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. Emma

    It is about time that organizations stand up for what they know is right. We have been silent too long and allowed the big mouth conservatives all of the press coverage for the past few weeks.

    Even Republicans know this is the moment but because they lost the election and hate that we have an AA President they refuse to support this worthy cause. They do not want to look back in history and give a black man credit for what white America could not do for hundreds of years.

    September 9, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Matthew 25:36

    Thank you, AMA.

    It is time for Congress to pass these health-care reforms for Americans in need.

    God Bless the USA

    September 9, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. kevin

    this man isn't even the legit pres. and all these ama people just want more money. Lets have a socialist USA. lets do it. go socials you pinko snubs

    September 9, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Walton Whittaker

    Once a lunatic, always a lunatic.

    September 9, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Emmanuel Goldstein

    I'm confused. Wasn't this the same AMA whose members booed Obama at their convention?

    September 9, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    The AMA is cutting their own throats by supporting this health care reform. Government payments for medicare/ medicaid, US Military, S-Chip and other government ran health care programs, cuts for insurance companies, malpractice insurance, and other cost has cut doctors incomes some like the two general practicioners who wrote editaorials in the last couple of weeks whose incomes are 1/2 of what they made 20 years ago. I would rather see rich doctors than lawyers, politicians or insurance executives. The AMA definitely is not representing their fellow doctors well!

    September 9, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Scott Whitehill

    Just HOW is this a "boost" to the Obama Administration?? All the AMA is saying is that they want reform for the American people- it DOES NOT say it gives Obama any more support on his proposals, no matter how vague they may be. This story (headline) is just another way that CNN is bowing to the annointed one.. bias at it's best!

    September 9, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. machtim akannah

    What about tort reform???????

    September 9, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. David

    How is this a boost? The letter recommends changes that are at odds with the Obama "plan," such as it is.

    September 9, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. al in memphis

    How dare you CNN- Stuff like this should be keep secret. Credible doctors recognizing and wanting to find a solution to the health care issues.

    If you keep this up, I'm going to FOX News so I can have someone remind that I have the right to tell the government - I don't want affordable health care. I had gotten use to ignoring the lobbyist in the background reading the script for all of these " we don't need to fix this problem- because profit are good and demand is constant" crowd.

    Keep it up CNN, and soon people will see through the smoke and realize would benefits if the systems stays the same.
    BTW - thanks

    September 9, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. rb

    I cannot wait to hear the RIGHT WING NUTS attack this endorsement??
    The millions Americans without health coverage like myself need to Rise up and DROWN OUT FOX network,John King and the Repuke Party(aka Republican) and support Health Reform Public Option.

    September 9, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Mike R

    All I read here is "Give physicians more money at the expense of patients, safety, fairness, and everything else."

    September 9, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. obummer, 1 and done

    I didn't see this as support for Obummer's plan or a government option. It is support for reform which everyone wants, just not government healthcare.
    This seems more of support for the Republicans efforts to reform healthcare and disagreement to president pelosi's idea of healthcare disaster.

    September 9, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. MW

    Sara Palin is so clueless she doesn't even realize that senior citizens already have government -run healthcare – MEDICARE. Last time I checked Medicare and Medicaid recipients were NOT subject to death panels and get better healthcare than the uninsured. Wake up Sara and stay in Alaska, maybe the polar bears will take of you when you lose your insurance.

    September 9, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Kate in SW Fla

    I think this sounds a lot like bi-partisan legislation, which I beleive is possible. The left needs to move more to the center, and partner with the moderates. However, the Right is lost, so don't even bother with them. They just want to kill reform for political reasons. Move to the center, add some tort reform, Co-ops, but no Public Option, and we are there.

    September 9, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Marc

    this is very good news

    September 9, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Steve in Alabama

    Duh.

    Let's see if we can figure out why the AMA wants this reform.

    More customers.

    No increased price competition.

    Promises of more payment for Medicaid and Medicare.

    Why should the AMA cares who pays for it?

    Sure the AMA is for this – more customers + no price competition = more profits. All paid for by someone (future generations or current taxpayers).

    September 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Phil

    Their proposals are in no way an endorsement of Obama's plan and in some ways seem to differ (notably, they don't advocate a public option). Of course, that won't stop CNN from reporting it as "Obama gets boost..."

    September 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Jay T.

    Sure they are. Only the Loonies are screaming against this. You know, the type of person who rants about the evils of a government-run health plan, but, enjoys all the benefits of his/her Medicare.

    September 9, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Old Farmboy

    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:

    First of all I did not authorize J. James Rohack MD to speak on my behalf.

    I have a physician, therefore I am one of "their patients". I do not support Obamacare as it stands and before I speak for, or against, I need to believe what I read and not what people say. As for Rohack, speak for yourself and not me.

    September 9, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Marc

    Does that means that the AMA is a pro-socialism organization?
    According to the Republican Party, YES!!!!

    September 9, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Steve

    On C-Span the other night, I witnessed a woman state, and I quote; "It's my understanding that the AMA agrees with (President) Obama's health care plan, and that 29% of America's doctors belong to the AMA. Therefore, 71 % of America's doctors don't agree with (President) Obama's health care plan."

    I salute her arithmetic skills – unfortunately, the logic skills of the most vocal Americans are equal to hers.

    September 9, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Raven

    "On behalf of America's physicians" – the AMA, On behalf of Insurance Companies – the Insurance Lobby, On behalf of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers – PhRMA, Well,, Just who is "ON BEHALF OF THE WORKING AMERICAN CITIZEN"? American People please stand up and let's get the lobbyists out government.

    September 9, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Dean

    After reading the details of the letter I would say that your headline is misleading. But no great surprise from CNN.
    I think that every American would agree with the seven points of the letter that the AMA is recommdending. Too bad congress and Obama don't.

    September 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Dennis

    The AMA says that tort reform is an important element in health care reform. Bet that doesn't happen because Obama is cozy with the trial lawyers who make a killing off medical lawsuits.

    September 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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