ACOG Applauds Introduction of the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act
March 12, 2015
Washington, DC – The following is a statement from John C. Jennings, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
“America’s obstetrician-gynecologists, who are dedicated to the care and well-being of American women, thank Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for their introduction of the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act.
“Primary care is essential for maintaining a woman’s healthy quality of life and preventing disease. It helps to prepare women for healthier pregnancies when the time is right, which leads to healthier families. And, by preventing and controlling illness more effectively, it reduces overall health care costs.
“In the U.S., more than 69 million Americans depend on Medicaid for the medical care they need, including primary and preventive care. Unfortunately, care provided under Medicaid is often reimbursed at rates significantly below Medicare and private insurance rates for the same services, forming a health care system in which lower income women, children and families can’t get the care they need. In other words, health care coverage doesn’t always mean access to care.
“By bringing Medicaid rates for primary services in line with Medicare rates, the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act will help health care providers better meet the needs of patients and will increase equality across the health care system.
“Further, by including obstetrician-gynecologists in this bill, Senators Murray and Brown are acknowledging the essential role that ob-gyns play in primary care for women. Ob-gyns regularly provide primary care services such as screening, evaluation, counseling and immunizations during a woman’s annual visit. And commonly, an ob-gyn is the only physician that a woman sees on a regular basis.
“On behalf of the only physician specialty dedicated to the care of women, I am pleased to thank Senators Murray and Brown for their continued outstanding leadership. This bill will help to improve the health and well-being of women across the country. ACOG looks forward to working with Senators Murray and Brown to ensure that this important legislation becomes law.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org