AAFP Statement: Family Physicians Laud President’s Call for Action on Health System Reform

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Statement attributable to:
Ted Epperly, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians agrees with President Barack Obama that the American people cannot wait for health care reform.

“Family physicians see first hand the fallout from our broken system, as more patients are priced out of health care coverage or lose health insurance and forgo needed health care services. Americans need a health care system that will allow them to keep their plans if they wish without fear of losing coverage when they become sick or if they change jobs. They need a system that offers affordable coverage and that is available regardless of pre-existing conditions.

“Our nation must redesign the way we deliver health care so that we pay for quality of care, not the quantity of tests and procedures performed. We must have a health care system that fosters the doctor-patient relationship and ensures the preventive care that saves lives and money. Americans want a system in which patients can work with their personal primary care physician who coordinates their care among a team of professionals, especially when they have chronic conditions.

“As President Obama noted, legislation that is being debated by Congress is designed to meet those needs. This legislation will provide peace of mind for the millions of Americans who value the health care they have now and to the millions who have no health care coverage under the current system.

“Now is the time to reform the system. We urge Congress to invest in the health care system we want and need, not the one we have.”

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,000 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 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).