Thursday, July 16, 2009
Breaking: AMA Endorses House Version of Health Care Reform Bill
Now this is some incredibly encouraging news, even if a trade-off may have been made to get the repeal of Medicare's so-called Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula included in the House bill, as some speculate. That's a relative small price to pay for such support.
The New Republic reports on the American Medical Association endorsement of H.R. 3200, the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” based on info from Health Care for America Now and the AMA letter (pdf) to House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel.
The House has introduced the same bill in the three committees that will deal with the legislation -- Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor -- which is an achievement on its own. Ezra Klein provides a useful analysis of what's in the House bill. I think it could be stronger on making the public option available to more people from the get go, but it makes a good start on what we need.
I believe the AMA endorsement is a breakthrough of epic proportions given the AMA's past record of fighting against real reform tooth and nail. Of course, many forces will be pushing and pulling on reform legislation as it makes its way through the three House Committees to the House Floor. And then there are the two committees on the Senate side and the Senate Floor. If those efforts are successful, the competing bills then will have to go to a House-Senate Conference Committee where differences will be ironed out. Health care reform still has a long and rocky road ahead, but the AMA's support at this point can be seen as a very positive development.
Yesterday, the New York Times endorsed the House plan in an editorial.
The AMA are going along because the organization KNOWS that it is on the verge of becoming irrelevant.
Posted by: qofdisks | Jul 18, 2009 10:16:20 AM
Who cares why? Their support helps.
Posted by: JJ | Jul 18, 2009 11:24:37 AM