KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Doctors Stick With Support For Individual Mandate

The American Medical Association's House of Delegates - after a lengthy debate - voted to maintain its support for the health law's individual mandate.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: AMA Sticks With Individual Mandate
The American Medical Association reaffirmed its support for the most contentious plank of the new health care law - requiring most Americans to carry insurance or pay a fee - but not before a lengthy debate. At its annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, the nation's biggest doctors' group debated whether to uphold its longstanding support for the "individual mandate." Two federal courts have ruled it violates the Constitution, and the Supreme Court ultimately is expected to decide the issue (Adamy, 6/20).

The Hill: AMA Will Still Back Individual Mandate
The American Medical Association voted Monday to maintain its support for a controversial piece of health care reform. The AMA's House of Delegates voted 326-165 to support the law's requirement that most people buy insurance. The coverage mandate is at the center of several lawsuits challenging the new law's constitutionality. AMA President Cecil Wilson said the "overwhelming" vote shows that doctors still believe a mandate is necessary to achieving universal coverage (Baker, 6/20).

The Baltimore Sun: AMA Affirms Support Of Health Insurance Requirement
Despite an uprising of member doctors, the American Medical Association will continue to support a key tenet of the health care law that requires Americans to buy health insurance. By a margin of 2 to 1, the AMA's policy-making House of Delegates voted Monday to continue to back the so-called "individual mandate," saying such individual responsibility for Americans who can afford to buy coverage was the best option to expand benefits to the uninsured (Jaspen, 6/20).

Reuters: Doctors Reaffirm Insurance Responsibility Stance
The American Medical Association on Monday reaffirmed its position that individuals should be responsible for buying health insurance, a contentious provision of U.S. health care reform. The health reform law's requirement that everyone buy insurance is facing a legal challenge by 26 states that contend the government cannot compel citizens to engage in commerce. At the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago, two-thirds of delegates voted to uphold the group's policy supporting individual responsibility for purchasing health insurance (Kelly, 6/20). 

CBS: Doctors Org. Backs Health Insurance Mandate
The nation's largest physician's group has affirmed its support for a key part of President Obama's health care overhaul. At its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted to maintain its official position in favor of the "individual mandate," which requires nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance. The AMA prefers the term "individual responsibility" (Mank, 6/20).

Also during the organization's meeting, the AMA released its annual "Health Insurer Report Card," detailing a finding that about one in five medical claims paid by insurers is inaccurate.

The Associated Press: AMA: Doctors Shortchanged By Insurers' Mistakes
The nation's largest doctors' group says about one in five payments of medical claims by commercial health insurers is inaccurate, shortchanging physicians (6/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Inaccurate Insurance Claim Payments on the Rise, AMA Finds
The American Medical Association said Monday in its annual "Health Insurer Report Card" that large commercial insurers it surveyed have an average error rate of more than 19 percent in processing electronic physician claims. The doctors' group, which is meeting for its annual convention in Chicago, said that was an increase of 2 percent compared to last year and represents an "intolerable level of inefficiency." Barbara L. McAneny, an AMA board member, said in a written statement that health insurers must put more effort into paying claims correctly the first time to save money and administrative time. Most of the private insurers the AMA surveyed failed to improve their accuracy ratings in 2011 compared to 2010, the AMA said. The one exception was UnitedHealthcare, which also registered the highest accuracy rating at 90 percent compared to about 86 percent last year (Norman, 6/20). 

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