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Monday, November 2, 2009

STIFF DEBATE ON HEALTH SYSTEM REFORM EXPECTED AS AMA HOUSE CONVENES IN HOUSTON

At the end of a week in which we expect the U.S. House of Representatives to debate the immense Affordable Health Care for America Act and a separate bill (PDF) to repeal Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, the American Medical Association House of Delegates meets in Houston. On the delegates’ agenda are four pivotal resolutions (PDF) that could enhance or reverse AMA’s positions on health system reform legislation. In numerical order, they are:
  • Resolution 203, which calls on AMA to “promote to the fullest, at each and every opportunity,” AMA’s ruling policies on health system reform, which led the association to support an earlier version of the Affordable Health Care Act this summer;
  • Resolution 206, which directs AMA to promote Texas-style health care liability reforms and ensure that any health system reform legislation not preempt existing strong state laws;
  • Resolution 208, which calls on AMA to maintain its “unwavering and bold efforts to promote health care reform” in this country; and
  • Resolution 209, which would have AMA “actively oppose” any legislation that contains — among other things — a public option health insurance program or a short-term patch for the SGR, or that does not include “proven medical liability reforms.”

The Texas Delegation to the AMA is reviewing closely these and all other items of business before the AMA house and will take its positions based on TMA policy. You can follow all the action — including live coverage of key events such as the health system reform update at 4 pm on Saturday, Nov. 7 — on TMA’s Blogged Arteries.

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