- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As our nation continues to face a crisis of about 46 million uninsured, including 164,000 patients in the District, many Americans need to look no further than their own families and friends or neighbors to find someone without health insurance (“Household incomes flat during Bush administration,” Business, Aug. 27). The problem of being uninsured does not discriminate - it affects each and every one of us, whether through limited access to health care or higher premiums and taxes.

Many patients don’t have access to needed health care as the economy’s health declines. New Census Bureau numbers show that employer-based health insurance is no longer an option for many workers and their families, as 40 percent of employers no longer offer health insurance. Americans need more affordable, portable health insurance options.

The American Medical Association’s proposal to cover the uninsured is a public and private approach that will make needed changes to today’s system. We advocate for a shift in tax incentives for health insurance so lower-income Americans get money to purchase coverage. We also want insurance market reforms to provide individuals more choices and ensure coverage for high-risk patients.

We encourage all Americans to get involved in the health care coverage debate. All Americans deserve better than the status quo.

DR. NANCY NIELSEN

President

American Medical Association

Washington

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