TUCSON, Ariz., June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the annual American Medical Association's House of Delegates meeting in Chicago, the delegates reaffirmed the AMA's support for the linchpin of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by a vote of 326-165.
The AMA calls it "individual responsibility." But it means the individual insurance mandate. An amendment to allow the states to choose whether to impose a mandate was soundly defeated.
Numerous physicians spoke passionately and eloquently against the mandate, referring to constitutionality challenges, freedom issues, and the opposition of physicians and numerous medical organizations. The AMA admits to having lost 12,000 members since 2009, many because of the AMA's endorsement of PPACA.
"The AMA has turned 180 degrees since the 1950s, when it held that 'the voluntary way is the American way,'" stated Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). "Now it has adopted the 'progressive' left-wing stance of calling for compulsory purchase of government-prescribed insurance."
Individuals will no longer be able to choose for themselves how to pay their medical bills. Many might choose the most affordable way: self-payment of most bills, with low-cost, high-deductible insurance for the rare catastrophe.
"But that choice would deprive the government's favored plans of some fat premiums," Dr. Orient noted.
As AAPS has pointed out in pending litigation, PPACA itself created the problem that the individual mandate is supposed to solve. By forcing insurers to accept all comers at a fixed rate, PPACA shields individuals from having to take responsibility for the consequences of not buying insurance until they expect to make claims on it.
Supporters of the mandate, with its penalties, argued that it is necessary for assuring coverage, which apparently trumps liberty.
AAPS, which represents physicians in all specialties nationwide, was founded in 1943 to promote private medicine and the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. www.aapsonline.org AAPS advocates free-market solutions to medical financing problems, rather than central planning and increased government control.
SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)