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Doctors' association to vote on support for health care reform

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Jeremy Hobson: Now to Chicago where this weekend an influential organization that supported the Obama healthcare law will reconsider that support. The American Medical Association will vote on whether to change its stance on the part of the law that requires Americans to buy health insurance.

Sally Herships reports.


Sally Herships: On the one hand, the president's new health care law means more patients. But the law is also supposed to cut health care costs. Amitabh Chandra teaches public policy at Harvard.

Amitabh Chandra: But anytime we try to reduce health care spending, at some level what we're also doing is reducing income for providers.

Chandra says that's why the AMA is voting this weekend. Much like the president's health care law, the AMA's current policy says most Americans should be required to buy health insurance. But that's wishful thinking and this debate is politics.

Dr. Jane Orient is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She says the law comes with expensive requirements for doctors that could put small practices out of business.

Jane Orient: If you read the Obama legislation, there are all kinds of requirements in there. Additional data collection; they want everybody to have an electronic health record, demographic information.

But Harvard professor Chandra says he expects most physicians at this weekend's vote will continue to support health insurance for all patients.

I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.
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