Friday, July 24, 2009


Thanks to an alert Jack operative, I was pointed to some places that rationally support Obama's health care reform bill. I trust the American Medical Association over radio and television entertainment personalities.

Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor from the AMA
I’d like to share the American Medical Association’s rationale for supporting the House health-care bill (“What’s Up Docs?,” Review & Outlook, July 20). Without a bill that can pass the House, there will be no health reform this year. The House bill is an important starting point. The AMA will stay engaged to improve the final bill for patients and physicians.

Reform of the broken Medicare physician payment formula is necessary to assure long-term access to care for seniors, and its inclusion in the House bill is a huge victory for Medicare patients and their physicians. Its inclusion is one of many reasons the AMA supports the bill. It also establishes a health insurance exchange that would provide a choice of plans to the uninsured, self-insured and small business employees, with voluntary physician participation.

The AMA is committed to achieving health reform this year that will provide all Americans with affordable, high-quality health care. The House bill helps achieve this by extending health-insurance coverage to nearly all Americans and eliminates coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions.

Our position at the center of the health-reform debate is an honor and a serious responsibility. Maintaining the status quo is not an option. The AMA will stay engaged to get meaningful health reform that benefits patients and physicians signed into law this year.

J. James Rohack, MD
American Medical Association President, Chicago

Unfortunately, this letter does not really address the more detailed questions that the opponents have brought up. However, this AMA FAQ for H.R. 3200 is much more detailed and quite helpful. Here are some goodies from it:

Question 1: I have heard that as many at 120 million people will be enrolled in the new public option health plan. Is that true?
AMA Answer 1: No. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the bill will ensure that 97% of the legal, non-elderly population will have health insurance. At most, 12 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, representing only about 4% of the entire population. Overall, 37 million uninsured Americans will have health insurance coverage who do not have it now.

Question 2: Won't employers simply drop coverage?
AMA Answer 2: Again, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that from 2010 until 2019, the number of Americans with employer provided coverage will increase from 150 million to 162 million people. Additionally, for those Americans who purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange, two-thirds (or 20 million people) will choose private plans. This means a significant increase in the number of American's insured by private insurance plans.

The pdf also addresses rumors such as this health care reform makes insurance illegal, which is erroneous. I need more, especially from those who are opposed and not just because it is Obama's plan. Perhaps an unbiased reader will send us some reputable information from a reputable source regarding the oppositions' side of the issue.

I have heard that public funds will be spent on abortion and that is bound to really cause serious stumbling blocks for some people who would otherwise support national health care. I am sympathetic to that plight. I think that argument is legitimate if it, indeed, proves to be true.


Anonymous said...

here you go

Jack said...

Thanks Anonymous. I read it. It sounds unbelievably scary. So unbelievable that I am skeptical of the validity, but who knows.

Some of the quotes came from 1996 and 2001 and I am curious about that. We certainly need to see if the claims in this opinion piece (and not an actual news report) are true or just rhetoric.

I'd like to read more and appreciate your sending this my way.