The AMA Doesn’t Like the Newest GOP Healthcare Bill

The American Medical Association, or AMA, has written a letter to congressional leaders saying it is “unable to support” the GOP health care bill.

I don’t love this bill, either, but I am sure the GOP is shaking after the AMA gave them a thumbs down.

Didn’t they support Obamacare? How did that work out?  And how is that AMA membership going?

God, I love Big Ern (Ernie McCracken)


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  10 comments for “The AMA Doesn’t Like the Newest GOP Healthcare Bill

  1. Steve O'
    March 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    The AMA decided to go the Big Power route. In government, there is no longer an awareness that individual citizens exist. They are nothing, unless they are bundled into a mass, and controlled by a spokesman. The only ones with a voice in Washington are the Big Powers. The last election pretended to give individuals a voice – it didn’t.
    Obamacare was merely a step on the 20-year stairs of turning medicine into a retail commodity. To turn medicine into a commodity, first they had to get rid of the expensive middleman (physicians, then NP’s, next PA’s, etc., etc.) The goal is to get the customer to go directly to the pharmacy and purchase albuterol and azithromycin for their viral sniffles. Is this bad for them? Yes, but so what? say the commodity-based folks.
    The cruelest example is prescription opiates. This problem – chronic pain – was not the physicians’ doing. BigPharm LEAD THE DRIVE to commoditize medicine, years ago. GIVE THE CUSTOMER WHAT THEY WANT!
    Now, the Government is scolding physicians – you shameful dogs, you pandered to the customer. You’re like the liquor store that sells to alcoholics, you rats! Let’s punish the liquor store owners for giving the people what they want!
    But testosterone, ADD-uppers, antibiotics for anything and everything – how dare you arrogant physicians WITHHOLD DRUGS from your customer!
    It’s a slick game, and it will wind up wiping out the old system of point-of-care. I’m not interested in fighting with idiots to ensure their own safety. Let them get rid of labeled drugs, even controlled substances too! Like in Mexico and the other third-world countries, let the pharmacist sell everything! That’s what the countries in Africa are trying to get away from, and trying to implement a European/American style healthcare system. Go ahead, let’s trade with Ghana! At least they are trying to improve. The US – who knows?

    • Pat
      March 23, 2017 at 11:33 am

      For yucks, I’m perfectly fine with pharmacies selling anything and everything. I’m tired of being held responsible for idiots.

  2. Stephen Rockower
    March 22, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Maybe I’m a Pollyanna, but the AMA has tried to ensure that our patients have insurance coverage. I woul rather be paid for my services, than not. The only thing that “failed” was their messaging that couldn’t counteract the Right. With the Republicon replacement, millions will lose coverage or pay much more. But, oh, millionaires get a tax cut. I wish I were one of them, but I’m not.

    • Doug Farrago
      March 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Health insurance is not health care. The AMA sucks.

    • Pat
      March 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Stephen, have you noticed what happened to insurance premiums the past couple years? To get coverage for a few more million, many, many more were put at significantly greater financial risk, markets closed or dwindled, many decided to go without coverage, and Big Insurance got a monster windfall, all with the support of the AMA. I’m not a Republican, but you can’t hang the present mess on them.

      How would you increase actual access to care?

      • Stephen Rockower
        March 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm

        Insurance premiums were rising well before Obama. The pinheads at HEW–>HHS who think they know have been forcing us in that direction. As far as ObamaCare, Big Insurance was allowed to write the bill because that was the only way half the Democrats would vote for it. Otherwise, the lobbyists would have been out in force contributing to opponents. Obama would have preferred a Government Option, or One Payer (Medicare For All), but that was not politically possible, as Big Insurance would not allow. The best they could do was limit the “Medical Loss Ratio” so Big Insurance couldn’t rake even more people over the coals. And don’t even start me on Big Pharma!

        I agree that Access isn’t health care. But it was shown that more people who now have insurance went to doctors sooner and got better care than before.

        So, don’t lay all that at the feet of the AMA. Don’t say that Republicon alternatives are any better. Should we go back to allowing people to die on the street? I started this by implying that we physicians are now getting paid for what we didn’t get paid for before. Why do you have a problem with that?

        • Pat
          March 23, 2017 at 10:25 pm

          Steve, I and others here (perhaps yourself as well) have been to countries where people really are dead in the street – that hasn’t been happening here, it was not happening prior to ObamaCare, and it won’t happen just because the GOP fiddles around with the mess that is. Enough with the hyperbole, please.

          Premiums were indeed rising before the ACA, but at a slower rate, and the tens of millions suffering those increases have attested to that. The ACA is a gem of class warfare, a massive transfer of wealth to the subsidized, at the expense of the already insured, whose jacked up premiums did indeed buy the cover and encouragement of Big Insurance. I’m not sure anyone here has said the GOP alternative is better, but that is no defense of the present ripoff.

          Maybe where you live more physicians are getting paid, and good for them. In areas where I work, some physicians gave up, and some had trouble buying their own insurance as companies dropped them. Everyone I personally know in my area has had premium increases 50-100% in the past 3 years.

          The AMA a loooong history of talking tough, and consistently selling out physicians and the profession of medicine to the government. The AMA opposed Medicare/Medicaid stridently as the ruin that it has become; and then spun on its collective heel to defend government-run medicine the second it was passed, while enouraging physicians to latch on to the teat. Where has the AMA been on mandatory EMR’s? Where has the AMA been on pushing to reverse/eliminate the MOC? Where was the AMA all those years as ICD’s and CPT’s proliferated?? Oh that’s right, they were making big bucks selling the code books and software we were required to have!! Several years ago the AMA had a $60 million dollar ad campaign to reverse dwindling membership – where did THAT money come from?

          You correctly noted, “Big Insurance was allowed to write the bill because that was the only way half the Democrats would vote for it.” Doesn’t that alone show why the ACA should never have been passed? And it was, with the AMA’s blessing, while trying to bribe their members with insurance payments that will never offset all the regulatory garbage covered with their fingerprints.

  3. Kurt
    March 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Why do they keep sending us dues bills that end up in the shredder anyways? ;-0

    • Dave
      March 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Seriously…they could easily have spent the equivalent of a yearly membership cost with all the mail they have sent me over the years. I know what the envelopes look like and I don’t even open them anymore before they go in the recycling pile!

  4. Pat
    March 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    That is the everloving point: the AMA supported a bill that a lot of us knew would be a failure, said so, and were ignored.

    The AMA is only about their own power – they are all politics, all the time, and have nothing to do with effective health care. “House of…”, no, they are “The Outhouse of Medicine.”

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