Saturday, November 14, 2009

Letter: Most want reform, better health care

health care reform

A lot of Republicans (and many Democrats) have voiced their opposition to H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. So, what is it about the bill that scares them so?

Is it that patients will no longer be denied coverage for “pre-existing conditions?” Is it that the bill will promote expansion of primary and preventive care, actions supported by leading physician organizations? Or, is it the fear of a government takeover if the public option becomes reality?

Given that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 2 percent of the insured will opt for the public option, that fear seems somewhat farfetched. Opponents of health care reform would like you to think that the current reform movement is the work of left-wing liberals. The facts speak otherwise.

The American Medical Association, the largest physician organization in the country, is a relatively conservative organization. In fact, it was the AMA that was instrumental in defeating health care reform in both the Truman and Clinton administrations. Yet, the AMA has announced its support for H.R. 3962.

“H.R. 3962 is not the perfect bill,” AMA President Dr. J. James Rohack said, “but it goes a long way toward expanding access to high-quality affordable health coverage for all Americans, and it would make the system better for patients and physicians.”

Several other physician groups, including the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians have endorsed H.R. 3962. As for the naysayers who claim that health care reform will undermine Medicare, the American Association of Retired Persons' endorsement of H.R. 3962 suggests otherwise. The health care reform movement is not the work of a radical fringe group. It is the dream of the most Americans and the majority of physicians. Let's make it work.