Obama tells doctors: ‘The public option is not your enemy, it is your friend.’

Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) registered its opposition to a key plank of President Obama’s health reform efforts — the creation of a public health insurance plan. At the same time, Senate Democrats have begun backing away from a public plan and instead gravitating towards a proposal to create a non-profit co-operative. Media reports have suggested that the White House may be warming to the idea of dropping the public plan. But today, in a speech before the AMA convention, Obama reiterated his strong support for a truly national public health insurance plan:

OBAMA: If you don’t like your health coverage or don’t have any insurance, you will have a chance to take part in what we’re calling a Health Insurance Exchange. … And one of these options needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market so that force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest.

Obama told the physicians, “The public option is not your enemy, it is your friend, I believe.” Watch it: