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American Medical Association Support For Individual Mandate Hasn’t Changed, Says President

The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates recently voted to reaffirm its support for “individual responsibility” in the purchase of health insurance provided that individuals unable to afford insurance have assistance available to them, according to President Cecil B. Wilson. Wilson indicated that the vote was “overwhelmingly” in favor of the health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152), including the provision requiring all Americans have health insurance or face a financial penalty.  

Wilson noted that the AMA delegates “came to a decision to reaffirm a policy that was originally established in the middle of the last decade. We’re proud of that, and the AMA believes that that’s the right course.”

In addition, delegates “reaffirmed support for AMA policy supporting health insurance tax credits and health insurance market regulation, health savings accounts, and direct subsidies for the coverage of high risk patients,” according to an AMA statement.

In response to a question on a press call after the vote suggesting that many doctors were leaving the AMA because of the association’s support for the individual mandate, Wilson said that membership had dropped between 1 and 2 percent more in 2010 than in 2009. He noted that some doctors had said they were dropping out because of the health care law, while others said they were joining because of it, and said that “we do not believe that the debate over health system reform had a significant effect in regard to our membership.”

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