Letters to the Editor

Physicians’ view

December 26, 2007


To the editor:

The American College of Physicians (ACP), whose members are physicians practicing internal medicine and its subspecialties, has developed a new policy on universal access to medical care. The policies of the ACP are open to public view at www.acponline.org.

For many years, the ACP's position on access to care has been one of universal access. The ACP has worked to get legislation to Congress to implement such a program. One of the acts the ACP proposed was the HealthCARE Act of 2003 (S1030/HR 2402), which Congress did not pass.

The ACP continues to try to influence Congress. Recently, the ACP issued a policy paper, "Achieving a High Performance Health Care System with Universal Access: What the USA Can Learn from Other Countries." This is a scholarly paper based on the literature.

The ACP proposes eight recommendations to improve health care in the USA based on the lessons learned from the review and suggests it can be done in a "pluralistic system" or in a "single payer system." There are strong and weak points in either system discussed in the paper.

The ACP's position is that the status quo of a large segment of our population lacking insurance coverage is unacceptable. The ACP hopes that this paper will be a stimulus to the public, our politicians, elected officials and physicians to reform health care.

Dr. Donald W. Hatton,

chairman-elect, ACP board of governors,



Sharon Aikins 10 years, 5 months ago

Dr. Hatton Is my doctor and I applaud him for his efforts to make health care available to everyone. Right now I am in a government study about providing adequate health care for the disabled or partially disabled to see if good health care can maintain the quality of their lives. After this program, I will most likely be in that group of uninsured in this country until I am eligible for Medicare. Otherwise I would have to spend over $15,000 minimum out of pocket each year just to have insurance. Since I didn't work but stayed home with my children, I do not qualify for SSI. But since I am disabled, I am unable to hold down a job, making what little money I can from a home business. Yet I am more fortunate than a lot of people out there. And I don't have young children who might not receive the health care they need. We have to find some way to take care of this problem in this country.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 5 months ago

Here's a universal truth about universal health care: If you give it away for "free," it will be used to the point of gross abuse.

denak 10 years, 5 months ago

That's nonsense. We already have "universal health care" availible to certain segments of the population through medicaid and through the military. The same system that pays for that can be extended to pay for everyone.

It can be done and it can be done as successfully as it is being done in a lot of other countries.

And yes, I would be more than happy to pay more in taxes to make sure that it can be done.


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