Washington A framework for policies that would enable all Americans to have access to affordable health insurance coverage was released today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The updated position paper, Achieving Affordable Health Insurance Coverage for All Within Seven Years: A Proposal From Americas Internists, Updated 2008, is based on a 2002 College position paper.
ACP reviewed the key reforms recommended in the 2002 paper and said they remain, with some revisions, a viable approach to making health insurance coverage available to all Americans. The paper emphasized ACPs belief that reforms to expand coverage should be done in concert with changes in health care financing and delivery to improve outcomes and efficiency of care.
Expanding health insurance coverage to all Americans is a moral imperative, said Jeffrey Harris, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians. ACPs framework would assure that all lower-income working personswho constitute the vast majority of the uninsuredwill have access to affordable coverage either from improved public safety net programs or by having the means to buy into the same insurance program available to members of Congress and their families.
The framework outline in the paper represents a logical series of reforms necessary to achieve universal coverage. The seven recommended elements of reform are:
Many of the key elements of ACPs framework already have been incorporated into a bipartisan bill, called the Health Coverage, Access, Responsibility and Affordability Act (HealthCARE Act HR 2351), introduced by Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH).
Reforms are also needed to assure that patients will have access to a personal physician who knows them and who has the tools and systems needed to improve care coordination a Patient-Centered Medical Homesupported by a reimbursement system that pays for coordination and prevention, not just volume of services, Dr. Harris concluded.
|Contact: David Kinsman|
American College of Physicians