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‘Historic Time’ says American College of Physicians as it Applauds House for Passing Historic Legislation

Measure Advances ACP’s Key Priorities

Washington, March 21, 2010 - The American College of Physicians (ACP) today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing health care reform legislation. “This is a historic time,” said ACP President Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP. “ACP has long advocated for these and other reforms, and we are pleased that they have passed the House today.

“This historic measure advances long-standing ACP policies to provide all Americans with access to affordable health insurance coverage,” Dr. Stubbs said. “It fills gaps in our current system by providing families and small businesses with competitive and portable private sector options to buy affordable coverage, providing subsidies when they need help, and ending egregious insurance company practices that deny patients with pre-existing conditions access to affordable coverage.”

Without reform, Dr. Stubbs said, tens of millions of Americans stood to lose access to affordable health care and out-of-control spending would have triggered an unprecedented fiscal and budgetary crisis.

Dr. Stubbs noted that the legislation includes some “important first steps to begin to reverse a catastrophic shortage of primary care physicians,” but that “ more will need to be done to ensure that patients will have timely access to care by an internist or other primary care physician of their choice.”

“We will continue to urge Congress to make improvements through subsequent legislation, including additional reforms to support the value of care provided by internists in a Patient-Centered Medical Home, to make permanent improvements in Medicare and Medicaid payments, to reduce the costs of defensive medicine, and to end the permanent cycle of Medicare (SGR) physician payment cuts,” Dr. Stubbs noted. “However, health reform is a process, and enactment of this package is an essential beginning, but not an end, of our continued effort to reform America’s health care system consistent with ACP policies.”

Dr. Stubbs concluded by urging the United States Senate to “promptly enact the improvements” included in the ‘corrections’ legislation including “increasing the subsidies to making coverage affordable, providing equitable support to all states to cover the cost of expanding Medicaid, eliminating the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, and increasing Medicaid payments for primary care physicians.”

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 129,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554, dkinsman@acponline.org
Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org

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