Monday, November 9, 2009

Push to overturn AMA endorsement of House bill?

For those not convinced that the AMA represents physicians’ priorities, there’s this: the AMA may be considering whether to rescind its support for the House healthcare reform bill in the face of pressure from some angry physicians.

The House bill did not have several elements some physicians say are critical: malpractice reform and a fix for Medicare reimbursements, for starters. Now some want the AMA to rescind its support, according to the WSJ.
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“Don’t give a blanket statement to a specific bill that contains provisions that violate AMA policy and interfere with the patient physician relationship,” Donald J. Palmisano, a former AMA president, tells the WSJ.

To be fair, the AMA’s support wasn’t entirely enthusiastic, and the organization said it recognizes “that more improvements are needed before a final bill emerges from a joint House-Senate conference committee.”

But, 10 of the 180 medical societies in the AMA’s voting body submitted a resolution Friday to rescind support. The 544 delegates are expected to vote today or tomorrow.

However, Fox News is reporting that according to one source’s e-mail, the disgruntled members have given up their fight to have the endorsement withdrawn.

Yes, AMA's endorsement was much-touted by Democrats pushing for the bill's passage. But, it passed, so what if the AMA does withdraw support? Perhaps it will affect lobbying efforts to improve the legislation as it goes to conference?

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