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A.M.A. Comes Out Against Government Sponsored Healthcare

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Looks like the Dems are going to have to fight the largest physician’s organization in the world.

Yikes.

From NY Times:

[…] in comments submitted to the Senate Finance Committee, the American Medical Association said: “The A.M.A. does not believe that creating a public health insurance option for non-disabled individuals under age 65 is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs. The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70 percent of Americans.”

If private insurers are pushed out of the market, the group said, “the corresponding surge in public plan participation would likely lead to an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers.”

You mean when compared to exploding costs that the free market has brought about? Considered me unconvinced by that line of reasoning.

And not all doctors who belong to the A.M.A. are on board with this…

The A.M.A., an umbrella group for 180 medical societies, does not speak for all doctors. One group, Physicians for a National Health Program, supports a single-payer system of insurance, in which a single public agency would pay for health services, but most care would still be delivered by private doctors and hospitals. In recent years, some doctors have become so fed up with the administrative hassles of private insurance that they are looking for alternatives.

Actually, I know quite a few folks who say that single payer is really the only way to truly contain costs.

Still, I wonder if the A.M.A. would be in favor of the co-op solution I talked about earlier?

But this “no dice!” statement begs the question…what’s the A.M.A.’s solution? Because costs are exploding anyway? Year after year health care gets less affordable for the majority of Americans AND businesses. So how do the propose we fix this? Because I’m not hearing any solutions out of them as of yet.

Or maybe this is all a strategy to usher in some tort reform. Obama’s going to meet with them soon, and the NY Times points out a bridge he could build…

Mr. Obama’s trip recalls a speech to the A.M.A. in Chicago on June 13, 1993, by Hillary Rodham Clinton. She proposed “a new bargain” in which the White House would limit malpractice lawsuits and free doctors from onerous rules if doctors supported her effort to overhaul the health care system.

Malpractice lawsuits are definitely the bane of physicians’ existence since they drive up insurance to the point where it’s nearly impossible to practice. And this is why we’re seeing physicians cover their ass by giving people every single available test so patient’s can’t sue them. It’s definitely gotten out of control and some type of reform is needed.

More as it develops…