American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association Responds to The State of the Union Address

Statement attributable to American Osteopathic Association President Norman E. Vinn, DO 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — As President Obama addressed Congress tonight during his sixth State of the Union and pointed to the rural physician who could now give a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford and to the more than nine million Americans who have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which represents the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, applauds President Obama for his continued commitment to ensuring that all Americans have access to quality health care. 

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reached a pivotal point in the delivery of health care in the United States as the health insurance marketplace was opened to millions of Americans in late 2013. The AOA supports the opportunity for patients to secure affordable, high-quality medical care from a physician of their choice. 

As the number of patients with the ability to see a physician continues to grow under the ACA, the physician workforce must keep pace. With that in mind, the AOA supports proposed efforts to help ease the burden of student loan payments. Currently, there are more than 21,000 students enrolled at osteopathic medical schools and osteopathic medical school graduates self-report an average medical educational debt of approximately $205,000. While more than 60% of DOs currently practice in primary care specialties, student loan reduction would encourage more osteopathic medical students to choose primary care, a necessary component of a strong physician workforce. 

The AOA recognizes much more work remains to improve this nation's health care system, and urges lawmakers to begin with swift reform of the flawed physician payment system, which determines whether a physician can afford to serve Medicare patients. To achieve meaningful Medicare physician payment reform, it is imperative lawmakers work together in the weeks ahead to send approved legislation to the President's desk. Our seniors and their physicians deserve a Medicare program they can rely on. ​  

About the American Osteopathic Association 

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at​



Nicole Grady 

(800) 621-1773, ext. 8038 

(312) 593-6897 (Cell)  


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