WASHINGTON (CNN) – Just hours before President Obama speaks out on health care reform in front of a joint session of Congress, the president has secured an important boost.
The American Medical Association, in an "Open Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress," signed by the group's president, is urging Congress to reach a deal on health care reform
"On behalf of America's physicians and their patients, we strongly urge you to reach agreement this year on health system reforms," says the AMA President, Doctor J. James Rohack.
On its Web site, the AMA describes itself as the largest medical association of physicians in the nation, representing physicians from every state work together to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.
Full AMA letter after the jump:
September 8, 2009
Open Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress
As our nation's elected leaders, you have an historic opportunity to improve the health and well-being of the American public.
On behalf of America's physicians and their patients, we strongly urge you to reach agreement this year on health system reforms that include the following seven critical elements:
Provide health insurance coverage for all Americans Enact insurance market reforms that expand choice of affordable coverage and eliminate denials for pre-existing conditions Assure that health care decisions are made by patients and their physicians, not by insurance companies or government officials Provide investments and incentives for quality improvement, prevention and wellness initiatives Repeal the Medicare physician payment formula that will trigger steep cuts and threaten seniors' access to care Implement medical liability reforms to reduce the cost of defensive medicine Streamline and standardize insurance claims processing requirements to eliminate unnecessary costs and administrative burdens The challenges in our health care system are many and complex.
Enactment of the above policies will create the foundation for a stronger, better performing health care system, improve access to affordable, high-quality care and reduce unnecessary costs. Further, those who are currently insured, including Medicare patients, and those who are uninsured will all benefit from greater security and stability.
The American Medical Association and our individual members are working hard to improve health care delivery and quality through a broad range of initiatives to promote best practices and reduce unnecessary costs.
We reaffirm our commitment to work with each of you to adopt and implement health system reforms that will benefit all Americans.
J. James Rohack MD
We need health care, especaily for our retired, our children and the elderly. We need it for tjose that are mentally ill and those that have cancer and are told that they cant get whatthey need from their insurance, their insuranc has run dry, or that they are forced to seek treatments at places that they dont feel right about-that dont offer any cancer support care.
Palin can talk all she wants about "DEATH PANELS" but thats what we have now-its just called our INSURANCE COMPANIES
So how will the Republican spin the AMA's push for healthcare reform into some idiotic "they're reallying trying to cut your care and kill you" scenario? Just ask the "spin docs" on fixed news.
I can't see how anyone can spin this to say that the AMA letter gives Obama a boost. If the president has his way, we would have a single payer system which will not satisfy the majority of the AMA's concerns. They are primarily calling for health insurance reform which EVERYONE sees the need.
The only way ALL of their concerns will be met , while protecting the patient's care, is by eliminating the state-by-state restrictions on insurance companies and enact tort reform to eliminate the enormous lawsuites being handed down to doctors. This will drive down costs and improve the availability and level of treatment for everyone.
I am a practicing physician in Pennsylvania. There has not been one physician that I have spoken to that is in support of the President's or Congress's health care plans. The AMA is a board of 20 or so people who DO NOT speak for the vast majority of physicians. I am sure that politicians will use this "enodorsement" as a way to say that doctors supprot the current proposals for health care reform