to a "patient-centered medical home" provided by a family physician or another primary care doctor.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has been a leader in promoting health care for all, with its own far-reaching proposal for system change “Health Care Coverage For All,” and its leadership in bringing 10 national physician groups together behind a set of principles to guide health care reform. The Academy has also played an important role in The Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured, a coalition of 16 national advocacy organizations that proposed a detailed, two-phase approach to provide health insurance to as many Americans as possible, as quickly as possible.
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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.
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