In an eye opening editorial in the Wall Street Journal today, they dissect how the AMA is selling out the medical profession, particularly by AMA president J. James Rohack. The daily emails I get from the AMA on how I should support their efforts to pass health care reform fail to mention many of the punitive clauses that will hurt doctors in the long run.
The AMA has maintained that their primary goal is to do away with the SGR, sustainable growth rate, that punishes doctors every year by potentially lowering Medicare reimbursements. But the current bill that moves the SGR fix off the health care reform bills only delays SGR cuts for ten years. In fact, some in Congress would lock in current Medicare rates for the next ten years. Can you imagine how that would devastate physicians' inflation adjusted incomes? Health care inflation is usually twice as high as the consumer price index so the cuts in incomes would be far greater than the general population.
There is also no longer a demand for some sort of tort reform even though it is high on virtually every doctors' priority list. Don't even mention Obama's laughable $25 million for pilot projects to "study" tort reform in states. This is the kind of bill the AMA wants doctors to write to their Congressmen about in support? As I've mentioned before, the AMA has only a minority of physicians in the country amongst its membership. It hardly speaks for physicians as a whole. Yet it promotes itself to Congress as the voice of doctors everywhere. Its advocacy of these flawed reform bills will be a detriment to all physicians.