Washington -- In a letter to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce committees, the president of the American College of Physicians (ACP) today expressed support for the Children’s Health and Medicare Preotection (CHAMP) Act of 2007 (H.R. 3162). Representing 124,000 internal medicine physicians and medical student members, ACP is the largest medical specialty society in the United States.
David C. Dale, MD, FACP, president of ACP, sent letters to Representatives Charles Rangel, chair, and Fortney H. “Pete” Stark, chair of the Health Subcommittee, Committee on Ways and Means. The letter also was sent to Representatives John D. Dingell, chair, and Frank Pallone, Jr., chair of the Health Subcommittee, Committee on Energy and Commerce. (over)
Dr. Dale pointed out that the CHAMP Act will strengthen and expand access to care for children and seniors by:
- Providing funding to assure continued and expanded coverage for millions of children from lower-income families through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
- Protecting access to Medicare by funding positive physician payment updates in 2008 and 2009 instead of allowing devastating cuts to go into effect. The bill also seeks to improve physician spending targets by eliminating drugs from the targets, ensuring the new coverage decisions are incorporated, and supporting the value of primary and preventive services. The College notes that further legislation will be needed to avert payment cuts in 2010 and subsequent years and to develop an effective method for future updates.
- Creating the building blocks for Medicare reforms to improve quality. The College is particularly pleased that the bill will create incentives for care coordination by a patient’s personal physician through a large scale demonstration of the Patient-Centered Medical Home. ACP also strongly supports provisions to fund research on the comparative effectiveness of different treatments, to create a process for identifying procedures that may be incorrectly valued, to improve geographic equity in payments, and to provide physicians with confidential data on their practice patterns.
- Helping to reduce smoking rates while provide funding for SCHIP and Medicare by increasing federal taxes on tobacco products.
- Reducing costly and unfair overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans and applying these savings to ensuring health care access to children and seniors.
Dr. Dale completed the letters by commending each of the Congressmen for their efforts and pledging that ACP will work for enactment of the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act of 2007 (H.R. 3162).
“It is critical for Congress to vote for health care for children and seniors,” Dr. Dale concluded.
Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572
The American College of Physicians is the nation’s largest medical specialty organization. Membership is composed of 124,000 internal medicine physicians (internists) and medical students. Internists provide the majority of health care to adults in America. Internists are specialists in adult medicine and provide comprehensive care to adult patients.