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AMA on President Obama's New Health System Reform Proposal

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

For immediate release:
March 3, 2010

Washington, D.C. – As we reach the final stage of health system reform, the AMA is pleased that President Obama has offered some additional proposals, including expanding medical liability reforms, raising Medicaid payment rates to improve access to care for vulnerable patients and expanding the availability of health savings accounts.

"AMA has consistently called for medical liability reforms to reduce the growth of health care costs. The independent Congressional Budget Office estimates that liability reform would reduce federal budget deficits by about $54 billion over the next 10 years.

"The problems that are plaguing our health care system are very real, and they are hurting patients and physicians. The AMA is calling on Congress to pass common sense reforms that ensure patients have access to high-quality health care and affordable insurance coverage.

"The AMA calls on President Obama and Congress to take additional action and correct outstanding problems with pending health system reform legislation. These issues include the need for a clear path to permanent reform of the broken Medicare physician payment formula that hurts seniors’ access to care and a better definition of the scope and authority of an Independent Medicare Payment Advisory Board.

"Let’s resolve these issues and get health system reform over the finish line for the American people."

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Media contact:
Katherine Hatwell
American Medical Association
202-789-7419
katherine.hatwell@ama-assn.org

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