The American Medical Association plans to reach out to voters and candidates through a multimillion-dollar campaign over the next three years to spur action on covering the uninsured. As part of its Voice for the Uninsured campaign, the AMA will be encouraging 2008 presidential hopefuls to adopt parts of its own proposal to cover the uninsured.
The organizations proposal for reform would provide tax credits or vouchers to those who need financial aid to obtain health insurance. One in seven Americans is uninsured, said AMA President-elect Nancy Nielsen at a news conference to launch the campaign. We want to give a voice to the 45 million Americans who desperately need one.
Nielsen said the AMA has shared its proposal with Democratic presidential contenders John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and they were excited to take our information. However, the AMA is not endorsing any specific presidential candidate, she stressed. Many of the presidential contenders have launched their own plans to reform the healthcare system. The AMA hopes that its own proposal will help shape the debate on covering the uninsured, Nielsen said.
The AMA plans to commit an initial $5 million to the campaign, but were going to spend as much as it takes to achieve the campaigns goals, she said.
It plans to raise awareness on the uninsured issue through various advertising venues, events in early primary states, lobbying Congress on reauthorizing the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, and talking to physicians and medical students. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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