- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As physicians, we spend our adult lives caring for patients and advocating what is in their best interests (“Government threat to world-class medicine,” Opinion, Thursday). We work tirelessly for our patients, and our health care system needs to help us provide the best possible care to our patients and increase access to care for the 46 million uninsured Americans.

We are committed to reform that makes our current system work better for patients and physicians, and the House health care bill (H.R. 3200) is an important starting point. The American Medical Association does not support a single-payer system, and the House bill is not a single-payer bill. We simply want to build on what works in our current system and to improve what could be better.

We’re focused on health reform that expands coverage through a choice of plans, curbs insurance-industry practices that frustrate patients and physicians, repeals the flawed Medicare physician-payment formula, and gives relief from the broken medical-liability system. We strongly support an amendment already introduced that will add liability reform to the House bill.

There is no question that there are details to work out, but we cannot squander this opportunity for reform. The AMA will stay the course until we have health system reform legislation that benefits patients and the physicians who dedicate their lives to care for them.

J. JAMES ROHACK

President

American Medical Association

Chicago

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