• Family Physicians Praise Biden Administration for Focusing on Health Equity

    Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

    Statement attributable to:
    Ada D. Stewart, MD
    American Academy of Family Physicians

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians applauds today’s executive order requiring agencies to review the public charge regulation, which would potentially penalize immigrants for seeking health care and other services, ultimately increasing access barriers and exacerbating health disparities. The AAFP previously opposed this policy.

    “This is just one example of how misdirected federal policy can exacerbate health disparities and perpetuate systemic racism. In recent letters sent to the administration and Congress, the AAFP called for the expansion of health coverage and the elimination of barriers to comprehensive primary care, critical steps in advancing health equity. We have urged policymakers to ensure that federal resources are allocated in a way that is equitable, effective, and advances the health, safety and wellbeing of all individuals in America without exception. The Jan. 20 executive order on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities is an important first step. 

    “Family physicians live and work in communities across the country and bear witness to how institutionalized racism and other structural issues, including public policy, contribute to economic inequality, poor health outcomes, and other injustices for marginalized communities. Addressing these root causes, as well as the resulting health disparities, is important not only from an equity standpoint, but to improve overall quality of care and the health of our country.  

    “Family physicians can mitigate health inequity, including systemic racism, by collaborating with stakeholders in their own communities and institutions to affect positive change for our patients and communities. We are committed to promoting health equity by identifying and addressing social determinants of health in all health care experiences – with the goal of prioritizing preventive health and management of chronic conditions.

    “We are encouraged that President Biden’s administration has laid forth a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all. The AAFP stands ready to partner with the administration and Congress to work through the inequities facing our nation’s health care system to improve the health of all Americans.”

    Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Stewart, contact Megan Moriarty, 800-274-2237, Ext. 6052, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.

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    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 130,000 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 and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.