The room that is housing the Department of Federal Affairs for the American Academy of Pediatrics this weekend at its National Conference and Exhibition is a busy place. Doctors and other interested people are stopping by to talk about various health care proposals and learn what they can do to help.
As I visited with a few doctors at the opening reception, I heard words like “chaos” and “uncertainty” when I asked them about health reform. I also heard some words I choose not to write here for fear of being censored (this is from a children’s hospital after all!)
At the opening general session Saturday, David T. Tayloe Jr., MD, the president of the Academy, which represents about 60,000 pediatricians all across the country, asked if his colleagues were satisfied with the health system they worked under and lived with. A few shifted in their seats. Then he asked them if they thought the system could fix itself or if the states could come up with the cure. It was rhetorical.
The time is now, he said, for federal intervention into our “system.” We must find a better way.
While short on specifics, the remarks by the academy’s president said reform must address three major concerns: all children must have access to quality health care; children’s coverage must include all essential services in a medical home; and pediatricians must receive the financial and workforce support they require to meet the needs of children and their families.
“Children must not be the casualty of compromise,” is the headline over materials the Federal Affairs briefing room has for doctors to share with their lawmakers.