How the AMA and Local Medical Societies Failed to Serve Their Constituents (American Medical Association )
Most of America’s private physicians have always wanted health insurance to be available for all Americans. Doctors earnestly endorsed health insurance portability and competition across state lines, as well as other reforms. Unfortunately, however, the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)–commonly referred to as ObamaCare–does not make the needed reforms, and will likely have devastating implications for American physicians. Yet this new law was endorsed–and promoted–by doctors working at the local, state, and national level within medical societies and medical organizations that succumbed to the allure of greed and power. Instead of simply pursuing the best interests of their doctor constituents, the American Medical Association (AMA) and many local and state medical societies fought to preserve their “delegate” status, their positions of influence, and their misguided sense of self-importance. The AMA has a membership of, at most, 17 percent to 20 percent of the practicing physicians in the United States. The AMA has an exclusive contract with the federal government to own, distribute, and charge for the coding books that all medical specialties must use to bill for insurance cases, both government and private. This exclusive deal for the CPT (current procedural terminology) codes nets the AMA between $70 million and $100 million annually via compact disc and book sales. Coupled with the sales of disability and life insurance policies, the AMA makes a true profit each year of several hundred million dollars–money it has not spent wisely.