The Corpus Callosum

AMA Healthcare Campaign

Health care is shaping up to be one of the big issues in the
upcoming elections.  No big surprise there, it was a highly
-ranked issue in the last election, too.  It’s just that last
time, voters failed to see how health care is more likely than
terrorism to affect their health.  

Perhaps this time around, people will have a more rational perspective.

In an effort to keep our perceptions in such a rational perspective,
the American Medical Association is starting a massive advertising
campaign.  The gist of the message is that they want health
insurance for all.

At first glance, that seems entirely self-serving.  Getting
health insurance for everyone could be seen as an effort to increase

That, however, is not the whole story.  Most doctors are
plenty busy with their existing insured patients.  

Interestingly, the AMA is not advocating any specific plan.
 They are, however, not pushing for the most sensible plan,
which would be a single-payer, universal-coverage plan.
 Rather, they advocate use of vouchers or subsidies of various
sorts to help people get private insurance.  

launches healthcare campaign

The association pitches its plan — using tax credits or
vouchers to help buy coverage — to voters and candidates.

By Claudia Lauer, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 24, 2007

WASHINGTON — The American Medical Assn.,
seeking to influence the healthcare debate in the 2008 election, kicked
off a three-year, multimillion-dollar ad campaign at a news conference
Thursday to promote its plan to provide health coverage for the
estimated 45 million people in America who lack insurance…

…The AMA, which represents about 250,000 physicians, proposes the use
of tax credits or vouchers to help people buy health insurance.

It also supports increasing federal funding for such government
programs as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program…

One thing they plan to highlight, is the widespread misconception about
the composition of the uninsured population.  They point out
that 82% of uninsured persons reside in a household with at least one
employed person. Some of them are bright, high-achieving people, who
for various reasons do not have insurance.  

They may have a point.  It is hard to know, but perhaps part
of the opposition to expansion of health care coverage comes from
racism and xenophobia.  Busting the stereotypes could have a
positive effect, if that is the case.


  1. #1 peggy
    August 26, 2007

    This group of 45 million uninsured is constantly changing, as people move in and out of coverage. Others, like my husband and me, would like to work part time and still have health insurance as we are getting older and don’t want to wait until each of us is 65 before we no longer need one of us working full time. Then, there are all the people in jobs they hate, just because they need the health insurance, who would like to be freed to pursue their options in life (school, self-employment, etc). We need a new way of making health insurance available to everyone, regardless of health, income, or other circumstances. It doesn’t have to be free, just reasonably affordable like auto or life insurance. The emphasis on the poor uninsured is not the way to move universal health insurance forward. It needs to be UNIVERSAL, all of us. That way, everyone benefits, everyone can support it. The AMA and politicians should emphasize that this is for every American, not just the currently uninsured.

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