Another score of doctors turned out at last night’s townhall event in Philadelphia in which I shared the stage with Bill Bennett and Michael Medved, and I expect at least as many in the gathering tonight in Atlanta, which is the last of the dozen forums on the start of the Obama Administration which we have conducted across the country. In the course of these travels from west to east coast I have met scores and scores of MDs, every one of whom know that the proposed “government option” will destroy American medicine as we know it, and all of whom are convinced that if this radical restructuring proceeds their relationships with their patients will be forever changed.
They are right of course, because the Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan is in fact a not-so-slow-motion introduction of “single payer,” and a rather rapid lurch towards rationing, especially for the country’s oldest citizens.
So where is the AMA? Every doctor I ask expresses deep scorn for their alleged representative in D.C., but still the trade association for MDs is paralyzed by the fear of taking on the new president and his huge majorities in Congress. If the membership does not begin to demand action, it will find itself ruined by a group of Beltway insiders who preferred their own standing and status inside the power elite to the best interests of their constituents.
This isn’t a new story, but in the past doctors have never been willing to be led by the nose by anyone, much less association staff in Washington.