AMA Endorses House Health Care Plan (Which Really Should Not Come As A Surprise)

Liberal bloggers (such as here, here, and here) are surprised by the AMA’s endorsement of the House plan for health care reform. Obviously they have not been paying attention to the changes in attitudes in the health care profession which I have been expressing in posts here!

One reason is that the House included one major goal of physicians–changing the formula by which Medicare fees are set. This is not enough to explain this because, as I discussed here, the flawed formula has been overruled by Congress annually.

There are a number of reasons doctors now are among the strongest proponents of health care reform, such as:

  • Health care reform also provides incentives for primary care which most agree is underpaid compared to procedure-oriented specialties
  • We are fed up with being unable to treat patients because of lack of insurance coverage
  • We are fed up with being screwed by the insurance companies ourselves
  • We realize that it makes no sense that the rest of the industrialized world is able to provide affordable health care to all their citizens but the United States cannot
  • We didn’t spend all those years in medical school to practice in what has become in many ways the worst health care system in the industrialized world

The bottom line is that doctors who are paying attention realize that all the right wing talking points about the negative effects of health care reform on medical care are a bunch of nonsense. Health care reform is a lot more about reforming how the insurance companies operate and current proposals are not, as conservatives claim, a government take over of health care, anything like the British or Canadian systems, or “socialized medicine.”

Update: The Hill notes that the current Senate bill does not offer a fix for the Medicare reimbursement as the House measure does which is likley to impact the response from the AMA to their proposal.

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  1. 1
    Mike's I.P. alter-ego says:

    Ron-If,(I know this isn’t what is being proposed in current legislation) but if we ever did end up with a single payer system, would it be fair to call it National Health care rather than private health care at that point?

    The other industrial countries that have better health care than we do, (all of them, I guess, from what you say) do any of them run as non-government health care systems?

  2. 2
    Mike's I.P. alter-ego says:

    If I could re-word my last question: what country might serve as a model of better than the U.S. system but not having national health care?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    Even if we had single payer I would still prefer to avoid ambiguity and not call it National Health care. That confuses single payer plans which maintain private practices with the British system where the government actually runs the practices.

    Most countries have a hybrid system somewhat as is being proposed. France tends to head most rankings but as we have to consider where we are stating from and conditions here we should not simply copy the plans in another country.

  4. 4
    Sexy Healthy Tips says:

    AMA Endorses House Health Care Plan (Which Really Should Not Come …

  5. 5
    Sexy Healthy Tips says:

    AMA Endorses House Health Care Plan (Which Really Should Not Come …

  6. 6
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Mike, France and Germany have systems that are entirely private… but significantly regulated by the government as well. Health care is a legal right and health care providers are non-profit. The government, beyond setting and enforcing regulations, is not involved in the system as a whole. There are subsidy programs for paying the medical bills of those who cannot afford them, of course., but these are not part of the system, simply a means of paying for those who cannot afford to be a part of the system without help.
    Sweden is the best example of the ‘hybrid’ system, and they topped most lists before the French and German systems achieved their present status. They have a ‘national health care system’ for anyone who wants to use it, a private for-profit health care system for those who prefer to pay for it, a state subsidy system to allow individuals to make a choice between the two, and a very well built system of subsidizing medical research. Sweden is proof that ‘socialized medicine’ and for-profit health care can co-exist successfully.
    It’s not about whether or not the system is socialized (though there ARE strong advantages, from a purely financial/economic standpoint, to a properly administered socialized system… and a properly administered system would mean just that, not something dreamed up in a horror story) but whether or not people can get the medical care they need and be able to pay for it… or, if necessary, not need to pay for it at point of purchase.
    The problem with our system is that insurance is built on a system of shared cost to offset negligble risk, and health care costs are inevitable facts and not negligible risks. So our system of paying for health care tends mostly not to work.

  7. 7
    Daniel says:

    Ron, have you read the health care bill the Senate has revised and sent to the House to vote?

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    I haven’t gotten to the latest revision. I read the initial Senate draft and I waded through much of the 1000+ House bill so far.

    Having these bill posted in theory is a great step towards allowing the public to follow legislative action but it also difficult to keep up with the amount of documents this generates!

  9. 9
    Mike's I.P. alter-ego says:

    Electic radical-Thanks for the feedback, sounds interesting, I’d like to learn more about Germany’s system, but I’ve got 5 minutes and back to the grind. Just wanted you to know I read your feedback.

  10. 10
    Reggie Greene / The Logistician says:

    We have a tendency in America to argue for or against a concept based on our own personal philosophy or view of the world, what advances our personal interests, or the interests of our party, family, organization, or region. Perhaps viewing the issue from a management or systemic perspective might result in innovative approaches to the issue. The American national mindset, citizen philosophy, lack of citizen motivation to be proactively healthy, and governance model make the socialization of health care in America very problematic, particularly at this point in time. <a href=”″>A country needs to know its limitations</a>.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    And if “socialization of health care” was what is actually being proposed the AMA would not endorse the plan. What is being advocated is not “socialization of health care” but fixing serious problems with our insurance system.

  12. 12
    Mike's I.P. alter-ego says:

    I try not to be just an echo chamber of talk radio, but I heard it said today that the health care plan, should it pass, would not be operational till year 2013? Is that right?

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    That would depend upon the final legislation. I’m sure some aspects will need to be phased in and it is possible it would take until 2013 to be fully operational.

  14. 14
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    Ok, that makes sense, phasing it in as private insurance gets phased out right?  I haven’t been able to download the 1000 pages but GTL was reporting that it is designed to over time eliminate private insurance per page 16 of the house . bill.

    Hope I linked that correctly, I’ve had to do a systems restore and my home computer is just not working like it should the last few days.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    The plan is not designed to eliminate private insurance. Gun Toting Liberal is quoting a line which was spread on many conservative blogs which misinterprets what the bill says. The section taken out of context relates to definitions and in no way prohibits private insurance.

  16. 16
    Fritz says:

    Are they still planning to tax private health plans to pay for it?

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s one of the areas with supporters on each side so I don’t know what will happen in the final bill.

  18. 18
    Fritz says:

    That would be a good clue about whether they are trying to slowing remove other options.

  19. 19
    Fritz says:

    Slowly, even.  Sigh…

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