Earlier, I wrote about the AMA coming out pretty forcefully against a public option, but apparently they’re clarifying their previous statement since they don’t want to appear as if they’re against health care reform.
Today’s New York Times story creates a false impression about the AMA’s position on a public plan option in health care reform legislation. The AMA opposes any public plan that forces physicians to participate, expands the fiscally-challenged Medicare program or pays Medicare rates, but the AMA is willing to consider other variations of the public plan that are currently under discussion in Congress. This includes a federally chartered co-op health plan or a level playing field option for all plans. The AMA is working to achieve meaningful health reform this year and is ready to stand behind legislation that includes coverage options that work for patients and physicians.
Sounds like a thumbs up to me.
Meanwhile, Obama is trying to stay above the fray…
Now, how this debate is evolving in Washington, unfortunately sometimes kinds of falls into the usual politics, right? So, what you’ve heard is some folks on the other side saying, I’m opposed to a public option because that’s going to lead to government running your health care system.
Now, I don’t know how clearly I can say this, but let me try to repeat it. If you’ve got health insurance that you’re happy with through the private sector, then we’re not going to force you to do anything. All we’re saying is for the 46 million people who don’t have health insurance or for people who have got health insurance like you… let’s change some of those incentives so that we get more people getting prevention, more people getting health care to keep them healthy as opposed to just treating them when they get sick.
And I think that we can come up with a sensible, commonsense way that’s not disruptive, that still has room for insurance companies and the private sector, but that does not put people in the position where they are potentially bankrupt every time they get sick.
Yes, there’s the sales pitch. People are going broke and this helps your bottom line. And in a down economy, I think that message is going to seriously resonate.