A resolution that originally called for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was approved by the American Medical Association House of Delegates on Monday—but only after the word "repeal" was changed to "amend" and several other changes were made.
AMA calls for amending health-reform law
The resolution calls on the AMA to advocate for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the enactment of comprehensive medical liability reform, long-term Medicare physician payment reform (including allowing Medicare patients to privately contract with physicians without penalty) and anti-trust reform so independent physicians can collectively negotiate with insurance companies.
The resolution originally called for the repeal of the Medicare Cost/Quality Index, but physicians from Washington state said they had advocated for that to be included in the reform law. As the payment formula currently stands, physicians in effect are penalized for practicing in states that provide more cost-efficient care, the Washington physicians said.
After some debate, it was decided that the AMA would advocate for further "study" of the index.
Dr. Bruce Scott, a former AMA board trustee from Kentucky, noted that it was important to send a message to physicians "back home" who mistakenly believed that the AMA "wholeheartedly endorsed" the reform law.
Former AMA Board Chairman Dr. Joe Heyman, who unsuccessfully ran for AMA president last year, said it was "divisive" to continue to debate about a law that had already passed and was going to be challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court regardless of AMA policy.
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