WASHINGTON (CNN) - The American Medical Association, a traditional opponent of health care reform, on Monday endorsed the Senate health care bill nearing a final vote in the chamber.
Dr. Cecil Wilson, president-elect of the nation's largest advocacy group for doctors, said at a news conference that the amended bill would solve major problems with the health care system.
"The AMA is pleased to announce its support for passage of the amended ... bill," said Wilson, an internist from Winter Park, Florida. At the same time, Wilson said, the AMA will continue working for additional changes in a final health care bill that results from merging the Senate bill and a House version passed last month.
Wilson became president-elect of the AMA in June, and will serve in that role for a year before becoming president in June 2010.
The AMA has long opposed the kind of health care reform measures contained in the Senate and House bills. It announced this year that it supported health care reform efforts, but had concerns about specific issues such as a proposed expansion of Medicare coverage.
The expanded Medicare provision has been cut from the Senate bill.