Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The AMA Does Not Represent the Views of Most Doctors

The American Medical Association (AMA) has been in the news recently due to their opposition to a public health option and Obama's attempt to court them.

I think something to keep in mind here is that the organization has a history of right wing advocacy.

Amy Goodman points this out:

Throughout its history, the AMA has opposed most efforts at healthcare reform, including leading the charge in the mid-’60s against the creation of Medicare.


This isn’t new. The AMA has opposed most healthcare reform. I mean, they were the key fighters against Frances Perkins under FDR. She was the Secretary of Labor. She could not overcome their resistance to national health plan back during the New Deal.

And Dr. Quentin Young, a former Obama confidante who is very upset at him for backing away from single payer healthcare, notes:

And it’s worth noting that AMA membership has dropped from some 90 percent of doctors when I started out a half-century ago, and now about a third of America’s doctors do belong.

So essentially, we have an organization with dwindling membership amongst actual medical professionals, which has a history of fighting every sort of reform effort for seventy years, coming out against a public option. Why exactly is that news?

And lest we forget, most doctors actually support a single-payer plan, which means a public plan would cover everyone, a position to the left of that the Congressional leadership and Obama support.

It'd be wonderful if the "liberal" mainstream media would point these things out, and not leave them for you to listen to on Amy Goodman's radio show or read on the blogosphere. That's probably asking too much.