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Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Four Reasons Why Former AMA Chief Donald Palmisano Opposes the Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act has gotten a lot of attention lately for its mandated provisions, which went into effect in the beginning of August.

Donald Palmisano, a doctor, attorney, and former president of the American Medical Association, says he's not a fan for several reasons.

Palmisano is the head of the anti-ACA group "The Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights." He also offers himself to doctors to "help you protect yourself against the potentially devastating effects of malpractice and liability claims."

1. He says the ACA puts more burdens on physicians and patients.

It increases regulations; it acts in a coercive fashion instead of allowing patients to be in charge of their own destiny.

2. He’s against Medicaid Expansion.

Medicaid is a failed program. Putting millions of people on Medicaid is a big mistake, what you should do is give them a voucher to buy insurance or put them in something like the federal employees health benefit program.

        3. He believes the Affordable Care Act forces will encourage people to use unnecessary health benefits.

You can put preventive services...to lose weight, to exercise, to make sure you diagnose diabetes, those are all wonderful things. Understand though, none of that is free. It’s almost like saying we’re going to give everyone in America a free car. Well, you think everyone is going to buy a used Yugo in the car lot? No, there are going to say, I’m going to buy a Cadillac because it’s “free.”

4. He says it will end up leading to rationed care and long waiting lists

We have seen in other countries the government promises but they don't deliver. They don't fund correctly as a result people end up in waiting lists.

Palmisano says people should be able to buy insurance from multiple insurance across the nation. He says competition among health insurers will bring the price down for patients.

Sarah Pusateri is a former multimedia health policy reporter for Health News Florida, a project of WUSF. The Buffalo New York native most recently worked as a health reporter for Healthystate.org, a two year grant-funded project at WUSF. There, she co-produced an Emmy Award winning documentary called Uniform Betrayal: Rape in the Military.
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