American Medical Association backs House health bill
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The influential American Medical Association on Thursday said it supported the healthcare overhaul legislation moving through committees in the Democratic-led House of Representatives and urged its approval.
"This legislation includes a broad range of provisions that are key to effective, comprehensive health system reform," AMA executive vice president Michael Maves wrote to the House committee leaders.
In particular, he said, the doctors' group backs the insurance market reforms that seek to expand healthcare coverage and the proposed health insurance exchange. In this exchange consumers would choose between private insurers and a public plan.
He also cited the ban on exclusion from coverage for pre-existing conditions and an increased reliance on primary care doctors.
On federal healthcare programs, the AMA said it welcomed the changes in Medicare health care for the elderly which would include a repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula and the expansion of Medicaid for the poor.
"This year, the AMA wants the debate in Washington to conclude with real, long overdue results that will improve the health of America's patients," he wrote.
(Editing by Sandra Maler)