AAFP Statement: HHS Guidance Ensures All Children Have Access to Needed Health Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, October 14, 2010

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

“Children and their parents should benefit greatly from actions mentioned in this week’s letter from Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on providing health care coverage to all children.

“By requiring insurance companies to provide health insurance coverage to all children, regardless of pre-existing conditions, the Secretary’s comments call for an end the exclusions that often prevent children from receiving needed health care. And it should help families — who struggle with complex, often overwhelming challenges that accompany disability or serious illness — as they work to rear their children to become productive adults.

“State lawmakers and insurance commissioners can take the lead with legislation and policies that encourage insurers to offer affordable plans that meet the needs of all families and all levels of health care needs.

“The investment we make in children’s health today will reap far greater rewards for everyone in the future. If children are to reach their highest potential tomorrow, we must assure that they receive the health care they need today.”

Editor’s Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Goertz, 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 131,400 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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