Doctors reaffirm insurance responsibility stance

CHICAGO Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:44pm EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The American Medical Association on Monday reaffirmed its position that individuals should be responsible for buying health insurance, a contentious provision of U.S. healthcare reform.

The health reform law's requirement that everyone buy insurance is facing a legal challenge by 26 states that contend the government cannot compel citizens to engage in commerce.

At the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago, two-thirds of delegates voted to uphold the group's policy supporting individual responsibility for purchasing health insurance.

Key insurance market reforms, such as ending denials of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, are only possible through broad participation in the health insurance market, said AMA President Dr. Cecil Wilson.

"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," Wilson said.

President Barack Obama in 2009 took his healthcare campaign to the annual meeting of the influential AMA, which represents 250,000 doctors and has historically been opposed to a bigger government role in healthcare.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly; Editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (4)
CTG wrote:
Keep in mind that the AMA represents a minority of US physicians. Just today, major news outlets reported that it’s membership fell another 5% from 2009. The AMA is becoming increasing irrelevant to most physicans and its policy statements regarding health care reform should not be considered to be authoritative or representative of most US physicians.

Jun 20, 2011 9:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JKHamlin wrote:
This was an EXTREME (in more ways than one) minority of doctors who aren’t worthy of the title or the degree. The AMA consisted of only 10% of licensed physicians in the US until after Obamacare was passed, at which point they lost members in droves. The only ones left are the ones on the extremist fringe of the left wing.

Jun 20, 2011 9:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
burf wrote:
Looks like the GOP talking points on this are out, in view of the responses so far that the AMA is a *fringe* organization. The GOP followers seem to be like part of on organism – - one-thought, one-body, one-mind.
Thing is, the mandate was a GOP idea, and supported by the GOP until Obama gave it to them during Health-Care negotiations.

Jun 21, 2011 8:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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