Date Published: 10 March 2009
AMA Physicians Work for Health Care Reform
Physicians from across the nation are in Washington, D.C. today to meet with lawmakers and make the case that health care reform is crucial to jumpstarting the economy. Hundreds of physicians attending the American Medical Association’s (AMA) National Advocacy Conference will hear directly from Representatives Henry Waxman and Roy Blunt and the White House’s health care advisor Ezekiel Emanuel, MD about reform efforts. Physicians attending the meeting will also meet with members of Congress from their districts to urge them to act.
“For many Americans health insurance is tied to a job, and as jobs disappear at an alarming rate so does crucial health care coverage,” said AMA President Nancy H. Nielsen, MD. “AMA physicians are in the nation’s capitol calling for reform that will provide everyone with portable, affordable health care coverage, regardless of employment. Fixing the health care system is good for families, and it’s good for the economy.”
Health care reform should include a public and private mix of insurance. The private insurance market must be improved for patients and health care professionals, and the public safety net must be preserved for those in need.
“Let’s give individuals choices so they can select the appropriate coverage for themselves and their families, and promote fair rules that include protections for high-risk patients and greater individual responsibility,” said Dr. Nielsen. “Those who need it most should receive financial assistance to help purchase health insurance.”
In addition to providing all Americans with affordable health care coverage, there needs to be an increased emphasis on prevention and wellness to help keep Americans healthy and, in the long-run, keep health care costs down.
“About 57 million Americans were in families that had problems paying medical bills in 2007 – that number has surely increased as the economy has worsened,” said Dr. Nielsen. “Emphasizing prevention, improving the delivery of health care and reducing unnecessary costs can all help reduce the cost burden on people and the nation.”
“The AMA and its physician members are dedicated to providing patients with high quality health care,” said Dr. Nielsen. “We’re taking steps to make the care we provide even better, and to heal the health care system. President Obama has called for action this year on health care reform, and AMA physicians are meeting in Washington this week to help make that a reality.”
Source: American Medical Association (AMA).