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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
17-Feb-2010

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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
@ACPinternists

America's health care system in state of decline

Urgent need to move forward on essential reforms American College of Physicians tells President Obama and Congress

Washington, February 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."

"Health care in the United States is facing an unprecedented challenge of affordability and sustainability," continued Dr. Stubbs. "Yet a highly-partisan and polarized debate over health care reform 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:

"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.

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The American College of Physicians (www.acponline.org) 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 (www.twitter.com/acpinternists) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/acpinternists).



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