American College of Physicians: America's health care system in state of decline

Feb 17, 2010

"The unfortunate truth is that by many measures, the State of America's health care is in decline," Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), reported today at ACP's annual State of the Nation's Health Care briefing. "We have too many uninsured, too few primary care physicians, and the cost of health care is rising faster than we can afford."

" in the United States is facing an unprecedented challenge of affordability and sustainability," continued Dr. Stubbs. "Yet a highly-partisan and polarized debate over legislation regrettably has taken the country's 'eye off the ball'—from the urgency of implementing reforms."

In its report issued today, ACP detailed the dire consequences the country would face if Congress and the President failed to enact comprehensive health care reform.

"For decades, we have seen Washington politicians decide that health care reform is too hard, and we may be on the brink of seeing this happen once again," observed Bob Doherty, ACP's Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy. "But this time, we know what the consequences will be. Affordable health care will be out of reach for many middle class families. One out of five of us will be uninsured. We won't be able to find a primary care doctor. And increased Medicare and Medicaid spending will create an unprecedented fiscal and budget crisis."

As a path for moving forward on health care reform ACP recommended that:

  • Congress and the President reach an agreement on a legislative pathway to enact a final bill and builds upon—and improves upon—the bills already passed by both houses of Congress;
  • President Obama should reach out to both Republican and Democratic members of Congress to develop bipartisan proposals to reduce the costs associated with the medical liability tort system, and to work together on other issues that have support across the political parties, such as increasing the numbers of ;
  • Congress should give preferred funding for discretionary programs to advance the goals of expanding coverage, ensure a sufficient supply of primary care physicians, and encourage testing and dissemination of models to improve health care delivery;
  • Congress must permanently end the cycle of Medicare physician payment cuts caused by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula; and,
  • President Obama should use his executive authority to require that all health-related federal agencies and private sector contractors develop plans to increase the numbers of primary care physicians and reduce the time that clinicians and patients spend on health plan administration.
"The alternative to moving forward on comprehensive health reform is an unconscionable abdication of responsibility by our elected leaders to ensure that high quality health care remains available and affordable for American families today, tomorrow and for years to come," concluded Dr. Stubbs.

Explore further: AMA examines economic impact of physicians

More information: www.acponline.org

Provided by American College of Physicians

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Prioritizing health-care reform components

Feb 06, 2009

Faced with a barrage of pressing issues, the Obama administration has placed health-care reform high on its agenda. The timing bodes well for change, according to Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., director of the Indiana University ...

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

8 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.