Tough news for supporters of government-run universal health care. The American Medical Association has announced its opposition to a government-sponsored health insurance plan, which is a key component of the plans being mulled over by the President and Congress. Among the things that are concerning the AMA:
- Under the proposed plan, any doctor taking Medicare patients would be forced to to participate in the plan, and the AMA doesn’t like mandatory physician participation
- The AMA feels that a public plan operating alongside private ones will force the private plans out of business, limiting consumer choice (they’re right)
- Fewer private insurers would mean greater costs to be absorbed by taxpayers
The AMA is the largest physicians’ group in the country, and it would be hard to blast them as a right-wing group, as they gave 56% of their donations in 2008 to Democrats. And the AMA hasn’t balked in the past at government-subsidized health care. What it represents is growing concern even among those most passionate about health care reform that government-owned and operated health insurance and completely socialized medicine isn’t looking like the best way to go about it.