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November 13, 1991

Access to Health Care for the Uninsured: The American Academy of Family Physicians

Author Affiliations

Decatur, Ga

Decatur, Ga

JAMA. 1991;266(18):2560-2561. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470180060028

To the Editor.  —According to Dr Aukerman,1 the AAFP plan for insurance coverage "would result in an additional 8.8 million Medicaid enrollees," plus "approximately 6.4 million persons with incomes above the federal poverty level would have access to insurance through the Medicaid buy-in." The AAFP plan overlooks one critical point: who will provide service to the Medicaid patients?My adult son, who has Down's syndrome and multiple complications, has Medicaid coverage. In 1989, acutely ill with pneumonia, he was refused care by several primary care physicians and was denied admission by two highly respected hospitals because they did not want "another Medicaid patient." We were left to wait for further instructions in the hallway of one of the hospitals—he on a gurney and I on my arthritic feet— from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, when a "St Elsewhere" was found to accept him. During the wait, his fever raged