The AMA Doesn’t Represent Me
As a physician, I can say without hesitation that the American Medical Association ( AMA ) doesn’t represent me. Nor does it represent thousands of other doctors who have fled this increasingly politicized organization in recent years.
Over the last decade or so, the AMA has devolved from a body warning of the dangers of socialized medicine to little more than a left-wing lobbying front. Perhaps that’s why there has been a steady exodus from the organization from its high-point in the 1970s where it counted almost three-fourths of the nation’s physicians as members. Today, that figure has collapsed to less than one-fifth. It is estimated that as few as 15% of America’s physicians even pay dues to the American Medical Association.
One of the chief reasons that the AMA has lost the respect of our nation’s rank-and-file physicians is their embrace of left-wing politics and woke cultural nihilism.
As far back as 2011, the far-left Huffington Post was reporting on the liberal drift of the AMA. According to an article by Victor Li:
“In recent years, however, the AMA has undergone a seeming internal realignment….the AMA has turned into an ally, if not yet a full-fledged member, of the liberal coalition. As old-guard members’ gasped, the organization has lined up behind health care reform, called on the military to drop its ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and recommended that the federal government reevaluate its classification of marijuana as a controlled substance.”
In 2009-10, the AMA embraced Obamacare, perhaps the worst development to occur in American medicine in the last half-century. Obamacare was the greatest redistribution of income to the insurance companies in history and is largely responsible for the huge exit of doctors from their profession. Yet, that was just the latest manifestation of the AMA’s leftward lurch. In 1998, the organization endorsed racial preferences in the state of Washington ( obviously a very important issue in the health care industry! ) and, three years later, attacked the Boy Scouts of America for its policy banning active homosexuals from serving as scoutmasters. That same year, AMA president Richard Corlin gave a speech supporting tougher gun control laws. Most recently, the current AMA president Susan R. Bailey issued a statement endorsing the Biden regime’s LGBTQ agenda.
Then, there’s a CRT-laced document released by the organization called “Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity.” It is 86 pages of BLM and Antifa propaganda that could have been authored by some Marxist university professor somewhere. Former Florida Representative Julio Gonzalez, himself a physician whose family immigrated to the U.S. in 1961, called the publication “destructive, divisive, and inflammatory” and accused the AMA of pursuing “a socialist agenda against the will of so many of those whom you falsely claim to represent.”
And, demonstrating that this outfit has now gone completely “woke,” the Board of Trustees of the AMA crafted a resolution over the summer favoring the removal of the terms “male” and “female” from birth certificates. Apparently, the clowns that run the association adhere to the nonsense that there are 69 genders, including Nancy Pelosi who’s in a class by herself/himself/itself.
The American Medical Association has also moved portside in terms of spreading around its political contributions, moving progressively toward Democrat candidates in recent years, including 56% of its donations in 2020.
As doctors have pulled the plug on their memberships and stopped paying dues, the AMA has moved to gin up revenue by selling billing coding, insurance and other products. Most doctors disagree with the CPT-10 billing transformation. According to Linda Girgis, MD writing in Physician’s Weekly:
“Yet, the AMA continues to profit hugely from selling these products despite our protests. Clearly doctors’ opinions have been shoved under foot in their quest to drive profits.”
In addition, the AMA derives substantial funding from the pharmaceutical industry, including the sale of individual physician identification information, which alone accounts for 16% of all AMA revenue sources.
In her aforementioned article, Dr. Girgis reveals a flood of physician complaints against the association, including siding with politicians more often than physicians, being ineffective lobbyists, offering little help to doctors victimized by giant health insurers and falling reimbursements, refusing to fight unnecessary government mandates, and standing “mute on slowing down the flow of doctors out of their practices.”
Girgis states bluntly: “We feel the AMA would sell us out in a heartbeat.” She continues: “The AMA is not the voice of doctors and it is time that people stop recognizing them as something other than a political organization shaping reforms and selling products off the backs of doctors for their own agendas and profits.”
As a physician myself, I heartily concur with what Dr. Girgis says. The American Medical Association has been useless in assisting doctors in navigating the nightmare of our nation’s present-day health care system which works for the benefit of government, insurance companies, and giant oligopolistic hospital chains. Where has the AMA been in promoting health care choice and the direct primary care model of medicine? Where has the AMA been in resisting insurance company control of medical decisions? Where has the AMA been in the battle to strengthen the traditional doctor-patient relationship? Where has the AMA been in exposing the cost inflation of the hospital system? Where has the AMA been in opposing the blanket provision of taxpayer-funded health care to those who have criminally invaded our nation? Answer: AWOL, nowhere to be found. Doctors are left to fend for themselves in an increasingly desolate wasteland. And, that’s why so many are throwing up their hands and abandoning their profession.
Like most corrupt unions, the AMA just wants access to the corridors of power, invitations to the right Georgetown cocktail parties, and big salaries for its leadership. The needs of doctors on the front lines and their patients aren’t on an agenda that seeks to cater to the prevailing political and cultural winds in the assumption they won’t be on the chopping block when the revolution is finally and firmly established. As revolutions eventually consume their own, I wouldn’t place a large bet on that assumption.
Dr. James Veltmeyer is a prominent La Jolla physician and author of “Physician on a Mission: Dr. Veltmeyer’s RX to Save America.”He was voted “Top Doctor” in San Diego County in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019. Dr. Veltmeyer can be reached at email@example.com and by visiting his website at drveltmeyer.com
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