Statement on Passage of Health Care Reform

March 24, 2010

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has long been a proponent of comprehensive health care reform and this weeks' enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care for America Act extends health insurance coverage to an additional 32 million Americans. "Ob-gyns see first-hand the devastating effects that the lack of health insurance or underinsurance has on our patients," noted ACOG President Gerald F. Joseph, Jr, MD.

ACOG credits the President and House and Senate Democratic leaders for including many critical elements of ACOG's Health Care for Women, Health Care for All campaign that will greatly improve women's health, including guaranteed maternity coverage; eliminating pre-existing coverage exclusions for women who are pregnant, have had a previous cesarean, or are the victims of domestic violence; eliminating gender rating that causes women to pay more than men for the same insurance coverage; creating coordinated care centers for women and ensuring direct access to ob-gyns; expanding family planning services for low-income women; and providing access to vital preventive screenings including mammography and Pap tests.

This bill (HR 3590), however, leaves several critical issues unaddressed, including medical liability reform and repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) used to determine physician payments in the Medicare program. "As ACOG embraces the many positive features of this legislation that will improve the health and well-being of our patients, we will continue to press for national medical liability reform and repeal of the SGR," says Dr. Joseph.

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 approximately 55,000 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.

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