NU Online News Service, Aug. 12, 2003, 5:12 p.m. EDT – The head of the American Medical Association, Chicago, today issued a statement opposing an opinion article that appears in the Aug. 13 issue of one of the AMA’s own publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The article supports the creation of a national, government-run health finance system.

“A solution to the problem of the uninsured is desperately needed — but a single-payer health care system is not the answer,” Dr. Donald Palmisano, the AMA’s president, says in the statement. “The AMA advocates a solution to the uninsured crisis that builds on the strengths of our current system.”

Establishing a government-run, “single-payer” system would lead to long waits for health care services, a slowness to adopt technology and the development of a large bureaucracy, Palmisano argues.

The AMA would rather see the United States use tax credits to help uninsured consumers buy health insurance on their own, Palmisano says.