Doctor Bashing


What's worse than President Obama blaming our health care cost crisis on the doctors? 


Watching the AMA attendees giving him a standing ovation after he did it. No surprise, though. Several years ago, when I debated Stephanie Woolhandler before the AMA House of Delegates, one-third of the audience gave her a standing ovation, while I got polite applause.


Who's defending the profession against the latest attacks?


Yours truly in the latest issue of National Review.


So what's the AMA doing?


Selling out.

Comments (6)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    They should be grateful. The AMA certainly is not doing it.

  2. Zach says:

    Maybe this should tell you something about their interests?

  3. Ken says:

    A sorry spectacle indeed.

  4. Ralph F. Weber says:


    Regarding the AMA throwing patients and docs under the bus, here’s my theory, tell me what you think:

    You know that the AMA makes $72 million a year managing CPT codes. This represents about 1/4 of their income. I would be willing to bet that president Obama threatened the AMA that the health czar would take over those duties, and the AMA would lose that revenue, unless they endorsed his position.

  5. Brant Mittler says:


    You are right about not being able to replicate the Mayo Clinic model. Even the Mayo Clinic can’t do it. A senior staff physician told me recently that the Mayo Clinics in Florida and Arizona cost about 30% more to operate because they can’t replicate the strong work ethic of the good people who live in Rochester, Minnesota and who staff the clinic there.

    Plus, as a patient of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester I know they use imaging extensively and they are very expensive. I love the care they provide and I believe they extended my life but they are not cheap. In fact, they are very expensive, and well worth it.

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    The AMA is hoping to cut a deal with Congress to avoid getting its ox gored. Typically, Congress postpones pending Medicare fee cuts prior to the reductions taking effect. However, it doesn’t make sense for the AMA to believe it can protect doctors from Medicare fee cuts by supporting the House bill. Supporters of the House bill want a public plan option that would extend the Medicare reimbursement scheme to millions of additional health plan enrollees. The Lewin Group estimates if such a plan (e.g. Medicare for non-seniors) had the power to reimburse doctors at Medicare rates, the plan would likely enroll 119 million people who lost private coverage. Added together (Medicare, Medicaid and the public plan), more than 75% of Americans would be covered by a government-run health plan. These plans pay doctors 30% to 40% less than private insurers. Furthermore, Obama wants to move the power to adjust Medicare fees to a less political bureaucracy — out of the reach of Congress to interfere with pending fee cuts.
    A recent Wall Street Journal editorial discusses how little sense this endorsement makes.