AMA Defines Seven Health Reform Principles

Congress should adopt health system reforms that will benefit all Americans, American Medical Association President Jim Rohack, MD, says in a letter to President Obama and Congress [PDF].

"Our elected leaders need to approach the health-reform debate with a renewed focus on what matters most – health coverage for all Americans as well as providing stability and security for Americans that currently are insured, including Medicare patients," Dr. Rohack said. 

In his letter, Dr. Rohack outlines seven critical elements the AMA believes are necessary to improve access to affordable, quality care and reduce unnecessary costs:

  • Health-insurance coverage for all Americans;
  • Insurance market reforms that expand choice of affordable coverage and eliminate denials for preexisting conditions;
  • Assurance that health care decisions will remain in the hands of patients and their physicians, not insurance companies or government officials;
  • Investments and incentives for quality improvement, prevention, and wellness initiatives;
  • Repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Medicare physician payment formula that will trigger steep cuts and threaten seniors' access to care;
  • Implementation of medical liability reforms to reduce the cost of defensive medicine, and
  • Streamlining and standardizing of insurance claims processing to eliminate unnecessary costs and administrative burdens

"We have already seen physicians, patients, and policymakers find common ground on ideas that offer real improvements," said Dr. Rohack. "The stage is now set for meaningful reform, and we must seize it."


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Action, Sept. 15, 2009


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