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.