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 You.org 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: TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians