Obama asks AMA to support his healthcare reform package

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 22 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2541
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Addressing a meeting of the American Medical Association’s policy making House of Delegates in Chicago on 15 June, President Barack Obama has asked for the association’s support for his healthcare reform initiative.

The AMA, which represents about a quarter of doctors in the United States, expressed support and said it would evaluate all proposals for reform in the light of six principles: expanded coverage, improved quality, reform of government programmes, reduction of costs, greater focus on wellness and prevention, and reform of payment and delivery. An AMA spokeswoman said that the association was waiting to see what plans emerged from Congress.

In his speech President Obama said, “The status quo is unsustainable.” He said that the US is spending about 50% more on health care per person than the next most costly nation, yet “the quality of our care is often lower, and we aren’t any healthier.” He added: “In fact, citizens in some countries that spend less than we do are actually living longer …

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