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    When Will AARP, Consumers Union and AMA Be Held To Account for Obamacare?

    When Will AARP, Consumers Union and AMA Be Held To Account for Obamacare?

    The Daily Caller (h/t Instapundit) has an interesting post today on the push back by Tea Party supporters against corporations — particularly in the pharmaceutical industry — which cooperated and cut deals with the Obama administration to help pass Obamacare.  The Washington Post had a similar article just after the mid-term elections, focused not so much on Tea Parties but how the Republican establishment was taking note.

    But what about AARP, Consumers Union, and the AMA, each of which provided invaluable cover and support to the administration, as documented in my prior posts:

    In November 2009, as the House prepared it’s Saturday night vote on Obamacare, I noted the role of the AMA and AARP:

    Don’t have much time this morning to comment further, but note the irony that today the jobless rate hit a 25-year high at 10.2%, and tomorrow night Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to push through a health care restructuring bill that is guaranteed to kill more jobs. The Democrats refuse to wait until Monday for a vote and insist on a special session Saturday night….

    Oh, and AMA and AARP – you people have no idea of the damage you are doing by supporting this last minute rush towards madness. Or maybe you do, but you don’t care.

    It is time to hold all institutions — not just for-profit corporations — which helped pass Obamacare to account for what they did.  AARP, Consumers Union, and the AMA would be a good start.

    Update 11-28-2010:  For the record, I let my Consumer Reports subscription, which I had for many years, expire last year, and I throw out all the membership cards and info. from AARP which show up in my mailbox.  As my readers know, I’m not a big fan of organized boycotts, but that doesn’t mean I have to give them my money.

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    I have disliked AARP since long before I retired. They got nothing from me because of their antigun stance, long before any Hillarycare or, now, Obamacare. Since I gave them nothing because of the antigun and now this Obamacare, seems like they ought to be paying me.

    I do, though, whenever I remember, always send that envelope back to them to cost them some postage.

    Never had a subscription to Consumer Reports, maybe I ought to extend my subscription to Rifle Magazine and Handloader.

    I was a member of the AMA for many years. I have let my membership lapse ever since the organization sold out physicians to support the recent health care reform measure. I know of several other physicians who have ceased being members of the AMA. I think the AMA must be feeling this at least a little as I just received a mailing asking why I'm no longer paying for a membership and asking what it would take to bring me back. Fat chance.

    Add me to the list of Consumer Reports non-renewals, both paper and on-line editions, because of their stance on health care reform. My paper sub ran out late last year, before Obamacare actually passed, but they sure were shilling for the concept.

    I was very active in the AMA as a resident, getting sideways with the current President of the AMA (Jim Rohack) over a decade ago convinced me not to continue the relationship. It did teach me about the nature of folks in politics, even the milquetoast medical kind, and the general nature of political organizations to drift to the left over time as the complainers are usually from the left and organizations are set up to deal with complaints.

    The AMA got roundly suckered, in return for their name on Obamacare they walked away with nothing. Their goal was a permanent "Doc Fix", we are nowhere near that even nine months later. As a hospital-based physician with no office overhead, I can survive a 25% hit in income. Few of my primary care colleagues can say the same and life will be very hard for Medicare beneficiaries, AARP members or not. There's a two-fer of fail right there. This may be the death knell of the AMA, if there was any truth in labeling they would rename themselves the American Academic Medical Association as that will comprise the majority of their members.

    The Texas Medical Association much more closely reflects my values, yet another example of representative organizations in proximity to their constituents doing a much better job of reflecting their beliefs and priorities. That might actually work in national politics, we should give it a try.

    The AMA survives only because the government bought and paid for it years ago by handing the organization a stranglehold on the codes used to bill for services. The organization maintains a policy of frequent updates, such that doctors have to pay several times a year for coding materials to submit bills for reimbursement. The system is arcane and, I suspect, that's also part of the deal…constantly changing the rules means the government makes money when doctors submit bills that don't have the newest codes.

    A thoroughly corrupt, inbred organization with delusions of grandeur and a record of failure when it comes to representing both the best interests of physicians, and the patients.


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