AMA advocating health insurance for all Medical group urges government to guarantee everyone basic coverage.

May 14, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- In an unprecedented move, leaders of the conservative American Medical Association are urging the federal government to guarantee basic medical insurance to all Americans, saying it is "no longer acceptable morally, ethically or economically" for roughly 33 million citizens to live

with inadequate or nonexistent health insurance.

The AMA officials, using uncharacteristically strong language, also blamed "long-standing, systematic, institutionalized" racism, including that of organized medicine, for the fact that most of the uninsured and underinsured are members of minority groups. And they called the status quo "morally unacceptable."

Yesterday's bold challenge to President Bush and Congress to curb runaway health-care costs while providing basic universal coverage coincided with the AMA's publication of more than 70 health-care reform proposals being advocated from a wide range of interest groups, from labor to advocates for the poor.

The proposals cover the entire gamut, ranging from tinkering with the Medicare and Medicaid programs to adopting the Canadian system of universal health care.

They also include the AMA's own reform plan, which would call on government and business to provide every American with "affordable coverage" while preserving a patient's right to select his or her own doctor.

"I don't know what the solution is. But I believe that somewhere in these pages we have many solutions that would work . . . ," said Dr. George D. Lundberg, AMA editor.

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