Friday, July 17, 2009

AMA backs the Public Option. Why can't Mary?

The American Medical Association (AMA) — GASP!!! — has endorsed the healthcare reform legislation proposed by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives according to the Associated Press:
The American Medical Association on Thursday endorsed a liberal health overhaul bill that includes a public insurance option, a bold step for a traditionally conservative group with a checkered past on health reforms.

In its strongest action yet signaling support for President Barack Obama's vow to reform health care, the nation's largest doctors' group sent letters to three House committees behind the bill. The letters, signed by AMA's executive vice president, Dr. Michael Maves, said the AMA appreciates and supports what is being called America's Affordable Health Choices Act.
This is an historic shift. The AMA opposed the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s. It's conference of delegats gave President Obama a lukewarm reception when he addressed their convention earlier this summer.

The AMA's leader told the news organization that the fact that the Democratic proposal will bring healthcare coverage to the 50 million Americans now without health insurance was what won the organization's support:

Dr. J. James Rohack, AMA's president, told The Associated Press that the group's endorsement shouldn't be seen as the AMA turning more liberal.

"It's not blue or red, or Democratic or Republican. This is something that is the AMA's core values," Rohack said. "The status quo that is 50 million Americans not having health insurance, a system that has administrative waste and as a result drives up premiums so that it is unaffordable for many patients — that is just not acceptable."

The AMA has long believed any health system reform can be achieved by revamping private health insurance plans. It fought the creation of Medicare and succeeded in delaying its debut decades ago. That was when it had more clout; its membership has dwindled to include barely one-fourth of the nation's doctors.bama a lukewarm reception earlier this year when he addressed their convention.
So, the AMA has endorsed the House Democratic proposal with the Public Option — a provision that will allow working age Americans to buy into a Medicare-like public insurance program.

Wonder what is keeping Senator Mary Landrieu from seeing the light on this? Maybe this has something to do with it.

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