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Internists Say Senate Bills Would Help Improve the Health of Americans
Statement attributable to:
George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA
President, American College of Physicians
WASHINGTON, D.C. August 11, 2021 –The infrastructure and budget bills that the Senate passed yesterday and today have the potential to greatly help the health of Americans. The funding that both bills provide would better prioritize the well-being of our communities and all of us who live in them.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would help to improve public health through provisions that would improve public health specifically to ensure all Americans have access to safe drinking water, broadband services that provide vital access to telehealth services, as well as investment in clean energy to reverse the negative health effects associated with climate change. This type of investment in our nation’s infrastructure is long overdue. We are glad that the Senate passed this legislation and we call on the House of Representatives to do the same.
ACP does have significant concerns about the way in which the Senate’s bill pays for the investments in infrastructure. Extending mandatory “sequester” payment cuts would result in harmful cuts to Medicare physician payments at a time when we are all still in the midst of a public health crisis that has highlighted the need for access to health care. We expressed these concerns to the Senate in a letter sent earlier this month, and we urge the House to consider other ways of paying for the legislation as they move forward with it.
The budget resolution bill that the Senate passed early this morning also would improve the health of Americans, both with improved funding for health care programs and through funding that would help other areas that impact public health. The plan includes expanding the Medicare program, establishing new family leave benefits, and efforts to combat climate change. As the Senate and House work together to come to a final budget package, we urge them both to continue to prioritize the health and health care of all Americans.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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