Health Care and You: A new resource

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March 04, 2011
In this issue
» New Web Site Aims to Untangle Health Care Law

» New Presidential Budget Gets Mixed Review From ACP

» Malpractice Reform Moves Forward on Capitol Hill

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.

Our first story this week is about something I am personally very excited about.  Along with a coalition of different stakeholders, ACP has developed a new website of information for consumers about the health care reform law.  Healthcare and is a non-partisan, unbiased source for the facts about how the health care law will affect you and your patients.  Check out the story for more about why we felt this was an important effort for ACP, and look to the sidebar next to this letter for a link to the new site.

Our second story this week gives you some of the details about health care items that were included in the proposed federal budget that President Obama released a couple of weeks ago.  While the budget does include funding for primary care, it falls short in other areas.  It includes money to temporarily delay Medicare cuts due to the SGR, however it fails to address a permanent solution for this recurring problem.  As Congress moves forward in developing a final budget for FY 2012 we will continue to push for this and other improvements for internists.

The last story in this issue looks at some new legislation on malpractice reform.  H.R. 5, the HEALTH Act, would put into place something that ACP has long advocated for, a cap on non-economic damages awarded as part of malpractice cases.  While we also have additional reforms we’d like to see made to the malpractice system, it is an encouraging step forward that this bill and this issue are being taken seriously on Capitol Hill.

Finally, looking forward to our next issue we’ll be taking a look at President Obama’s announcement that he supports allowing states to develop their own coverage plans, as long as they provide coverage comparable to the ACA.  ACP supports this call for innovations at the state level and we’re excited to see this advance.

For more coverage of what’s happening in Washington, take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  You can also follow me on Twitter @BobDohertyACP. 

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
» New Web Site Aims to Untangle Health Care Law
  ACP partners with other groups to sponsor resource aimed at patients

A coalition of health care consumer and professional organizations, including the American College of Physicians, has launched a new online resource to help Americans find out the latest on changes to their insurance coverage and options they can expect as... » Click to read the full article

» New Presidential Budget Gets Mixed Review From ACP
  College applauds some efforts to boost primary care, for instance, but thinks others fall short

President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget proposal includes funds to train primary care physicians, to support medical liability reform and to support new initiatives that promote more comprehensive and efficient care for people with chronic health conditions, ... » Click to read the full article

» Malpractice Reform Moves Forward on Capitol Hill
  House committee passes bill with cap on 'pain and suffering' awards

Medical liability reform moved a step closer to reality when the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a bill called the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act.

The bill, H.R. 5, would set a $250,000 limit on so-ca... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Health Care and You: A new patient resource
This week ACP, as part of a coalition of stakeholders, unveiled a new resource to help your patients understand the impact of the health care reform law. Health Care and provides state-by-state information about the changes that have already taken place and those provisions still on the way. The information is organized to allow users to view by age-group, or view information of special importance for small business owners. Look for updates as changes or amendments to law take place.

ACP Reminds Internists about Universal Ethical Principles
In light of the situation in Wisconsin, ACP this week issued a reminder to all physicians about the universal ethical principles governing “sick notes.” The "sick note" situation is only one example of an array of ethical issues addressed in ACP’s Ethics Manual.

Free Print Version of Health Care Reform Brochure Available
Print copies of the joint ACP and AARP Consumer Guide to Understanding Health System Reform (
) are now available for order. Available free in both English and Spanish the brochures are meant to be shared with your patients to answer their questions about health care reform. Guides will shipped in bundles of 100.

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