AMA has fought almost every major effort at health care reform of the past 70 years.
The group's reputation on this matter is so notorious that historians pinpoint it with creating the ominous sounding phrase "socialized medicine" in the early decades of the 1900s.
Group That Coined "Socialized Medicine" Term 80 Years Ago Has A New Enemy
Just days before President Barack Obama is set to address the American Medical Association to pitch its members on his vision for health care reform, the 250,000-member physician group announced it would oppose a major component of that effort.
On Wednesday night, the New York Times reported that AMA was "letting Congress know" that it would resist a public plan for health insurance coverage.
Politically, the revelation could be a potentially significant blow to progressive health care reform advocates, who contend that a public option is the best way to reduce costs and increase insurance coverage. AMA has the institutional resources and the prestige to impact debates in the halls of Congress.
Historically and philosophically, however, AMA's opposition is hardly newsworthy. Despite a lofty reputation and purported commitment to universal coverage, AMA has fought almost every major effort at health care reform of the past 70 years. The group's reputation on this matter is so notorious that historians pinpoint it with creating the ominous sounding phrase "socialized medicine" in the early decades of the 1900s.
"The AMA used it to mean any kind of proposal that involved an increased role for the government in the health care system," Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of health policy at the University of North Carolina, told NPR in a 2007 interview. "They also used it to mean things in the private system that they didn't like. So, at one point, HMOs were a form of socialized medicine."
Indeed, the role played by AMA throughout health care reform battles past has often been primarily as the defender of the status quo. In 1935, fears of an AMA backlash helped persuade Franklin Roosevelt's advisers to drop a health care article from the Social Security package -- fearful that the opposition would sink the legislation altogether.
Concerned about government restriction on and oversight over surgical activities -- not to mention the loss of physician income -- the group deployed the "socialized medicine" argument to undermine Harry Truman's effort at a national health care system years later. LinkHere
Health Insurance, Republicans, and Insurance Companies
The Health Insurance Mafia Deserves a Good Screwing
voluntary financial rape
Not so long ago, I lost my health insurance.
The coverage was provided through my small business, that is until the carrier (rhymes with Screw Costs) decided to triple the monthly premium completely at random, leaving me with a common ultimatum: either cancel the plan or spend myself out of business. So I canceled the plan.
Good timing, considering that while riding my bike last year I was hit by a car and, upon being hurled to the street, I fractured my T10 vertebra. (My auto insurance covered my medical expenses free and clear, and I'm gratefully back to riding 80 or so miles a week.)
Coupled with my wife's back surgery from the middle 1990s, though, there are currently two fairly serious preexisting conditions on our family medical records, and so now whenever I shop for health insurance, I'm either turned down or quoted a premium that amounts to a request for voluntary financial rape. There are an array of other craptastical tricks and awfulness dished out by the insurers, but those are the most common walls I run into.
My only other option is to abandon my career and take a job that provides health insurance. As happy as that might make some comment trolls, I'm not in a position to do that either. But even if I did, there aren't any guarantees that the insurer wouldn't deny coverage that I paid for, along with a mélange of various other screwings the health insurance industry routinely gets away with. LinkHere