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AMA Reaffirms Support for Individual Responsibility for Health Insurance to Cover the Uninsured

For immediate release
June 20, 2011

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) voted today at its annual meeting to continue its policy supporting individual responsibility for health insurance with assistance for those who cannot afford it.

 "The AMA has strong policy in support of covering the uninsured, and we have renewed our commitment to achieving this through individual responsibility for health insurance with assistance for those who need it," said AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, MD. "The AMA’s policy supporting individual responsibility has bipartisan roots, helps Americans get the care they need when they need it and ends cost shifting from those who are uninsured to those who are insured. Important insurance market reforms, such as an end to coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions, are only possible by having broad participation in the health insurance market."

The AMA reviewed alternatives and concluded that any approach to covering the uninsured that is in line with AMA policy cannot be fully successful in covering the uninsured without individual responsibility for health insurance.

The policy was reaffirmed by the AMA House of Delegates (HOD), which includes physicians representing all state and medical specialty societies. The HOD also reaffirmed support for AMA policy supporting health insurance tax credits and health insurance market regulation, health savings accounts, and direct subsidies for the coverage of high risk patients.

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Contact:

Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations
312-239-4991
Heather.Lasher.Todd@ama-assn.org