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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

Leading Presidential Candidates Applaud ACP-ASIM Study Linking Increased Health Risks with Lack of Health Insurance

December 13, 1999

Bradley, Gore and McCain Say Health Insurance Needed for 44 Million Uninsured

(Washington, DC): Three leading presidential candidates - former Senator Bill Bradley, Vice President Albert Gore, and Senator John McCain - have issued statements recognizing a lack of health insurance as a serious health risk associated with a need to reduce the number of uninsured Americans in the years ahead, according to a statement released today by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).

The three campaigns made the comments in response to a new report issued by ACP-ASIM titled "No Health Insurance? It's Enough to Make You Sick." The report, a review of more than 100 scientific studies, establishes that a lack of health insurance is a health risk warranting as great a level of concern and urgency as other know hazards including smoking, alcohol abuse or not wearing a seat belt.

"Uninsured Americans tend to live sicker and die earlier than insured Americans," said ACP-ASIM President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP. "This report should serve as a wake-up call for the American public that something has to be done to help the over 44 million uninsured people in this county."

The College provided copies of the report to the campaigns of Bradley, Gore, McCain and Texas Governor George W. Bush. Governor Bush declined to issue a written statement, but did agree to accept media calls on the issue.

"I wish to congratulate the ACP-ASIM for their commitment to health insurance for all and for this important scientific research into the consequences of being without health insurance," said Senator Bradley. "Providing every American access to affordable, quality health insurance will be a top priority for my administration."

"By detailing the serious consequences of being uninsured, this report makes it even more clear why we must work to extend health insurance to all Americans—by protecting health insurance for those who have it and extending coverage to the millions who do not," said Vice President Albert Gore.

"The report appears to confirm the unfortunate reality that those without health insurance coverage are less likely to have access to necessary health-care services, and are thus more likely to have poorer health outcomes and higher mortality rates than Americans with health insurance to," said Senator McCain. "I share the goal of ACP-ASIM of an America where everyone can obtain access to the quality health care they need."

ACP-ASIM has called on all presidential and congressional candidates to commit themselves to either creating or supporting a plan within their first year of taking office following the 2000 elections to assure that all Americans have health insurance. More information on the campaign and the College's new report and "Decision 2000" campaign is available at http://www.acponline.org/uninsured.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 116,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America.

Editor's note: For a full copy of the report or the presidential candidate's statements, please visit http://www.acponline.org/uninsured/lack-contents.htm.

Contacts

Jack E. Pope, 202-261-4556

Page updated: 11-04-03

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