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IAPAC lauds President Obama for defending Public Option and calling for elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions

WASHINGTON, DC (September 10, 2009) - In response to President Barak Obama's address last night before a joint session of Congress, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) today lauded his commitment to extending health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, as well as his call for eliminating barriers to health insurance coverage, including pre-existing condition exclusions.

"We applaud the President for defending a public health insurance option in his address to the nation. Our US clinician-membership supports a public health insurance option because it would redress disparities in access to health care services for millions of currently underinsured Americans, while creating a competitive environment that would force private insurers to place public health above profits," said Josť M. Zuniga, President/CEO of IAPAC, a professional medical association which represents approximately 4,000 HIV-treating clinicians in the United States [and a total of 13,000 in over 100 countries].

"We were also very pleased to see both Democrats and Republicans stand to applaud the President's call to end health care discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. The elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions is needed to protect Americans with chronic illnesses from coverage exclusions when they are most in need of medical care and the insurance that makes it affordable.The use of pre-existing condition exclusions is, at least partially, why 30 million Americans, including an estimated 500,000 Americans living with HIV/AIDS, are underinsured."

A recent IAPAC survey (July 2009) shows that 73% of its US members support the public health insurance option. A majority (82%) also support the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions. Of the 400 survey respondents, 70% were physicians, 23% were nurses, 5% were pharmacists, and 2% were physician-assistants.

As negotiations around what shape health care reform legislation ultimately will take, IAPAC urged Congress to reflect on the life-or-death nature of such legislation and the urgency with which it is needed.

"We ask that Congress side with the American people on this vital issue, pass health care reform legislation that includes a public health insurance option and protections for individuals with chronic illnesses, including HIV, and thus defeat the special interests that are at the heart of seeding dissent," Zuniga said.

###

The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) is a non-profit medical association representing more than 13,000 physicians and allied health care professionals in over 100 countries. Its mission is to expand access to and improve the quality of care, treatment, and support for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. Visit www.iapac.org for more information.


Contact:
Ryan Robison
rrobison@iapac.org


Reproduced with permission -
"International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC)"

International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC)
www.iapac.org


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