FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 29, 2021
Statement attributable to:
Sterling N. Ransone, Jr., MD, FAAFP
American Academy of Family Physicians
“The American Academy of Family Physicians is supportive of several provisions in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda that will invest in the primary care workforce, improve health equity, increase access to health coverage, address vaccine confidence, and strengthen our public health infrastructure. We are pleased to see these priorities reflected in legislation that that Congress is currently considering.
“We strongly support increased investment in the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. This critical funding will strengthen and expand teaching health centers which will help increase access to care and address the shortage of primary care physicians in medically underserved communities.
“The Academy is also encouraged by the permanent extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers nearly eight million children. Making CHIP permanent ensures that the health coverage of children is no longer subjected to arbitrary deadlines and funding cliffs. The AAFP supports 12-month continuous eligibility for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP which ensures children can remain covered and have access to care.
“Additionally, given Medicaid supports 43 percent of births nationwide, the Build Back Better plan to provide one-year postpartum Medicaid coverage is an important way to address the stark disparities in maternal health and improve outcomes.
“The AAFP has also long-advocated for a fix for Medicaid financing for U.S. territories, and we are pleased that Congress is considering making overdue changes. The current Medicaid funding system is unfair to the territories and leads to less comprehensive benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries, inadequate payment to clinicians, and worse access to care. Reforming the funding caps and raising the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) will strengthen health care in the territories and is an important step in advancing health equity.
“Family physicians look forward to working with Congress, the White House, and federal and state agencies to bring these pieces of the Build Back Better plan to fruition.”
Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Ransone, contact Julie Hirschhorn, 202-655-4949, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,600 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.