AAFP Statement: Federal Budget Proposes Path to Sustainable, Effective Health Care Reform

Friday, February 27, 2009

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

President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget summary outlines a plan that promises to put America's health care system onto a track of sustainable, equitable, affordable and high quality health care for all Americans. The American Academy of Family Physicians supports the goals for health care reform set forth in the budget.

Research has consistently shown that primary care is essential to effective and sustainable health care reform. The Obama administration's budget provides a roadmap to meet that goal and to move forward in ensuring that Americans have access to a patient-centered medical home.

Only by making health care coverage available to all can we ensure that all Americans get timely, appropriate and necessary care. And only by emphasizing quality over quantity of care can we begin to control costs. President Obama's budget works to do both.

Also important is the budget's call for rebuilding primary care health professions. In setting aside funds for health professions training and for loan repayment programs for physicians who agree to practice in medically underserved areas, this budget both promotes primary medical education and addresses the need for care in medically underserved areas.

The American Academy of Family Physicians looks forward to working with both the Obama administration and the Congress in developing reforms that meet the needs of the American people, improve the outcomes of their care and ensure the affordability of that care.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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