AMA President Confuses CNN Anchors Into Thinking He Supports Public Option

Earlier today, American Medical Association president J. James Rohack appeared on CNN and, to the great confusion of the network’s anchors, waffled a bit on the question of a public option.

Last month, the AMA told the Senate Finance Committee, in no uncertain terms, it opposed the public option altogether. “The A.M.A. does not believe that creating a public health insurance option for non-disabled individuals under age 65 is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs. The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70 percent of Americans.” Within a week, though, the doctors’ lobby was looking for some wiggle room.

In this segment, however, Rohack is not endorsing a public option. He’s endorsing a system of managed competition that provides members of Congress and other federal employees a choice of heavily regulated private insurance plans. In the FEHBP, the government is not the insurance provider as it would be in the case of a public option–and that’s a substantial difference.

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