The American Medical Association And Healthcare Reforms

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The American Medical Association and Healthcare Reforms

Thesis Statement

Why is the American Medical Association (AMA) supporting 2009 Healthcare Reform?


Because the United States does not have national health insurance, the discussion of healthcare in America tends to revolve around that issue. From the left-wing perspective, national health insurance for Americans is a dire and top priority: The United States is the only industrialized national government in the world that does not provide medical care to its citizens (Jonathan, 2002).

The movement for compulsory health insurance began in 1912 when Progressive reformers commenced a campaign to provide medical insurance for low income workers, paid for with employer, worker, and state contributions. Great Britain instituted insurance for laborers in 1911. The American Medical Association (AMA) undertook reform efforts as well, calling for regulation of medical education and licensure. The government established a presence in healthcare through the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1904 and workmen's compensation laws in 1914. AMA efforts to establish professional sovereignty, however, made doctors fear state regulation of their practices. Business leaders also opposed compulsory insurance since they did not want to pay for workers' health (Jonathan, 2002). Big business, organized medicine, and commercial insurance companies formed a successful alliance to prevent health reform. Although health insurance was a new concept in the Progressive era, insurers began to offer group-health policies to employers, who used them to prevent state mandates (CNN, 2010). It was in that atmosphere that reformers started their campaign for compulsory health insurance and alliances began to form right and left.

Health care reform constitutes the process by which the social policies that regulate health care are created and modified. Health care reform, therefore, represents a subset of health care policy. In essence, health care reform is driven, to a large extent, by regulatory reform. However, it is important to recognize non-regulatory drivers of health care reform such as the impact of market forces on the level of quality of care, as with the Leapfrog group, and the recent report from the Institute of Medicine regarding medical errors (Lubell, 2009). Health care reform can lead to changes in the degree to which the government controls and manages access of the population to health care and the way in which health care is financed (CNN, 2010). Disparate societal philosophies regarding the role and responsibility of the government in providing health care services, and the underwriting of such services, such as can be seen in the United States and Canada, do not preclude health care reform from having a profound impact on patients, the public, providers, and payers of these very different systems. There are lots of reasons why American Medical Association (AMA) supporting 2009 healthcare reform. This paper discusses few of them in a concise and comprehensive way.


The process of health care reform has led to diminished independence of the medical profession (Lubell, 2009). This, in turn, has resulted in the current system by which health care providers are reimbursed for the services and resources that they provide (Pear, ...
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