Although the AMA's 543-member policymaking body stripped the words "public option" from an earlier resolution, doctors endorsed a plan to cover the uninsured by supporting "health system reform alternatives."The AMA continues to reject a call for a single-payer health plan, advocated by some groups, including the Chicago Single-Payer Action Network and Chicago-based Physicians for a National Health Program. It would eliminate health insurance companies.
The AMA's action at its annual meeting in Chicago keeps the door open to one Obama administration idea being discussed in Congress to use so-called insurance exchanges similar to the federal health program used by government workers and members of Congress. Obama addressed the doctors on Monday, seeking their support for his plan.
"People did not want to close the door on alternatives," Dr. Nancy Nielsen, immediate past president of the AMA, said at a press conference this morning. "No doors were closed."
Obama's plan called for a public option - essentially government-funded health care - in addition to giving Americans the option to have private insurance.