AAFP Statement: Implementation of Healthcare Reform Continues After Virginia Court Decision on ‘Individual Mandate’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, December 16, 2010

Statement attributable to:
Roland Goertz, MD, MBA
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson’s Dec. 13 ruling on the individual mandate to buy health insurance has been issued, but progress implementing reform has not been halted. There have now been three court rulings on the individual mandate. Two have upheld the healthcare reform law and one has not. There have also been twelve other courts that have thrown out suits over jurisdictional or standing issues. Eventually the United States Supreme Court will likely decide.

"The AAFP has long standing policy, for over twenty years, that advocates for 'coverage for all.' Studies have shown that having coverage improves the health of those who have it. Unless most Americans have health insurance, plans cannot offer coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, cannot eliminate annual or lifetime caps on benefits, and cannot provide other health care insurance reforms that are supported by Americans. Without everyone participating in coverage, the healthcare system will return to its well known trends: skyrocketing increases in insurance premiums, decreasing access to coverage and care, and millions more Americans joining the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured every year.

“Without some process resulting in broad participation in health insurance, health care coverage for all cannot be obtained, let alone sustained.”

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, please contact Leslie Champlin, 800-274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 129,000 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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