In the "Careening off topic department"
The AMA is opposed to this plan. Your doctor thinks Obama's plan is a bad idea! I'd challenge any of you to ask your doctor what they think.
Probably not my doctor.
How relevant is the AMA?
"...the fact that most doctors don’t pay much attention to the AMA anymore should be a strong signal to President Obama to keep seeking out opinions from the 70-80% doctors who don’t belong to it. "
"...to its critics the AMA is nothing more than a guild that protects its own at all costs. For example, it successfully marginalized non-physician health care providers (osteopaths and nurse midwives, for example). By doing this, critics state the AMA was able to control the price of health care through controlling the supply of the nation’s doctors. The most absurd example of the haves versus the have nots were African American doctors. For decades, the AMA discriminated against black physicians (a policy that it finally apologized for last year).
Probably the AMAs most lasting impact on American medicine has been its unconditional marriage to traditional fee-for-service medicine, which tilts higher incomes toward specialists and expensive tests and procedures. That has have helped drive costs through the roof. Because of that bias toward specialists, it’s also not a stretch to hold it responsible, in some ways, for helping to create the shortage of primary care doctors in our country today
(according to Matthew Holt
of the influential Health Care Blog, the AMA’s membership “over-represents specialists and those in small practices.”).
It’s also been an organization very weary of innovation. In California, during the Depression and Second World War, Dr. Sydney Garfield and construction magnate Henry J. Kaiser joined forces to create Kaiser Permanente, a health plan where Kaiser’s shipyard, steel and construction workers prepaid for their care, which was provided by doctors from different specialties. It was one of the earliest, if not the first, example of integrated health care that focused on prevention instead of illness. When the powers that be at the AMA heard about the Kaiser experiment, they perceived as a threat to the status quo (after all, for most doctors, a sick patient is what pays the bills), and discouraged doctors form joining it or attempting to emulate a model where health, not illness, was rewarded. "
Great. Just the folks we need driving our health care system...