The American Medical Association, the United States’ largest doctors group, voted Tuesday to again reject single-payer health care proposals.
Though the issue has gained popularity on the left, especially among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates following the lead of democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), America’s doctors are less enthused about it.
According to Modern Healthcare, the AMA’s House of Delegates voted 53 percent to 47 percent to reject a measure that would drop the organization’s longtime opposition to any single-payer systems.
Most of the push to change the AMA’s decades-long stance on plans like Medicare for All came from medical students. The younger contingent had spent days in “contentious debate” with the AMA leadership over the group’s opposition to single-payer, Modern Healthcare reported. In fact, many of the medical students joined a pro-Medicare for All protest led by nurses and advocates outside the AMA meeting
The AMA’s opposition to single-payer plans stems from the fact that such a system will cause provider payments to be decreased and limit patients’ choices on services.
Growing support for Medicare for All
The public has become more enamored with a government-run single-payer system. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in April found that 56 percent of Americans support a single-payer government plan.
More than half of the nearly two dozen Democratic presidential candidates, aware that public opinions on the socialization of America’s health care has been shifting, are now touting the benefits of some form of single-payer government system and are making it a central campaign issue.
According to the Washington Post, at least 12 Democratic candidates support at least some version of Medicare for all: Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Miramar (Fla.) Mayor Wayne Messam, Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), businesswoman Marianne Williamson, and businessman Andrew Yang.