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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Statement attributable to:
Roland Goertz, MD, MBA
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 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).