Professional News
Americans Are About to Hear From AMA
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 3 page 15-35

The AMA has launched a new phase of its Voice for the Uninsured campaign with a barrage of broadcast, print, and online advertising.

Throughout 2008, the AMA will invest millions in advertising and events surrounding the upcoming presidential election to spur action that will bring health insurance coverage to those who lack it.

"By November, millions of Americans will have heard the AMA's concern that 1 in 7 of us is uninsured, and they will have heard our call to voters to cast their ballots with the issue of the uninsured in mind," said AMA Board member and Boston pediatrician Samantha Rosman, M.D., in a statement released at the start of the new campaign.

"Physicians see the consequences the uninsured face firsthand: these patients live sicker and die younger," said Rosman. "The uninsured often miss needed preventive care and put off seeing the doctor until their health problems reach crisis proportions, leading to more difficult and more costly conditions to treat."

Beginning last month, television ads were scheduled to air on cable news and entertainment broadcasts, and print ads will run in U.S. News & World Report, the AMA announced.

National print ads will run in daily and weekly news and healthy-lifestyle publications including Newsweek, Time, and Men's Health, and online ads will be featured on news-related Web sites.

The AMA says it will also reach out to voters through healthy-lifestyle events and mobile billboards and will create profiles on the MySpace and Facebook Web sites that focus on the problems faced by the uninsured.

The 2008 presidential campaign and the likelihood that health system reform would be a central issue was a matter of intense debate at the interim meeting of the AMA House of Delegates in November 2007, at which delegates discussed ways to advance the AMA's own plan for health system reform (Psychiatric News, December 21, 2007).

That plan emphasizes the use of tax credits to encourage individuals to purchase health insurance. "Under the AMA proposal, those who need it most would receive financial assistance to purchase health insurance," said Rosman. "The AMA plan gives individuals choices so they can select the appropriate coverage for themselves and their families, and it promotes fair rules that include protections for high-risk patients and greater individual responsibility."

Information about the AMA plan is posted at<www.voicefortheuninsured.org>.

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