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July 1st, 2009
03:08 PM ET

AMA Switching Stance on Government-Sponsored Health Insurance?

The American Medical Association seems to have shifted its position on government-sponsored health insurance. Fighting it for months, AMA President J. James Rohack appears to have softened the stance in an interview with Tony Harris and CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. christa

    I listened today to President Obama and the healthcare we desperately need here in the USA. Orignially I come from the used to be Western Germany, as long as I worked there everyone who works has to pay 50% of their healthinsurances. It is not FREE, like alot of americans think. People without jobs and the poor have insurance from the government. People with any income, retirees ect. pay alot of money for insurance. For years I have been listening to these false reports, people who have healthcare in the US, pay alot less. They have also private insurances companies in Germany , just like us here in the States, alot of people who work are insured by these companies. The only thing better is, if you are sick ( cancer or diabetes etc.) you will get paid about 60 % of your previous income for about 2 years by your insurance company and then the german state gives you early retirement. Here we have problems getting healthcare because everybody in those private insurance companies looks out more for their stockholders (greed), then for the clients which are you and me. Another thing, if the republicans do not agree with healthcare in the Congress or Senate take their health insurances away, because we voted them in and they do not want to help the underinsured and not insured, get them out of politics, vote for the people who have your interest at heart . As a voter you have to think first, what is best for your needs and not your party, vote for the party who will help you most.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  2. Cheryl

    You did a great job trying to pin down that answer. Still sounds like alot of run around.
    I am also curious about the anti trust issues. I as a person with no insurance and unisurable don't trust any of them. What are the anti trust issues?

    July 1, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  3. Carol Gee

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU for doing story on serviceman who committed suicide while still active military, despite being offered help for depression/alcoholism. PLEASE, PLEASE do more and detailed stories about military-experience-induced current AND LATENT onset PTSD/depression/addiction. These problems are under- RESPECTED, under-treated, life-wrecking ignored casualties of war ... so are the vets. & their INDIVIDUAL family members...

    PLEASE, PLEASE keep repeating names of proper helping agencies (inside AND OUTSIDE the military) & their phone numbers on your "crawl", nationally, for an unlimited period of time (I mean regularly for years. It would be a superb public service.) If you make only that info repeatedly, regularly available, you'll be helping MANY, MANY people.

    Of course, any further detailed stories you do ... not in hyped, frenetic way, but in thoughtful, respectful, caring (factual) manner, would be very important and help those suffering (from active military to honorably discharged VIETNEM VETS.!) get help they & families need, without embarrassment, to lead less painful, healthier, more productive lives. ... If one aspect of "the future new healthcare" program is going to be living "healthier lives" if our society doesn't prevent, or at least provide RESPECTFUL recognition of war-induced psychiatric problems, then we are complicit in undermining better helath plans AND irreparably harming active military/ vets & their loved ones ... AMERICANS, ALL.

    July 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  4. Robert

    James Rohack nor Elizabeth Cohen did give any answer on how doctors and or hospitals are going to cut cost!!
    In Florida a doctors visit cost for getting a prescription only is $300.-
    In South Carolina I paid for the same visit $60.- What is wrong with this picture? I called the fraud line of medicare and told them that the $300.- was rather high for a 10 minute visit. Their answer was: Oh no, we did not pay the $300.- but "only" $250.-. That is how the "system" works; the actual charge should have been $60.-
    The only way to fix healthcare is strict control over the actual cost from doctors and hospitals as is done in continental Europe.
    Spending a trillion will not solve the "cost" element!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  5. Nancy

    A moment of silence across the world simultaneously that's over 217 different countries. While we sit in our back years and barbeque, visit with love ones and remember the way the world was good or bad no one ever could say Michael Jackson did not make a difference. Janet stay strong my sister I know only you speak for your MOM and Family. GOD BLESS YOU.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  6. Scott

    Reports from Canada is that more providences are turning to privatization of health insurance due to dissatisfaction of the public run system. Citizens would rather pay then have their government control when they can have their treatment. Wait times in Canada, just to get an MRI for instance, was on average a year and after diagnostic tests... another year wait to have surgery.

