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AMA Affirms Support for Health Reform This Year

Comments from AMA President prior to President Obama's health reform press conference

For immediate release
July 22, 2009

Statement Attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
President, American Medical Association

"At this historic moment for our nation, the AMA is working to improve our health care system for patients and physicians. We must fix what's broken and keep what's working.

"Health insurance for working families is disappearing along with job security – this is bad for the economy and bad for families.

"The status quo is unacceptable. The AMA has made clear its commitment to health reform this year. Congress must take action to expand coverage to the uninsured through a choice of plans and eliminate denials for pre-existing conditions, include prevention and wellness initiatives, address medical liability reform and repeal the broken Medicare physician payment system that harms seniors' access to care. Without repeal, physicians face payment cuts of nearly 40 percent over the next five years that will force them to limit the number of seniors they can treat – right as the baby boomers begin aging into Medicare.

"AMA will stay engaged to get a final bill this year that improves the system for patients and physicians signed into law. Physicians are at the heart of the health care system, and the AMA considers its position at the center of the health reform debate an honor and serious responsibility."