AAFP: House Decision Not to Proceed on AHCA Sets Stage for Legislation That Fully Meets Americans’ Needs

Friday, March 24, 2017

Statement attributable to:
John Meigs, Jr., MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“With the House decision not to proceed with a vote on the American Health Care Act, patients across America got a reprieve from the harmful effects it would have had on both their health security and financial security. This will provide time to craft a bill that improves on current law without imposing higher costs or reducing needed benefits.

“Congress now has an opportunity to refocus on the shortcomings of our current health care system, especially the issues of affordability and access to primary care. We would urge the House and Senate to work with the AAFP, other health care organizations, and patient stakeholders to develop legislation that will immediately stabilize the health care market and meet the needs of their constituents. As part of that process, the AAFP calls on Congress to develop legislation that ensures meaningful, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage for patients in both the employer-sponsored and individual markets. Furthermore, we urge them to preserve Medicaid coverage for the more than 70 million Americans who currently rely on the program. It should guarantee access to primary care by requiring that all primary care physicians be considered ‘in-network’ by health plans and by making visits to a patient’s primary care physician not subject to health plan deductibles.

“The AAFP looks forward to working with Congress as they write new health legislation. We will continue to advocate for our patients’ ability to get the health care they need, when they need it, without facing financial crises over their medical bills.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Meigs, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237,
Ext. 6252, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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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).