AMA backs out of anti-single payer coalition

The American Medical Association left an organization the health industry founded to combat single payer proposals, the organization confirmed with Becker's Hospital Review.

The AMA quit the Partnership for America's Health Care Future, of which it was a founding member. Sixty organizations, including the American Hospital Association and America's Health Insurance Plans, are involved with the coalition.

In an emailed statement to Becker's, AMA executive vice president and CEO James Madara, MD, said his organization "firmly believes that the best pathway to expand affordable, high quality health insurance coverage to all Americans is through a mix of private and public health insurance options. We remain opposed to Medicare for All, and policies that reduce patient choice and competition, and are built on flawed financing policies."

He continued: "Over the past 16 months, the Partnership for America's Health Care Future has extensively highlighted the many serious problems with Medicare for All and other proposals that would lead to a single payer healthcare system. Missing in the recent debate is an ongoing discussion of practical solutions that will result in more affordable insurance options. ... The AMA decided to leave the Partnership for America's Health Care Future so that we can devote more time to advocating for these policies that will address current coverage gaps and dysfunction in our healthcare system." 

On Aug. 13, AMA president Patrice Harris, MD, outlined the specific healthcare improvements the association is advocating for in a blog post.

In an emailed statement to Becker's, PAHCF said it agrees with the AMA in its stance against "Medicare for All," and the coalition appreciates the AMA's participation for the past year. 

"We support building on the strength of employer provided health coverage and preserving Medicare, Medicaid, and the proven solutions that hundreds of millions of Americans depend on," PAHCF said. "Government run systems such as Medicare for all, Medicare buy-in or the public option would be one-size-fits-all systems for every American — young or old, sick or healthy — that lead to increased costs, longer wait times and a lower quality of care for everyone, while healthcare decisions are shifted away from doctors and patients to politicians and bureaucrats in Washington." 

Editor's note: This article was updated Aug. 16 to include additional information from the AMA and PAHCF.

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