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March 9, 1994

Single-Payer Plan Gets Cautious Support

JAMA. 1994;271(10):731. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510340017006

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HORROR STORIES about "socialized" medicine are holding less sway as physicians weigh a single-payer health care system against the alternatives.

Many physicians remain strongly opposed to a single-payer system, including the leadership of the American Medical Association. However, the AMA Board of Trustees recently met with US Rep Jim McDermott (D, Wash), sponsor of HR 1200, the leading single-payer bill in Congress. (McDermott explains that bill on pages 782-784.)

Even more surprising are statements from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) that a single-payer system appears to be the best way to preserve patients' right to choose their own physicians. Testifying before the House Committee on Education and Labor, ACS board of regents chair David G. Murray, MD, said that single-payer approaches "probably provide the best assurances that patients would be able to seek care from any doctor of their choice. Moreover, single-payer approaches can probably be made more simple

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