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New Video Message from AMA President Says House Bill Is a Good Start Toward Health Reform

For immediate release:
July 21, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association offers its support of the U.S. House bill on health reform and reiterates its commitment to effective, comprehensive health-care reform in a new video message from AMA President J. James Rohack, M.D.

“The status quo is unacceptable,” says Rohack in the video message posted to YouTube and the AMA’s Web site. “Let me be clear: Without a bill that can pass the House, there is no health reform this year. The debate is far from over, and the AMA is going to be at the table to improve the final legislation.”

“As physicians and healers, we’re at the heart of the health-care system,” says Rohack. “We know our position at the center of the health-reform debate is both an honor and a serious responsibility.”

The House bill includes provisions key to effective, comprehensive health reform, including:

  • Coverage to all Americans through health insurance market reforms
  • A choice of plans through a health insurance exchange
  • An end to coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions
  • Fundamental Medicare reform, including repeal of the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula
  • Additional funding for primary care services, without reductions on specialty care
  • Individual responsibility for health insurance, including premium assistance to those who need it
  • Prevention and wellness initiatives to help keep Americans healthy
  • Initiatives to address physician workforce concerns