Just a couple weeks ago, the AMA was trying to have it both ways with the public option. The group had long opposed the provision, but in an appearance on CNN, its President J. James Rohack was unable to come right out and say so. Now it seems as if they’ve gotten over, or at least managed to suppress, their concerns. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, I am writing to express our appreciation and support for H.R. 3200, the ‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,'” wrote AMA Vice President Michael Maves in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel.
This legislation includes a broad range of provisions that are key to effective, comprehensive health system reform. We urge members of the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees to favorably report H.R. 3200 for consideration by the full House.
You can read the full letter here.
Note, this caveat. “The AMA looks forward to further constructive dialogue during the committee mark-up process. We pledge to work with the House committees and leadership to build support for passage of health reform legislation to expand access to high quality, affordable health care for all Americans.” ‘Building support’ would likely entail weakening the bill in some ways, and it seems likely that with respect to certain provisions, the AMA would be just fine with that. But this is nonetheless a pretty major development.
I’m told that the AMA will be releasing a statement shortly, and I’ll pass that along when I receive it.