The House Releases Comprehensive Health Reform Legislation

The ACP Advocate

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July 17, 2009
In this issue
» Health-Care Reform Wends Its Way Through Congress

» Proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2010 is Released

» FDA Gains Power Over Tobacco

About this newsletter

The ACP Advocate is an e-newsletter, edited by the College's Washington, DC governmental affairs division, created to provide you, our members, with succinct news about public policy issues affecting internal medicine and patient care. To learn more about ACP's Advocacy and to access the ACP Advocate archives, go to

Welcome to The ACP Advocate.

In this week’s issue you’ll find coverage of the latest movements in health care reform on Capitol Hill. Earlier this week the House released their comprehensive reform bill. I was encouraged to see that the legislation addresses ACP’s top priorities in health care reform: coverage, workforce, the sustainable growth rate formula, primary care payment increases, the patient-centered medical home, and comparative effectiveness research.  While any bill of this magnitude won’t be perfect, the House bill delivers on our major priorities.

I want to emphasize the many positive aspects of this legislation because our support is crucial to influencing Congress to consider our ideas to improve the less positive policies in the bill. Our members are critical to ACP’s influence. If you are not already a Key Contact I urge you sign up and become an active participant in seeking reform.  

Also in the issue you’ll find coverage of the proposed 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule which was released earlier this month. And, you’ll find information about the new authority the FDA has to regulate tobacco products.

For more about health care reform, other health policy issues, and discussions among ACP members check out my blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  I hope you’ll join me over the next few months as we discuss ACP’s efforts in guiding health care reform.  

And, as always, please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to:

Yours truly,

Bob Doherty
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians

In the news
» Health-Care Reform Wends Its Way Through Congress
  Bill from House satisfies several ACP objectives

The lengthy and complicated reform of the nation's health-care system continues to move through Congress, though sticking points about some key aspects of the program remain.

This week, the three committees in the House of Representatives w... » Click to read the full article

» Proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2010 is Released

On July 1 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule for the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Increased payments for primary care

The new proposal contains a number of changes that im... » Click to read the full article

» FDA Gains Power Over Tobacco
  Under new federal law, agency could reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels

The era of tobacco companies operating largely beyond the reach of federal health authorities came to an end last month when President Barrack Obama, who has struggled with cigarette addiction since he was a teen, signed into law the Family Smoking Preve... » Click to read the full article

In focus
ACP, AAFP and SGIM Support Comparative Effectiveness Provisions in Proposed House Tri-Committee Bill
Earlier this week, in a joint letter to the House Tri-Committee, ACP, AAFP, and SGIM offered their strong support for the comparative effectiveness provisions included in the legislation being considered in the House. ACP, AAFP and SGIM stressed the value of having scientifically valid information available that permits physicians and their patients to make informed decisions on the most effective and appropriate treatment. The organizations applauded the hard work these committees have undertaken in providing the American people with a health care system that will work to their benefit.

H.R. 2350, Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act of 2009, has bipartisan support
On June 26 Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), signed on as a cosponsor to HR 2350, making him the first Republican supporter. The now bipartisan bill has 120 total cosponsors. The legislation is designed to support primary care through a multifaceted approach, including incentives to recruit and retain primary care physicians and other providers and policies to support preventive care.

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