Update on two issues and the AAFP's responses to both.

The first issue is the current situation whereby children, presenting at a US Port of Entry or a US Border, are apparently being separated from their parents or adult caregiver. This issue is garnering significant media coverage and has emerged as a prominent political issue in Washington, DC. On Saturday, June 16, the AAFP issued a statement on the issue. Our statement focuses on the wellbeing of the child/children and expresses our concerns that current practices may lead to consequential, negative impacts on those impacted. We are working on this issue both as the AAFP and in collaboration with other organizations. It is, at the present time, a white hot issue and a solution does not appear to be visible to the Administration or Congress. We will keep you updated, but please know that we share concerns and are eager to identify and promote a solution that prioritizes the welfare of the child/children above other issues.

The second issue involves a decision by the Administration whereby they will not defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act during the consideration of Texas v United States. This is an unusual move on the part of the federal government, who as the defendant, has determined that it will not defend itself and essentially agree with the arguments presented by the plaintiff. The case brought forth by Texas and other states argues that the provisions established by the ACA are unconstitutional since Congress has repealed the individual mandate. The primary problem with this argument is that Congress has not repealed the individual mandate, they simply set the penalties at $0. The AAFP joined our Group of 6 partners in issuing a joint statement on the Administration's decision.

R. Shawn Martin
Senior Vice President - Advocacy, Practice Advancement & Policy
American Academy of Family Physicians

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