Health Insurance and the Health Care System

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Goal Health Insurance
To ensure health care coverage for everyone in the United States through a foundation of comprehensive and longitudinal primary care.

The intent of this policy document is to give the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and its Board of Directors the needed advocacy flexibility to consider all options that might come before federal and state governments and the American people in working to achieve the goal of health care coverage for all – a goal based upon AAFP policy which recognizes that health is a basic human right for every person and that the right to healthincludes universal access to timely, acceptable and affordable health care of appropriate quality.

Thehealth care system in the United States is uncoordinated and fragmented and emphasizes intervention rather than prevention and comprehensive health management. Health care costs continue to increase at an unsustainable rate and quality is far from ideal.i,ii

Over the past two decades, policies implemented through the Children’sHealth Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have extended access to affordablehealth care coverage to millions of previously uninsured, non-Medicare eligible adults and children. The uninsured population reached a historic low of 8.8% under the implementation of these policies.iii The greatest gains in coverage have occurred among our most vulnerable populations and young adults. However, the rollback of some provisions of these policies has increased the percentage of those uninsured to 15.5%,iv close to what it was one decade ago when our uninsured rate was nearing 17%, with nearly 50 million people uninsured.

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