The American Medical Association let Congress know on Wednesday that it opposes creation of a government-sponsored insurance plan that is strongly supported by President Obama and many other democrats. The association, which is made up of both doctors and employers, opposes the government-backed plan that would compete with private insurers because a public plan threatens to restrict patient choice” by driving out private insurers, according to the NY Times. Instead, health-care services should be “provided through private markets, as they are currently,” the AMA told the NY Times. The Chamber of Commerce (which represents approximately three million businessmen) also opposes the public plan idea, according to the Wall Street Journal. The group told the Journal that it is concerned that forcing employers to help pay for insurance would add more costs to businesses that are already struggling.
Later on Wednesday, the AMA issued a statement ststating that it would accept some versions of the public plan. AMA President Nancy H. Nielsen said in a statement: “The AMA opposes any public plan that forces physicians to participate, expands the fiscally-challenged Medicare program or pays Medicare rates, but the AMA is willing to consider other variations of a public plan that are currently
under discussion in Congress.” The doctors in the AMA do not tell the whole story, however. Not all doctors oppose the government-backed p
ublic plans. As Dr. Jay V. Solnick, a medical doctor and professor in the departments of medicine and microbiology and immunology at the University of California, Davis said in a letter to the New York Times: “But most doctors do not belong to the A.M.A., and the A.M.A. does not speak for many of us who believe that the United States should join all other Western countries in providing universal health care.”
- The American Medical Association Opposes a Public Insurance Plan