A reader of my “To Your Good Health” column recently wrote to discuss his concern about what he believes to be the systemic disaster that will ensue from PPACA. He wondered about what deals the government may have cut with the insurance carriers and the pharmaceutical industry.
Both groups were indeed early visitors to the White House, but there is another group that may have had an even more profound effect on the ultimate fate of the legislation. The American Medical Association supported the bill, and their support was played like a Stradivarius.
Over the years, the AMA has held a revered and honored place in America. Among certain generations of Americans, doctors are deified, so it is unsurprising that the AMA’s support likely carried significant weight. As one tragically uninformed friend told me, “If the doctors are in favor of this, it must be OK.”
Various legislative and executive branch proponents were fond of reminding us that the “majority” of doctors supported their plan. Yet the AMA represents less than a third of licensed U.S. doctors. Even among that fraction, the discussion of this issue at their convention was reportedly rancorous and divisive.