AMA opposes single payer health system

Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 12:46:12 -0700
Subject: qotd: AMA opposes single payer health system

American Medical Association
August 12, 2003
AMA opposes single-payer health system
Reiterating the AMA's position on health insurance, AMA President Donald J.
Palmisano, MD, today said, "A solution to the problem of the uninsured is
desperately needed - but a single-payer health care system is not the answer."
The AMA strongly disagrees with an article arguing for a single-payer health
care system published in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA), which is editorially independent from the AMA,
and has long-standing policy opposing a single-payer health care system. A
JAMA editorial accompanying the single-payer opinion piece encourages
the exploration and discussion of various new solutions.
The AMA proposal for reform:
Comment: The AMA proposal eliminates employer-sponsored coverage and provides tax credits to "empower individuals and families to choose and control their own coverage." They propose "promoting a health insurance market that is affordable for individual and family coverage." They concede that this market model will not result in universal coverage, but instead adopted simulation models that define "full coverage" as 95% of the population.
Rashi Fein, PhD, in the editorial cited by the AMA, called not only for a discussion of alternatives; he called for those who do not join in support
of the Physicians' Proposal to "develop and propose something better,more
effective, and with fewer untoward side effects." The AMA proposal is worse,
less effective, and has greater untoward side effects.
The AMA needs to go back to the start of the policy prices by first accepting the essential goals of universality, comprehensiveness,accessibility and affordability. We challenge their policymakers to come up with any model that meets these goals other than a universal, publicly funded, publicly administered, single payer system of social insurance. But we are not going to wait much longer; we need reform now!