AMA: Uninsured Americans Constitute a National Health Crisis; AMA Sees Choice, Tax Breaks as Answers

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Medical Association

    WASHINGTON, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement can be
 attributed to D. Ted Lewers, MD, AMA Chair:
 
     "Today's hearing in the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee is an
 opportunity to create greater momentum for action on the national health
 crisis of the uninsured.  Leaders in the private sector already have come to a
 common agreement that we need an answer to this problem quickly.  The AMA is
 hopeful that members of Congress will reach the same conclusion, as there are
 42.6 million Americans, including 10 million children, without health
 insurance today.  Studies show that, for many uninsured people, delayed access
 to care can aggravate often treatable health problems such as cancer, diabetes
 and high blood pressure.  Too often, the uninsured wait until they are
 critically ill to seek medical attention.
     "To combat this national health crisis, the AMA has developed a proposal
 to help guide the Congress and President Bush in developing a realistic
 solution to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans.
     "The AMA proposal is two-pronged.  First, it calls for making changes in
 the federal tax code to redirect current tax subsidies from employer-sponsored
 health insurance coverage to tax credits for individuals.  These tax credits
 are income-related, refundable and available to individuals with insurance
 coverage whether through employer sponsored plans or private purchases.
 Second, the AMA proposal puts choice and ownership of health insurance back
 into the hands of those it covers by allowing the consumer, rather than the
 employer, to choose a health plan based on their individual needs and
 preferences.  In addition, the AMA plan calls for ensuring that all children
 and adults who are currently eligible for health benefits under Medicaid and
 SCHIP are enrolled in these two vital safety net programs.
     "The AMA plan will empower patients, increase health insurance coverage
 and preserve the patient-physician relationship.  We look forward to working
 with Congress and the Administration to achieve these goals.  The booklet and
 additional information about the AMA proposal for health insurance reform can
 be found on the AMA Web site at:
 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3373.html ."
 
     For more information or a copy of AMA's booklet, "Expanding Health
 Insurance: The AMA Proposal for Reform," please contact:
 
     AMA Media, Washington
     Brenda L. Craine 202-789-7447
     Jody Couser 202-789-4591
 
 

SOURCE American Medical Association
    WASHINGTON, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement can be
 attributed to D. Ted Lewers, MD, AMA Chair:
 
     "Today's hearing in the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee is an
 opportunity to create greater momentum for action on the national health
 crisis of the uninsured.  Leaders in the private sector already have come to a
 common agreement that we need an answer to this problem quickly.  The AMA is
 hopeful that members of Congress will reach the same conclusion, as there are
 42.6 million Americans, including 10 million children, without health
 insurance today.  Studies show that, for many uninsured people, delayed access
 to care can aggravate often treatable health problems such as cancer, diabetes
 and high blood pressure.  Too often, the uninsured wait until they are
 critically ill to seek medical attention.
     "To combat this national health crisis, the AMA has developed a proposal
 to help guide the Congress and President Bush in developing a realistic
 solution to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans.
     "The AMA proposal is two-pronged.  First, it calls for making changes in
 the federal tax code to redirect current tax subsidies from employer-sponsored
 health insurance coverage to tax credits for individuals.  These tax credits
 are income-related, refundable and available to individuals with insurance
 coverage whether through employer sponsored plans or private purchases.
 Second, the AMA proposal puts choice and ownership of health insurance back
 into the hands of those it covers by allowing the consumer, rather than the
 employer, to choose a health plan based on their individual needs and
 preferences.  In addition, the AMA plan calls for ensuring that all children
 and adults who are currently eligible for health benefits under Medicaid and
 SCHIP are enrolled in these two vital safety net programs.
     "The AMA plan will empower patients, increase health insurance coverage
 and preserve the patient-physician relationship.  We look forward to working
 with Congress and the Administration to achieve these goals.  The booklet and
 additional information about the AMA proposal for health insurance reform can
 be found on the AMA Web site at:
 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3373.html ."
 
     For more information or a copy of AMA's booklet, "Expanding Health
 Insurance: The AMA Proposal for Reform," please contact:
 
     AMA Media, Washington
     Brenda L. Craine 202-789-7447
     Jody Couser 202-789-4591
 
 SOURCE  American Medical Association