September 9th, 2009
09:29 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama gets boost from American Medical Association

The AMA announced on its Web site it is backing health care reform.
The AMA announced on its Web site it is backing health care reform.

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.

Sincerely

J. James Rohack MD


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. AstroTurf This

    I hardly call that a boost. Most doctors these days do not support the AMA as it has become an arm of the DNC. I've worked in the medical field for 25 years and I have yet to see a doctor who supports government run healthcare. To the contrary, the majority of the doctors I know will retire if the government socializes medicine as the progressive liberals are trying to do. This is not about reforming healthcare. This is about taking over 20% of the economy. This is about socializing this country. The far-left is eroding our freedom and the American people are waKing up and smelling the coffee. Paid-off interest groups don't matter much.

    September 9, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Karen - Missouri

    It's pretty obvious that the medical association knows more than the obstructionist Republicans do. I'm so sick of Repubs going out of their way to ruin our democratic process and deceitfully claim it's based on their beliefs...I say they are NOT Christians by letting our people die from lack of healthcare.

    September 9, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Bea Patridge

    You best be careful what you hope for because it may not be what you think it is at all. You AMA guys may think you will be okay no matter what, but think deeper please.

    September 9, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Bluebonnet

    What most people probably do not realize is the fact that only approximately 17% of doctors even belong to the AMA. Most doctors, especially specialists, are against the public option and have stated that, in the Obamacare plan, healthcare IS rationed and so states in several areas. Beware!

    September 9, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Keith in Austin

    What not is shared is that the VAST Majorirty of America's physicians are NOT members of the AMA.

    Don't be swayed by the DNC hype folks!

    September 9, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Joe Cronin

    Has the AMA read the entire bill and find it to be up to the needs of the people or is this some political smoke screen to try and get people to jump on the bandwagon? I like how this letter came out at such a convenient time. I don't like how the AMA is rushing reform. I think we should take some time on this issue and get it right instead of having to pay for its downfalls later; we have spent enough money as it is. If i recall correctly, Obama has spent more money than all the presidents of this country combined....that is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS... and there are still over 200,000 people being laid off from work every month. Can't even imagine someone calling that a victory with a straight face.

    September 9, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. RealityKing

    "Assure that health care decisions are made by patients and their physicians, not by insurance companies or government officials"

    "Boost" says CNN!??
    More like "Bust" for ObamaCare. ie..., public option

    September 9, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. cramit

    Is that like AARP representing the old people protesting at town halls AGAINST the bill? Every doctor I have talked to is against it also (11) and have few good words about the AMA

    September 9, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. southerncousin

    Well then that says it all then doesn't it. Hard working tax paying Americans will have to pay more to support the dope smoking, non working, Oprah watcher. Don't you just love the obmanation. If the cut welfare, enforced drug tests for those receiving public money, enacted tort reform, and stopped giving money to ACORN and the unions, we would probably see a nice reduction in taxes, but the obamanation fed by years of class warfare from the DNC wants more from those of us who acutally work for a living. Welcome to an obamanation.

    September 9, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Patriot

    Stay strong, Mr. President. Forget the Republicans–they only want to spread fear, obstruct, and protect the profits of the health insurance industry. Those of us who voted for you are with you–JUST STAY STRONG!

    September 9, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. John, NC

    Of course we need healthcare reform, but it should focus on reducing the cost so that people can afford it.

    September 9, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. eolufemi

    What took them so long?

    September 9, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Yes we can

    Thank you AMA.

    September 9, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. AMA makes sense

    Good letter should help Congress get some focus.

    September 9, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Justin

    I'm sure the GOP will now claim the AMA doesn't represent REAL, AMERICAN doctors. Only Socialist America-hating ones.

    Republicans better get real about the necessity of large-scale reform NOW? Otherwise, they'll put themselves square on the wrong side of history.

    September 9, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Mark

    Yes its forcing America to accept Obamacare!

    September 9, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. sharon

    well stated.

    September 9, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Leiv

    The AMA represents very few physicians. This is a gross misrepresentation of our group and certainly should not be represented as what all or even a majority of physicians think. As an ophthalmologist, member of the Medical Association of Georgia, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology we have signed on against this legislation documented through 20 state medical associations against this bill and 20 specialty organizations. We believe reform is necessary but not with a public plan and certainly if it compromises the patient/physician relationship. My advice to Congress is to break up reform into smaller bills addressing specific problems within healthcare and not a single, huge bill. This is a big issue that will take time and debate. It should not be belittled into one bill, one vote, make it happen before the end of the year mentality.

    September 9, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. motruth

    I think I read where the AMA represents a fraction of the MDs in America.

    September 9, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    No one is going to argue what the AMA is recommending. It's what moderates from both sides have advocated from the beginning of this debate.

    Unfortunately, that's not what's being proposed by the far left radicals Obama is pandering to. And that, succintly, is the problem.

    Health insurance reform? YES.

    Another government giveaway (a.k.a. "public option")? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    September 9, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Farrell in Houston

    GOP eat your hearts out. As former President Bill Clinton said, forget about the Republicans.

    September 9, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. yougottabekidding

    There are still smart people in this country! Thank God!
    It's time the "Socialist Government" reign in these GOP Political Terrorist and try them for treason. They want they President to fail so the country ultimately fails. Talk about patriotic

    September 9, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. John

    That letter is not support for Obama's plan. It is support for reform on provider liability, increased Medicare reimbursements to providers and streamlined processes – all things that will reduce costs and enhance care to Medicare recipients. Notice there is no mention of a public option or exchange.

    September 9, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Bravo docs! If ANYONE knows the current state of healthcare insurance and its impact on patients....its these guys (and women). Thanks for taking a brave stand against the monster lobby of the insurance giants.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Wish I could salute this President

    How is this a boost for the President? We must give this President credit for watering the grass-roots debate in this country, (as well as fertilizing the partisanship and racism in this country).

    Has he been helpful or devisive? A leader or a puppet prince?

    The AMA is encouraging 'INDIVIDUAL' responsiblities, not a 'shoved-down-your-throat-before-you-read-it' , govt takeover of Health Care.

    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

    September 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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