AMA ready to engage on health care reform

ama logoThe AMA says it will actively engage the incoming Trump administration and Congress on the direction of health care reform.

At its 2016 Interim Meeting, in Orlando, Fla., the AMA House of Delegates “reaffirmed its commitment to health care reform that improves access to care for all patients,” AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, MD, said in a statement.

“The AMA remains committed to improving health insurance coverage so that patients receive timely, high-quality care, preventive services, medications and other necessary treatments,” said Dr. Gurman, pointing to the comprehensive policy framework the AMA has developed and refined over the last two decades.

“A core principle is that any new reform proposal should not cause individuals currently covered to become uninsured,” he added. “We will also advance recommendations to support the delivery of high- quality patient care. Policy makers have a notable opportunity to also reduce excessive regulatory burdens that diminish physicians’ time devoted to patient care and increase costs.”

Delegates adopted a resolution voicing “firm commitment” to current AMA policy on health care reform. In its discussions with the Trump administration and Congress, the AMA will continue efforts to cover the uninsured and work to assure that future proposals do not result in loss of coverage for patients currently insured.

Long-standing AMA policy supports expanding insurance coverage through tax credits, using the tax structure to encourage individuals and families who can afford health insurance to buy it, guaranteed issue and renewability of coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions in the context of an individual-responsibility requirement, and allowing adults to stay on their family health insurance policies through age 28. The AMA also supports allowing states to develop and test different models for covering the uninsured.

The AMA also will work to ensure that coverage translates into patients’ access to the care they need from the physicians and health professionals who can provide it. That means supporting adequate provider networks in health plans, whether they are offered through the Affordable Care Act federal or state exchanges, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care or other private plans. The Association will also advocate giving additional financial and other protections to patients forced to seek out-of-network care.

“Health care reform is a journey involving many complex issues and challenges,” Dr. Gurman added, “and the AMA is committed to working with federal and state policy makers to advance reforms to improve the health of the nation.”


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