ACP-ASIM President Testifies Before Health, Education Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee
Oct. 4, 2000
(WASHINGTON, DC): Living without health insurance is a serious health risk, said Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, in testimony Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on health insurance.
Nearly 43 million people are uninsured in the United States and 80 percent live in working families, she said.
Using statistics from a recent ACP-ASIM report titled "No Health Insurance? It's Enough to Make You Sick," Dr. Fryhofer told the committee about the adverse effects of living without health insurance.
- Uninsured Americans are three times more likely than the insured to experience an avoidable hospitalization for diabetes.
- Uninsured people are more than three times more likely to die in the hospital than the insured.
- Uninsured adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18 are four times more likely to have unmet health needs, four times less likely to get dental care, four times less likely to get need prescriptions, and four times less likely to get needed eyeglasses.
- Uninsured children are up to 40% less likely to receive medical attention for a serious injury.
The ACP-ASIM urged the HELP Committee to take a specific, step-by-step approach towards universal health coverage that includes:
- Refundable tax credits to expand coverage for lower-income Americans;
- Expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals at or below poverty;
- Increased funding for outreach to encourage eligible children and families to enroll in Medicaid and the CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program);
- Subsidies for those individuals who are eligible for COBRA coverage but cannot afford it;
- Evaluation of the Medical Savings Account demonstration project;
- Adoption of Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries.
The 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.
David Edelson, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4575
Jack Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4556
Page updated: 11-03-03