Health insurance reform opponents continue to spread myths about components of the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, this time about the bill's impact on doctors. However, the fact is that the America's Affordable Health Choices Act will put the power back into the hands of doctors and other health care professionals.
Myth: Under the House bill, treatments will be decided by government boards, and doctors would be forced to participate in a government-run public option.
Fact: In the current health care system, insurance companies hold more power than doctors and patients. America's Affordable Health Choices Act would empower physicians to make better decisions for their patients. That is why the American Medical Association, the leading voice for America's physicians, supports the bill's provisions.
- Providers are NOT forced to participate in the public health insurance option, even if they take Medicare patients. Just as it is for patients, participation in the public option is completely voluntary for doctors.
- The comparative effectiveness research enabled by the bill will give doctors the best information, thus helping them make the best decisions. The goal is simply to inform doctors and their patients of the latest research on which treatments work best. It is NOT cost-effectiveness research. The bill specifically states that the government cannot mandate coverage or care decisions.
These facts are some of the reasons why the American Medical Association (AMA) “…express[es]…appreciation and support for H.R. 3200, the ‘America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.' This legislation includes a broad range of provisions that are key to effective, comprehensive health system reform…The AMA wants the debate in Washington to conclude with real, long overdue results that will improve the health of America's patients.” [7/16/09]
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