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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

ACP-ASIM Commends Presidential Candidate Bill Bradley's Commitment to Provide Affordable Health Insurance for All Americans

September 30, 1999

Lack of coverage is a prescription for poor health

(Washington, DC): The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine praises 2000 Presidential Candidate Bill Bradley's commitment to providing a substantive and affordable health insurance package for all Americans. ACP-ASIM has called on all congressional and presidential candidates to commit to making health coverage available to all Americans a key component of their platforms.

"Living without health insurance is as great of a risk as using tobacco products, not wearing a seatbelt or abusing alcohol," said ACP-ASIM President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP. "We live in a booming economy of excess yet we have continued to ignore the plight of uninsured Americans for far too long,"

The lack of health coverage contributes to a 30 percent increase in adverse medical outcomes, including prolonged hospital stay or death, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Further, the uninsured are 38 percent less likely to be hospitalized when necessary and 20 percent less likely to have a physician than those with coverage. The uninsured are also up to three times more likely to die in a hospital than comparable privately insured patients.

"The average uninsured family is headed by a working woman of modest income with two children," Addington said. "I am pleased to see candidates stepping to the plate to meet the needs of this segment of our society. Plans introduced by both Bradley and Vice President Al Gore are encouraging and it is my hope that they will spur further discussion by other candidates and the electorate on how to make universal coverage a reality."

Several components of Bradley's plan are similar to those in a package the College suggested earlier this year, including refundable tax credits linked to income to make coverage more affordable for low income Americans. Presidential candidate and Vice President Al Gore also recently introduced a plan to make coverage available to many uninsured Americans, however the College encouraged Vice President Gore to go further in his program to provide coverage for a larger number of the uninsured.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America and treat more Medicare patients than any other medical specialists. For more information on ACP-ASIM's campaign for health coverage for all Americans, visit www.acponline.org/uninsured/.

Contacts

Jack E. Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4556

Page updated: 11-04-03

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