    July 2, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  7. Franco

    Today in the USA we have private companies controlling where to have treatment based on costs in order to satisfy investors. If the government takes over, they will be better since they have to satisfy the electorate and not profits. Private health care = priority on profits = less care. A government sponsored plan does not mean that you will not have an option to stay with your private insurer and pay a premium that will help the CEOs keep their houses and yachts in the Hamptons.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  8. Teresa Rockwood

    My question is this: Obama says that instead of 5 tests being done by a doctor it will be one. What if the doctor is doing those tests because he feels as though they need to be done? So we are not going to get the medical attention that we need because it will not be covered. So I guess that my concern here is this: Will we go without the medical attention that we need because the testing will be limitted?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  9. Marion Clair

    As a retired public school teacher and part of a defined pension plan, my GROUP health care insurance costs me nearly a QUARTER OF MY ENTIRE, PALTRY INCOME each mont, so that I have to continue working year round to afford to pay my average bills for mortgage, food, etc.. And I am a HEALTHY person with no pre-existing conditions, I am not at all fat, don't smoke, rarely drink alcohol and don't eat fast foods! I LOVE the President's healthcare proposal and think that the FAT ASSED, hypocritical members of Congress who get TOTAL HEALTH BENEFITS for THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIIES not to mention ALLLLLL THE OTHER PERKS OF THE JOB, should vote to provide decent health care to ALL Americans–just like they have!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  10. Suzanne Murphy

    As a CEO of a small business, we pay 100% of our employee's health insurance premiums and feel everyone should have "access" to quality care but unless Pres. Obama makes more credit available to small businesses and eases the financial and tax burdens strangling this important sector of our economy - businesses won't be able to maintain payrolls and additional jobs and insurance coverage will be lost.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  11. Michelle LaVenia

    I am a Nurse and have been for 36 years. There have been studies that show clients have been better serviced and happier with the healthcare they received from Nurse Practitioners. I know from recommending a client see a NP for his diabetes that the cost was $35. as opposed to his seeing an endocrinologist for $300., which he could not afford. Why hasn't Congress come up with advocating for more NPs as part of the Healthcare package? Could it be the Medical Association ( the doctor's union)?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  12. Debbie

    A good start would be to end the discrimination to the childless American born citizens that are denied medicaid. In order to qualify, a person has to be either an immigrant, pregnant, or have children under age 18 living with them. Even if a person has no income, they are denied if they do not meet one these requirements.
    Many single people with chronic help problems cannot get health care because they have no children living with them.
    This is really not fair to the divorced father who is is expected to pay child support, but perhaps is to ill to work, and cannot get health care, simply because he does not have these children he is supporting living with him.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  13. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    Let's face it; the medical industry is not going to voluntarily give up the HUGE PROFITS which it has been raking in for years. When they found out that Obama is not insisting on a reduction in health care costs and that his plan would not affect them, then they stopped worrying.
    Obama plans to federally subsidize a 30 percent reduction in health care insurance for a select few who do not already have insurance. That will still cost much more than my family can afford.

    July 2, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  14. Curt

    For a state to issue I.O.U's is preposterous. California will lose a lot of good vendors because of this debacle.

    but there are other states out there that do not have a budget in place to continue, so why are you only focused on California? Just because they are the highest profile state should not be the deciding factor with covering their problems and none of the other states.

    July 2, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  15. jeff clark

    i love it... the insurance companies are thieves and robbers... all we need for a health care system is a patient and a doctor... insurance / HMOs just syphon off dollars meant for band-aids and broken arms to pay for corporate jets, Cuban cigars, and lavish perks for the ceo's...

    when the hell was the last time you seen a MBA/CEO of Anthem Blue Cross set a broken arm??? in my opinion, all the insurance industry does is colonoscopies on their victims ( i mean customers)...without the "Kay-Y"...

    July 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  16. Rob

    I watched the segment ,about our healthcare system here in Canada, twice today on CNN. It focused on a lady who needed a tumor removed from her brain, but because of the long delays here, she went to the States, had her surgery and was handed a bill for $100,000. I think a few things may have been missing from the story. First of all, wait times depend on how serious and immediate treatment is needed. If her doctor felt that she was in need of treatment right away, it would have happened. Yes we are put on wait list here, and it is based on urgency, and it can be changed at the drop of a hat. As for the bill, wow! I had an American friend living and working in Alaska who had a part-time job as a Paralegal and the only thing he did was to process claims for people who had to file for bankruptcy because they couldn't afford their medical bills. I have know idea what it would cost to visit my doctor's office and I can go everyday if I want to, it's free. I can't imagine a civilized country that doesn't provide it's citizens with free access to good healthcare. It just doesn't make sense, unless, the system is actually run by and for the profit of, the Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies. Good luck to you, my American friends, so many of you need it.

    July 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm |