What appears to be the official blog of President Obama’s administration is all aflutter because the President will welcome, “doctors from across the United States to the White House to share their unique perspective on the struggles that American families face every day when it comes to health care.” (They posted today’s agenda in the name of transparency!)
The post even links to a National Public Radio (NPR) story in which a survey of medical professionals indicates they are among the biggest supporters of the so-called “public option.” A co-sponsor of the study, Dr. Alex Federman, indicates that, “physicians favored Medicare when it came to delivering care to patients. They thought Medicare was better when it came to autonomy and their decision making and their ability to get patients the care that they thought the patients needed.”
Furthermore, the American Medical Association (AMA) has endorsed the public option after an appeal from the President and despite, according to ABC News, the fact that “some member physicians at the group’s annual meeting [in June] likened the notion to communism.”
Beverly Gossage, Research Fellow for Show-Me Institute and founder of HSA Benefits Consulting wondered which insurance companies rejected the most claims. She found her answer in the AMA’s own 2008 National Health Insurer Report Card. The chart below appears on page 5 of the 16-page report.
Of the eight insurers listed, Medicare is most likely to reject a claim, sending away 6.85% of requests. This is more than any private insurer and double that of the private insurers’ average!
In short, the AMA is endorsing a plan whose closest existing example is the most frequent denier of claims. How the public option exemplifies “delivering care to patients” is unclear.