As the nation's health care landscape prepares to undergo changes, the AAFP and four other medical groups are asking the president and Congress to stand with physicians to ensure that women's health care is protected.
The five organizations -- the AAFP, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American Osteopathic Association -- signed a Jan. 25 letter(1 page PDF) calling on President Donald Trump and members of Congress to ensure that any changes maintain the safeguards for women's health that are already in place. They cautioned that any new legislation should not weaken women's health rights regarding preventive, prenatal and neonatal care.
Together the organizations that signed the letter represent 500,000 physicians nationally.
Pointing out that women "have an enormous amount at stake as Congress debates the future of health insurance coverage," the letter reminds government leaders that today, "it's guaranteed that no woman will be charged more for, or denied, coverage because of her gender, because she was the victim of domestic violence or because she had a previous C-section."
Medicaid expansion in 31 states now provides health care for 10 million individuals, many of them low-income women and families, the organizations wrote.
The letter emphasized that "healthy women are the foundation of our economy and society," and that it's important for the nation's health care system to guarantee healthy outcomes for the next generation.
The organizations identified four priorities for women's health care:
- ensuring that women have affordable access to evidence-based care;
- opposing political interference in the physician-patient relationship;
- retaining current benefits, including preventive care and a ban on gender rating; and
- protecting Medicaid coverage and financing.
"Healthy women can better participate in our economy and our workforce, and can reach higher levels of educational attainment," the letter stated. "We call on the president and the U.S. Congress to stand with us and for America's women."
The letter was signed for the AAFP by President John Meigs, M.D., of Centreville, Ala., and Board Chair Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., of York, Pa. It was sent to President Trump and leaders of both parties in the House and Senate.