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Press Release: Congress, President urged to pass health care reforms

ACP-ASIM calls for bipartisan solutions to nation's health care woes

January 29, 2001

Washington, DC—The nations' lawmakers are being challenged to pass a variety of long overdue health care reforms including patient protections, expanded access to health insurance and regulatory reform.

"There is no better time than now to solve the problems keeping 43 million Americans from accessing the health care system and countless others with insurance from obtaining needed services or pharmaceuticals," said Dr. Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, president of the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM). "We look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure that these issues receive the attention they deserve."

In a letter to President George W. Bush, Tommy Thompson, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and members of the 107th Congress, the ACP-ASIM outlined an agenda that promotes patient access to necessary health care and supports physicians' ability to deliver that care without interference. Lawmakers are called upon to:

  • Expand access to health insurance for low-wage uninsured workers, through refundable tax credits and expansion of the Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP);
  • Reduce health care errors and institute a voluntary reporting system with strong confidentiality and peer review provisions;
  • Provide Medicare coverage for prescription drugs, with sustainable financing and strong consumer protection principles on the use of pharmacy benefit managers to control costs;
  • Enact a strong patients' bill of rights;
  • And ease excessive Medicare red tape and regulatory requirements.

"As physicians, we simply want to keep our patients healthy. Both private and government insurers need to recognize that managing and documenting processes should not create such a burden that it interferes with our primary duty: caring for our patients," Fryhofer said.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership encompasses more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America.

Copies of the letter to lawmakers and facts sheets summarizing ACP-ASIM's policies on health related issues can be found at www.acponline.org/advocacy/.

David Edelson, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4575

Page updated: 11-04-03

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