AAFP Statement: Sebelius Nomination Promises Strong Voice for Affordable Access to Health Care

Monday, March 02, 2009

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

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services promises solid leadership in the national debate on health care reform.

As the governor of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ home state, Sebelius has demonstrated her bipartisan expertise in supporting family medicine’s positions on equitable, affordable and accessible health care for all Kansans.

She would bring comprehensive knowledge of the multiple facets of the health reform debate. As governor, Sebelius was instrumental in establishing the Kansas Health Policy Authority, the agency that coordinates statewide health policy agenda and works to ensure access to affordable, efficient and high quality health care for the state’s residents. The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians has worked extensively with the Kansas Health Policy Authority on issues such as the patient-centered medical home and clean indoor air.

As insurance commissioner for the state of Kansas, Sebelius balanced the needs of patients with the needs of employers and the insurance industry, and successfully maintained affordable health insurance for Kansans.

The American Academy of Family Physicians congratulates President Obama on nominating a strong advocate for access to affordable, efficient and high quality health care. We look forward to working with Kathleen Sebelius, upon her confirmation, in shaping health care reform.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest 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(familydoctor.org).