AMA Argues Against A Single Payer System

Medicare For All is a hot topic. To be clear, this is not a health care provider debate. It’s how health care is paid for, a single-payer system. These are two different (though related) things.

The AMA is against Medicare For All. The primary reasons for their opposition as they stated are:

Lack of choice for patients

Higher costs (taxes)


The vast majority of us do not have choice in the current system. Our insurance companies dictate to us who we can see, what they can do, and how much we pay. In many places, we do not even have a choice of insurance companies. For our family, the only company in our area is BC/BS. That’s it.

We don’t really have a choice of services. When my doctor said I needed a brain MRI and a neurologist, I had to wait for a week before the insurance company to evaluate and give permission, then I could schedule the MRI. Think about that. Even our doctors’ choice in the course of diagnosis and treatment is subordinate to an insurance company’s dictates.


Taxes will go up. They’d go up as a replacement for our premiums. For our family, our premiums have just about doubled over 3 years, and we cover one less person. The argument against Medicare for All based on the idea that a single-payer system will cause an increase in costs assumes that costs have been steady with insurance companies. For most people, they haven’t. And for many that have, stable costs are the result of their company increasing the support, not stable prices.

In addition to skyrocketing premiums and higher deductibles, surprise medical bills are appearing all over the place. Some small, some huge.

Costs have been going up for decades. Since the ACA, insurance companies have had a stranglehold on our medical payment (and decision) process

If the AMA doesn’t want a single payer system, that’s fine. Their organization, their policy. But to argue that we’d “give up choice” when we don’t have any choice, or that costs will increase when they’ve been increasing dramatically under the current system rings hollow.