Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Medical Association Attacks Health Care Reform Plans

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Medical Association Attacks Health Care Reform Plans

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The American Medical Association charged on Monday that the Clinton health plan and other bills before Congress would let government or insurance company bureaucrats, not physicians, decide what care patients get.

On the eve of the new session of Congress that could decide the fate of health reform, the doctors' association launched a new $1.6 million print advertising campaign demanding a bigger say for doctors in health reform.

AMA leaders also expressed concern that "giant, profit-seeking corporations" could come to dominate the health system under the types of changes that President Clinton and others are pushing.

"We're going to be asking doctors all over the country to make information available to patients . . . so that medicine's voice can be heard," Dr. James S. Todd, the AMA's executive vice president, told a news conference.

"The AMA has its own prescription for achieving universal health coverage, antitrust reform, lower malpractice insurance premiums and other changes to ensure that doctors play a major role in deciding how health care is delivered and paid for."

The AMA ad shows a doctor's hands on a patient's shoulder under the legend, "This is the moment of truth.

"Would you rather trust your life to an MD or an MBA?" asks the headline of the ad, which ran in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and will appear in the three news magazines.

"There is a serious problem with the health system reform plans now being debated in Congress. They don't guarantee that your physician will continue to set the quality standards for medical care," it warns.

"That means government and insurance company administrators could end up determining which types of treatment are appropriate for patients like you. And which types of treatment you'll be denied.

"These bureaucrats may have good intentions. …

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