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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

ACP-ASIM Calls on Vice President Gore to Commit to Providing Health Insurance to All Americans

September 9, 1999

All Presidential Candidates Asked to Take Universal Health Care Pledge

(Washington, DC): Vice President Al Gore's call for health insurance for all American children is a move in the right direction, but he should immediately take the next step and commit himself to developing a plan to provide health insurance for all Americans, according to a statement released today by American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP.

"We are calling on Vice President Gore, as we are calling on all the aspiring presidential candidates, to pledge to prepare a plan for achieving health care coverage for all Americans," said Dr. Addington. "Although Vice President Gore's proposal could help provide coverage to millions of children and some adults, it would still leave too many working parents without health insurance coverage. Children need healthy parents, and a lack of health insurance is a known barrier to good health."

"Our thriving economy has given us the means to achieve universal coverage, and the shocking fact that more than 43 million Americans lack health insurance has certainly given us the moral imperative," he added.

"A lack of health insurance is just as much a risk factor as using tobacco, abusing alcohol, or failing to wear seat belts," said Dr. Addington. "Vice President Gore has outlined some effective ways to combat this public health scourge. We are especially pleased that his proposal includes several ideas—such as tax credits to purchase insurance and expansion of Medicaid and CHIPs—to help low-income Americans obtain coverage. Similar ideas were included in a plan that ACP-ASIM released in February to provide coverage to all Americans with incomes up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, as a first step toward universal coverage. But more must be done to provide coverage to every American."

ACP-ASIM is calling on all presidential candidates to pledge to support universal health coverage as part of its "Decision 2000" campaign, a million-dollar effort aimed at making universal health insurance a central focus of the Year 2000 elections.

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.

Contacts

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

Page updated: 11-04-03

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