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November 13, 1991

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

Author Affiliations

Michigan State University East Lansing

Michigan State University East Lansing

JAMA. 1991;266(18):2560. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470180060027

To the Editor.  —As a family physician, I am proud that my specialty society has publicly advocated quick legislative action to extend insurance coverage to those fellow citizens who now lack access to health care.1Primary care physicians have both a special responsibility and a unique opportunity for leadership in reforming our health care system.2 Ordinarily, when physicians advocate a plan calling for increased expenditures for health care, the public may suspect that the principal motive is the lining of their own pockets. Primary care physicians' incomes over the past 20 years, in stark contrast to subspecialists' incomes, have not even kept pace with the rise in the cost of living. Even under the new resource-based relative value scale, only modest fee increases in the primary care field are now predicted. Primary care physicians can therefore act as advocates for our less fortunate patients with the least taint