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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

ACP-ASIM Calls on Senator McCain to Commit To Providing Health Insurance to All Americans

All Presidential Candidates Asked to Take Universal Health Care Pledge

December 16, 1999

(Washington, DC): Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) recently released plan to reduce the number of uninsured Americans is a step in the right direction, but he should go further 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 Senator McCain, as we are calling on all presidential candidates, to pledge to prepare a plan for achieving health care coverage for all Americans," said Dr. Addington. "Although Senator McCain's proposal could help expand coverage to both children and adults, it would still leave too many working people without health insurance coverage. A lack of health insurance merits the same degree of urgency as other known risk factors such as using tobacco, abusing alcohol, or failing to wear seat belts."

After reviewing the ACP-ASIM's recent report on the uninsured title "No Health Insurance: It's Enough to Make You Sick," McCain agreed that "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 do. It is unacceptable that in this time of prosperity 44 million Americans still go without health-care coverage. I share the goal of the ACP-ASIM of an America where everyone can obtain access to the quality health care they need."

"Senator McCain has outlined some effective ways to combat the growing problem of the uninsured," said Dr. Addington. "We are especially pleased that his proposal includes ideas to help low-income Americans Children obtain coverage. But more must be done to provide coverage to every American. We believe that incremental proposals that fall short of providing universal coverage, such as Senator McCain's, should be under consideration, but as part of a sequential strategy that would result in coverage for everyone."

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. More information on the 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 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.


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

Page updated: 11-04-03

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