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Congressional leaders urged to reach agreement on health reform
Date:1/28/2010

Washington, January 28, 2010 The American College of Physicians (ACP) today urged Congressional leaders to "reach agreement on a legislative pathway to provide affordable care to all Americans and ensure that they have access to primary care physicians and other specialties facing shortages."

In a letter to key legislators, ACP President Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP, said: "We agree with the President that Congress must complete the task of enacting comprehensive health reform legislation consistent with the above priorities. The bills passed by the House and Senate advance many of the elements needed to achieve a sustainable, affordable and high quality health care system for all Americans."

"We also are aware that Congress now is considering a number of options to move health reform legislation forward in a way that would build upon but improve the existing bills," Dr. Stubbs continued as he urged adoption of five ACP priorities:

  1. Create a pathway to providing affordable coverage to all Americans. The bills passed by the House and Senate would provide coverage to 94-96 percent of all legal residents. ACP firmly believes that the final legislation must not back off on the commitment to create a pathway for all Americans to have access to health insurance coverage. We continue to support creating sliding-scale tax credits, expansion of Medicaid to cover the poor- and near-poor, insurance market reforms, and providing individuals and small businesses a wide choice of affordable health plans through a health exchange.

  2. Include the strongest possible workforce and payment policies to ensure a sufficient supply of primary care physicians and other specialties facing shortages. Both the House and Senate bills would increase Medicare payments for designated services by primary care physicians but they differ on the amount of the bonus, the services it would apply to, and the criteria for a physician to qualify. We urge that the
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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