AMA votes no on Medicare for all

As Medicare for all continues to gain traction among American voters and more Democratic presidential nominees take up the platform, the American Medical Association has decided not to support such an initiative.

The group, which represents physicians, voted on its new policies and leadership during its annual meeting in Chicago at the beginning of June. Instead of adopting Medicare for all, which provides universal healthcare through a single payer, the AMA opted to pursue policies that strengthen the Affordable Care Act.

During the meeting, the AMA’s House of Delegates––­­its policymaking body—voted 53% to 47% against a measure that would have dropped a decades-long opposition to a single-payer system, The Hill reported.

The AMA reaffirmed its commitment to the ACA during the meeting, citing new recommendations that recognize the healthcare law is “not broken, but it is imperfect.” The association’s goal with the ACA is to improve access to health insurance coverage to the uninsured. That includes expanding the amount of and eligibility for premium tax credits, removing the subsidy cliff, increasing cost-sharing reductions received by those who are qualified, and extending eligibility for cost-sharing reductions beyond 250% of the family poverty level.

“Since the ACA was enacted into law in 2010, millions of Americans have gained health insurance,” AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, said in a statement. “The policy question now is how to improve the law to insure even more. We need policies to make coverage more affordable for millions of Americans­­––both in the premiums they pay, as well as their cost-sharing responsibilities.” 

In addition to voting on healthcare policies that aim to expand coverage, the AMA elected its future leadership and swore in its new president.