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The politics of Healthcare need reform

Headline:  Heartland, Scandlen, on AMA being bought


Speaking of "take back medicine," the AMA's recent endorsement of the horrendous House bill has awakened an awful lot of physicians. Many have told me they are just stunned. These include people who have held senior positions in AMA governance for decades. They say the AMA position contradicts everything that was discussed at the House of Delegates just last month.

Now, understand that the AMA endorsement was not the usual mealy-mouthed waffle -- "Thank you, Mr. Chairman for your significant contribution. We stand ready to help you work through the remaining issues." This was a full-throated, unambiguous endorsement of the bill as written, signed by Michael Maves, MD, the executive vice president (CEO) of the AMA. He wrote, "This legislation includes a broad range of provisions that are key to effective, comprehensive health system reform. We urge members of the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees to favorably report H.R. 3200 for consideration by the full House." There is not a word of reservation or concern.


The media is accurately reporting on the position. The Associated Press writes, "The American Medical Association on Thursday endorsed a liberal health overhaul bill that includes a public insurance option." Even liberal advocates were surprised by the endorsement. The article quotes Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think-tank, as calling it, "a tremendous coup," and that, "(the AMA's) full-hearted backing of a proposal that includes a public option could be a turning point." "I was certainly surprised," he said. "I didn't really expect them to be on board."

SOURCE: Associated Press

The endorsement has even made news in the UK. This article in the Guardian says, "The American Medical Association's endorsement of the House healthcare reform bill on Thursday could be the game changer that Democrats need to make history." It goes on to say that the AMA has now joined with its friends at Physicians for a National Health Plan in supporting nationalized health care.

SOURCE: The Guardian

Meanwhile, the physician Members of Congress do not seem to share the AMA's position. The Medical Society of DC held a forum recently featuring seven physicians who are also in Congress. The program was aired on C-Span and provides some insights into the thinking of these folks. Moderator Peter Lavine, MD, president of the Medical Society, for instance, states clearly that we don't need bureaucrats in the examining room, we need empowered patients. Too bad the AMA doesn't listen to its own members.



Current Views


This means that the AMA is now buying a seat at the table.   They have agreed to support some thing that not all doctors clearly believe in.


The Physicians for a Nat Health Plan are advocates of a single pay system.



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