Last month, a key policy committee of the American Medical Association recommended that the AMA formally support a plan for Medicare reform that tracks closely with the one proposed by Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Ron Wyden. Today, the AMA House of Delegates voted to officially adopt their committees recommendation, giving a boost to reformers in Washington and around the country.
The House of Delegates "recommended for adoption as amended or substituted" the recommendation from the AMAs Council on Medical Service to support a "defined benefit" reform of Medicare—similar to the various Paul Ryan proposals—in which beneficiaries could "purchase coverage of their choice from among competing health insurance plans." The AMA recommended offering "a wide range of plans (e.g., HMOs, PPOs, high-deductible plans paired with health savings accounts) as well as traditional Medicare."
The Romney-Ryan-Wyden plan for Medicare reform may have a tough time getting through the Democratic Senate and White House. But as Ive noted, the victory of Obamacare at the ballot box provides for an alternative route to premium support-based reform: gradually raising the Medicare retirement age, such that over time, more and more retirees get their coverage from Obamacares exchanges.
The AMA has done a lot of damage to its credibility over the years by behaving like every other special-interest group in Washington, putting its own interests above those of the broader public. But in this case, theyve done a good thing, and they deserve some credit for it.
Original Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/11/13/ama-adopts-facsimile-of-romney-ryan-medicare-plan-as-its-official-policy/