The American Medical Association betrayed its members and their patients by pursuing a Quisling strategy during the ObamaCare debate. Last weekend, however, the AMA’s key policy committee endorsed a Medicare reform strategy that looks a lot like the Romney-Ryan plan:
Much like the old Ryan plan, the AMA proposal would let the government provide a specified subsidy—the ‘defined contribution’—to retirees’ health benefits, and let them choose among a range of plans … like the current Romney-Ryan one, the AMA committee endorsed preserving “traditional Medicare as an option” for seniors.
And they arrived at this conclusion after consulting with Bill Clinton’s former budget chief, Alice Rivlin:
Dr. Rivlin emphasized that defined contribution amounts should be sufficient to ensure that all beneficiaries could afford to purchase health insurance coverage, and that private health insurance plans should be subject to regulations that protect patients and ensure the availability of coverage for even the sickest patients.
And they like the premium support idea that figures so prominently in the Romney-Ryan plan:
The Council’s report does a great job of explaining why premium support makes sense. ‘The [Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan], which covers federal employees … is an example of a defined contribution system that works very effectively for plan enrollees, while also effectively managing program spending growth.’
This doesn’t redeem the AMA for its sins on ObamaCare, but it does suggest they think Romney and Ryan might win in November.