HCN News & Notes

AMA Reaches Out to Congressional Leaders on Healthcare Reform

CHICAGO — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) released a letter to congressional leadership from Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President Dr. James Madara, M.D., concerning legislative efforts to reform the healthcare system.

“The AMA has long advocated for health-insurance coverage for all Americans, as well as pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice, and universal access for patients,” he wrote. “These policy positions are guided by the actions of the AMA House of Delegates, composed of representatives of more than 190 state and national specialty medical associations, and they form the basis for AMA consideration of reforms to our healthcare system.

“Health-system reform is an ongoing quest for improvement,” Madara went on. “The AMA supported passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it was a significant improvement on the status quo at that time. We continue to embrace the primary goal of that law — to make high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage accessible to all Americans. We also recognize that the ACA is imperfect and there a number of issues that need to be addressed. As such, we welcome proposals, consistent with the policies of our House of Delegates, to make coverage more affordable, provide greater choice, and increase the number of those insured.”

However, he continued, “in considering opportunities to make coverage more affordable and accessible to all Americans, it is essential that gains in the number of Americans with health-insurance coverage be maintained. Consistent with this core principle, we believe that, before any action is taken through reconciliation or other means that would potentially alter coverage, policymakers should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies. Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform.”

Madara concluded, “we stand ready to work with you to continue the process of improving our healthcare system and ensuring that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage.”

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