ObamaBarack[1]President Obama emphasized the need for health care reform in his press conference last night. Specifically, he referred to the bills in the House and the Senate. The House Bill (HR 3200) is the most comprehensive of the bills introduced to date. It strongly reinforces primary care as the backbone of the American healthcare system. Secifically, it identifies the following aspects of primary care and primary care training that will be enhanced by passage of this bill. (I’m cautiously optimistic)

STRENGTHENING PRIMARY CARE

Primary care providers can provide lower cost and higher quality care for many ailments. America’s Affordable Health Choice Act:

  • Improves payments for family doctors and other primary care providers
  • Increases training of primary care doctors
  • Expands Community Health Centers
  • Encourages physician training outside the hospital, where most primary care is delivered
  • Promotes medical homes that encourage primary care providers to manage and coordinate their patients’ care over time

AND

INVESTING IN OUR WORKFORCE

Ensuring coverage for everyone won’t fix our health care system unless we also make sure we have a strong health care workforce that is designed to meet their needs. Affordable Health Choice Act:

  • Expands the pipeline of individuals going into health professions (such as primary care, nursing, and public health)
  • Creates and expands scholarships and loans for individuals in needed professions and shortage areas
  • Increases the National Health Service Corps by an amount sufficient to eliminate 40% of the estimated shortfall in primary care providers
  • Improves accountability for graduate medical education funding to ensure that physicians are trained with the right skills to practice modern health care
  • Strengthens tools to gather data on health care workforce needs and diversity
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