The American Medical Association has sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel endorsing the health care reform crafted by three House committees.
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, I am writing to express our appreciation and support for H.R. 3200, the "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," writes CEO Michael D. Maves. "This legislation includes a broad range of provisions that are key to effective, comprehensive health system reform. We urge members of the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees to favorably report H.R. 3200 for consideration by the full House.
Read the full letter here.
Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic writes about the import of the move:
This is unexpected. Or, at least, I wasn't expecting it. Recent signals from the AMA suggested they were reluctant to embrace reform, in no small part because they believed a public insurance option would underpay them. But the AMA letter contains no caveats. It is a straightforward endorsement.
And that makes it a pretty big deal. No, the AMA is not as powerful, nor as representative of the medical community, as it once was. But an unqualified endorsement for the most liberal plan out there has large symbolic value, given the role AMA played in killing health care reform for most of the 20th Century.