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. Mary from MN

    Yes! AMA knows what they're talking about; hopefully, their support will put a little more pressure on Congress to make the right decisions for ALL Americans!

    September 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Bo for Obama

    I bet the GOPer's are jelious, so what they will try and do now is to cook up lies about our Leader...the President.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Right Leaning Independent

    How is that an endorsement? I think all Americans want reform but I think they want a good policy rather than the ones being proposed! I think this letter just states the obvious, that the President and Congress need to come up with a good plan to reform health care!

    September 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Mike

    How about this CNN instead of IDIOTS like Palin and everyone else getting Tough On Obama's Healthcare………..why don't she and others do something Constructive for the American people and come up with a Feasible Health Care Plan to offer????? OR is the too much for the IDIOT to do??? Its easy to critiisize a Plan…….but it's harder to come up with one yourself. How about CNN doing a story on ' WHERE ARE THE OTHER HEALTH PLAN ALTERNATIVES FROM THE CRITICS" I'M SURE YOUR RATINGS WOULD GO THROUGH THE ROOF FROM VIEWERS WATCHING IT!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Aunt Bea and Opie

    We dont trust the AMA.They must be playing some big money angle we dont yet see.

    September 9, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Chuck, Tennessee

    Those who support Obama's plan will point to this letter and say, "See, the AMA supports us." Well, that is true only if the seven intiatives outlined in the letter are included, INCLUDING TORT REFORM. It is foolish to think health care reform can be successful without tort reform

    September 9, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Deuce

    All Properganda.. No thruth...

    September 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    The only boost here is a request by the AMA to get something done this year and really does not advocate one position over another. They lay out a series of principles that they would like to see enacted as part of any reform of the health care system, similar to the AARP. The insurance companies are spending multi-millions of dollars to fight reform, which leads me to the question of why they are throwing money at this fight? The answer is quite simple: they are making huge profits and like my father said: you have to spend some money to make money. It is not about patients, it is about profits. Now, they will charge higher premiums because they are spending so much on television ads and who is paying for those? Follow the money.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Moosehead

    Take that , anti reform lobbyists. Who knows better, than the front line soldiers in this battle,... the doctors of the nation.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Bill, Bloominton IL

    Then tell all doctors to stop sending patients to pharmacies. Doctors need reform also, not just the process.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. JDK

    Of course the AMA only represents an estimated 15-19% of practicing physicians. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

    September 9, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    After everything has been said and done to stop Health Care reform, the tea baggers, the birthers, the deathers, and the racists certainly didn't accomplish very much after all - except to their own party.

    The DNC now has so much fodder for the mid-term elections that I am actually looking forward to the up and coming political commercials!

    September 9, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Debra Dix

    The reforms listed in the AMA letter are what most Americans want. We are all in favor of good affordable health care. However, I don't see that the AMA supports the current bill as it is. There's still a lot of political agenda items in the president's healthcare bill that are unacceptable to Americans.
    This bill needs to go back to committee for some serious revision.

    September 9, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Humanity

    Congress: Put your greed and political aspirations aside and do what is right for the citizens of this great country. Our countrys prosperity came from our forefathers willingness to set aside their own personal gain for the good of all it's citizens. Some will make this into something evil (socialism) but we are doomed if we continue down this road of man's inhumanity unto man.

    September 9, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Paul Waclawski

    Although the AMA is the 'largest' medical association', its membership is currently very low, and represents only about one quarter of possible members.

    So their endorsement is not a broad endorsement by all physicians, and the AMA does not speak for the broad majority of physicians. To imply otherwise appears misleading.

    September 9, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. azdem

    Public Option! Public Option! Public Option!

    September 9, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Great job trying to stir things up again with your confirmed FALSE CLAIMS. You must be very proud of yourself.

    GO AWAY! Your ideas are ridiculous. Your IQ lower than the average 5th grader. Your ego grandiose. Go to a psychiatrist. Stay out of political discussions.

    I'd much rather hear what Tina Fey has to say on the subject of healthcare than you, any day!

    September 9, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Beyond absurd

    "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." It left out the part about promoting the monetary self interest of physicians, above all else.

    September 9, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. DJ in TX

    The people have spoken (as the GOP likes to put it). This is the largest organization of physicians in the US. They are aksing Congress (that includes the GOP) to come to an agreement.

    To me it seems as if the GOP doesn't want ANY compromise. It's either their way or no way. BTW – why should we trust the GOP? Since they lost their way (as Mr. Hannity likes to put it), when did they find it? They were out of control with spending, expanded benefits without paying for it, neglected regulations that let the markets go crazy. They are asking to let the same people (insurance companies) who had hijacked the system to police and fix themselves.............What makes us think that they will?

    Anyway, the PEOPLE have spoken and it sounds like its not just opposition to the health care plan. By the way, let's look at these polls more closely. They are usually about 1100 or people or so. How is that representative of the American people?

    September 9, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. TCM

    The AMA rejected OBama's healthcare fiasco months ago...just days after, the head of the AMA suddenly resigned and was replaced with a "handpicked," selection. Now, the AMA agrees with Obama!! Gee, isn't the corruption just wonderful? Liberals will go to any lengths possible to achieve their agenda, even at their own expense. What's that Bacaus? You want to fine struggling families, who cannot afford health insurance, $3800? That'll help their situation, they'll know you really care!

    September 9, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Dennis

    My doctor says the AMA does not represent his point of view. In fact he did not know many doctors in the Kansa City area who do support the AMA.

    September 9, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Wake me when its over

    Why is that letter considered a boost? Looking for something that isn't there or trying to convince the public? All that letter says is "Gitr done"

    September 9, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. Dan, WA

    This is a joke and bureaucracy. media will always talk good about the Messiah and his plans. You cannot blind American people. We do not need any health reform which is under Obama's control.

    September 9, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. Ryan

    Odd, all but 1 are in the Repubs proposal, with the expeption of an insurance mandate. The current proposat doesn't hev the following:

    "Enact insurance market reforms that expand choice of affordable coverage"
    -read: open the markets across state lines

    "Assure that health care decisions are made by patients and their physicians, not by insurance companies or GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS "
    -read: NO public option

    "Repeal the Medicare physician payment formula that will trigger steep cuts and threaten seniors' access to care"
    -not included in the house bill

    "Implement medical liability reforms to reduce the cost of defensive medicine"
    -read: tort reform

    September 9, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Lila

    Waitaminute....it's OBVIOUS that all these AMA Doctor folk are really just communist fascists who hate America.

    September 9, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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