AMA Supports House Health Reforms, With a Catch
In a letter today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest doctors lobby, announced its support for House Democrats’ proposed health reforms. But there’s a catch. Namely, AMA isn’t offering its outright support for the $894 billion proposal — the one that’s getting all the media attention. Rather, the group says it will endorse that bill if it’s accompanied by a second proposal that would scrap the flawed formula that dictates Medicare physician payments — a provision that’s been at the top of AMA’s legislative wish list for years.
In a little-mentioned move, Democratic leaders stripped the so-called doc-fix provision — which costs $210 billion over 10 years — out of the larger bill in order to keep costs below the magical $900 billion ceiling established by the White House earlier in the year. AMA is endorsing the idea that both would be passed simultaneously. From the letter:
Concurrent passage of [the two bills] represent a critical step in the legislative process that will enable further refinement of policies to lay a solid foundation for achieving our shared goal of assuring high-quality, affordable health care coverage for all Americans.