AMA may withdraw support for health insurance mandate
One might say they made their bed, now let them lie in it because they were bought off by Democrats who promised not to cut their Medicare reimbursements if they came out in favor of Obamacare.
But apparently, a lot of the docs are having second thoughts:
A divided American Medical Association will consider withdrawing its support of a key tenet of the health overhaul law that requires Americans to purchase an insurance plan.
The Chicago-based national doctors group, which represents nearly a quarter-million physicians, is being asked by several medical societies within the organization to change its stance in favor of the "individual mandate." A formal vote comes up at the AMA's annual policymaking House of Delegates meeting Saturday through Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
The AMA's support of the health care legislation, which was passed by Congress and then signed into law in March 2010 by President Barack Obama, was seen as critical at the time the controversial legislation was being debated.
The effort is being led by some surgeon's groups:
A resolution that will be introduced by three national surgery groups, including the American Society of General Surgeons and six largely southern state delegations of physicians, says the federal mandate "regulating the individual purchase of health insurance will likely undermine the innovations and improvements in health care financing that can evolve in a free market."
The AMA should "regard the purchase of health insurance to be a matter of individual responsibility to be encouraged by the use of tax incentives and other noncompulsory measures," those opposed to the mandate said in their resolution.
The resolution is not expected to pass in its current form, but the fact that it is even being considered is significant. There was quite a bit of controversy following the AMA's original vote to support Obamacare (remember the doctors in white coats appearing on the White House lawn as props for an Obama speech?). Most doctors are independent businessmen with more conservative views than the AMA leadership. We'll see how that vote goes, but a revolt is brewing in the AMA membership thanks to Obamacare.