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Monday, November 15, 2010

AMA HOUSE OF DELEGATES ADOPTS TEXANS' PROPOSALS

Texans in the AMA House of Delegates pushed the house to force AMA leadership to articulate the major flaws in the Affordable Care Act and devise a plan to correct those flaws. We argued successfully that AMA needs a very specific action plan to take to the new Congress. In what appeared to be a major sea change at the house’s interim meeting in San Diego, delegates voted to overturn AMA policy that supports an individual mandate to buy health insurance. Minutes later, however, the house decided to send that item — and several others relating to the new health reform law — to the AMA Board of Trustees for further study. Several other items brought by the Texas delegation found favor with the house:

  • The house sent the AMA board a resolution asking AMA to take a closer look at turning itself into an organization of organizations instead of an individual-membership association. AMA is losing membership at an unsustainable rate at a time of unprecedented change and upheaval in the American health care system. It’s a time when physicians and patients need the strength that comes from the ability of AMA to say it represents the majority of America’s physicians.
  • The delegates unanimously approved a Texas resolution to support pending federal legislation that would exclude from consumer credit reports, within 30 days, medical debt that has been fully paid or settled. This would motivate patients to pay off their medical debt quickly.
  • Finally, the house accepted a resolution brought by Edward Rensimer, MD, of Houston, stating that hospital medical staffs should be able to choose their own officers without interference from hospital leaders. AMA will take this strong new policy to The Joint Commission.

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