Friday, December 2, 2016

AMA endorsement of Trump health secretary spurs backlash

Liberal MDs are furious after top doctors group backed Trump’s pick for health secretary
When Donald Trump this week tapped a surgeon-turned-congressman to run the Department of Health and Human Services, the nation’s largest physicians group swiftly endorsed the choice.
Liberal doctors peppered the American Medical Association with furious tweets decrying the group’s endorsement of Representative Tom Price as a betrayal of patients and physicians. And by Wednesday night, 500 doctors had signed an online open letter titled “The AMA Does Not Speak For Us” started by the Clinician Action Network, a left-leaning advocacy group.
The AMA does not truly represent grassroot physicians.  A small percentage of physicians are members of the AMA. Formerly state medical societies required membership in the AMA to belong to a state medical society. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE.
The outpouring of anger has exposed the bitter political rifts dividing doctors these days. Price is an AMA member, but he also belongs to a conservative doctors’ group that publishes a journal which has advanced discredited theories, such as the notions that abortions cause breast cancer, vaccines cause autism, and HIV does not cause AIDS. The same group shot into the spotlight during the presidential campaign by promoting conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health, including speculation that she’d had a seizure or a stroke.
These opinions are not true. They should not be attributed to HHS-nominee, Tom Price. Just because he belongs to an alternative medical group he does not ascribe to those statements.  As a congressman he represents all of the people of his district.  It does not mean he promote these ignorant statements.
The outpouring of anger has exposed the bitter political rifts dividing doctors these days. Price is an AMA member, but he also belongs to a conservative doctors’ group that publishes a journal which has advanced discredited theories, such as the notions that abortions cause breast cancer, vaccines cause autism, and HIV does not cause AIDS. The same group shot into the spotlight during the presidential campaign by promoting conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health, including speculation that she’d had a seizure or a stroke.
 There are left-leaning alternatives to the AMA, too, including one that has long advocated for gun control, pushes physicians to cut all financial ties with drug companies — and expressed dismay that any doctors group would back Price.

The AMA remains by far the biggest and most visible lobbying force representing doctors and medical students. The group spent $15 million just in the first nine months of this year to lobby Congress and the executive branch on everything from marijuana research to opioid prescribing to telemedicine, as well as traditional issues such as reimbursement and billing, according to federal filings.

The AMA reaps profits from insurance companies with advertisements, derives income from copyrights from Current Procedural Codes that are used by insurance companies, medicare, medical, hospitals, and medi-cal.  The lobbying funds do not come from dues. Do the numbers.

“The AMA is generally a force for the status quo in health care, a physicians’ guild in the old-school style of wheeling, dealing, and horse-trading to keep the billing flowing like a mighty stream into MDs’ coffers,” Dr. Zackary Berger, an internist at Johns Hopkins.

The AMA is a dinosaur in today's medical environment.  On the other hand specialty groups are focused on education, and are apolitical.

This article is from STAT, an internet publication about Health and Medicine and is mixed with the author's private opinionls


AMA endorsement of Trump health secretary spurs backlash

No comments:

Post a Comment