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  • Why is the AMA Supporting a 20% Pay Cut for Their Members?

    Yesterday the American Medical Association announced their support for the Senate version of Obamacare. Which is interesting since both the House and Senate versions of Obamacare cut doctor Medicare reimbursement rates by 20% starting in 2011. If Obamacare were to reinstate these cuts, the plan would add $196 billion to the deficit in the first 10 years and $765 billion in the second decade.

    But President Barack Obama promised the American people yesterday: “I just want to be clear, for all those who are continually carping about how this is somehow a big-spending government bill, this cuts our deficit by $132 billion the first 10 years and by over $1 trillion in the second. The argument that opponents are making against this bill does not hold water.”

    So either the AMA is misinformed about whether or not Congress and President Obama will save their Medicare reimbursement rates, or President Obama is misinformed when he tells the American people his health care plan will cut the deficit. Both the AMA and the President owe the American people an explanation.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    42 Responses to Why is the AMA Supporting a 20% Pay Cut for Their Members?

    1. Jack, Oklahoma says:

      This is a huge disappointment. The AMA does not represent this physician nor most of the colleagues I interact with on a daily basis. I am now convinced that the AMA is in the front pocket of the current administration and have sold out the professionals they claim to support. In supporting this piece of legislation they are making it clear that they are supportive of capping physician salaries ($50-$75,000), no tort reform; drawing a big fat target on the backs of the physicians (they claim to represent) for the malpractice litigation frenzy that is coming due to rationing and poor outcomes never before seen in our society, and unprecedented suffering and early demise of our seniors as a result of rationing and Medicare cuts (ARE YOU LISTENING AARP!!!), just to name a few. AMA has a corrupt agenda, they have been bought. I have attempted to drop my courtesy subscriptions (as I wouldn't be a member voluntarily), but short of threatening legal action they would not take me off their circulation lists. Why is that?? Could there be a unseen benefit for the AMA to say they have circulation numbers that are falsely padded by claiming the "courtesy subcriptions"? The corruption in this country runs deeper than anyone can imagine.

    2. Maggie Siegmund, St. says:

      I believe the reason the AMA is supporting this terrible legislation because they have think they will get treated better by the Obama Group. I would remind the public that the membership in the AMA has declined over the past 25 years and they are more "political" than "caring and concern for good Health Practices".

      This bill will destroy most private physician practices, it will eventually bankrupt private healthcare insurance and we will then have a health system much worse than England or Canada.

      Worst policy and law I have ever seen enacted.

      I have a 30 year backgroun in Healthcare Administration so I know what I am talking about. It appears that the majority of Congress does not.

      What a sad day for America.

    3. Paul Knight, NC says:

      Why does the AMA get so much attention? It is my understanding that they only represent 17% of the doctors in this country. Every doctor I have spoken to is not in favor of this health care reform.

    4. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Even IF the health care bill cuts the deficit by 132 billion in the first 10 years – so what.

      That is still a staggering amount of money for virtually every American to comprehend.

      However, what good does it do to SAVE 132 billion over 10 years when our government will spend 20, 30, 40 times that amount over 10 years? Once Americans fully understand that we operate on a ponzi scheme, no one will have the nerve to spout out such misleading statements on SAVINGS.

      We are not SAVING anything. We are borrowing, printing, and spending more money than the combined "wealth" of the history of the world.

      When you count UNFUNDED mandates, we are way over bankrupt.

      Millions of Americans are FINALLY "carping", as they should have done all along, about the reckless and irresponsible management of this country's future.

      We need a Constitutional Amendment to limit the amount of federal debt and demand an annual balanced budget. The gimmicks and shameful accounting procedures need to be outlawed.

      The climate has never been better for this movement than now. This and term limits is the only way to stop politicians from abusing their power.

    5. J. Leonard says:

      It is past time for physicians to march in the street.

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    7. Bobbie Jay says:

      The government has already proven to be liars, cheats and thieves. More now then ever.

      We grow suspicious of the AMA as they've lost their dignity along with the government, to do the right thing for the people. AMA have fallen weak and into GOVERNMENT temptation. Or it's part of an all around Obamacare ploy to dismiss the reputable doctors who save lives and make a difference and replace them with socialist doctors where there is no difference. Where this 20% cut is probably a pay raise for the AMA members who support it.

    8. Bob Kralovec, Wilmin says:

      Bankrupt! What did Spain,Germany,Great Britain, France and GM do ? They just reset the clock to

      zero and started spending again. Unfortunately, the joke is on us.

    9. A Responsible Americ says:

      I'd venture to guess that the AMA has endorsed this disaster because a majority of its members practice in fields that will be exempt from any real effects of the legislation. Meaning, plastic surgeons performing vanity procedures, and the like. Not general practioners or those who would have good reason to submit invoices to Medicare or Medicaid.

    10. BT, Port Allen, LA says:

      And just like "my" Senator Landrieu said at the end of her speech WHY she is voting for this bill….."if you remember, the majority of Americans spoke last November" meaning, I guess, we should shut up and put up. I have NEVER seen a party throw that mantra continuously in our face like the Dems have. I am sick of it and sadly, is there any hope for our country. I am 61 and will do ANYTHING not to have to access ANYTHING the government offers, including Medicare and Social Security when my time comes to do so. I am just planning on working until I leave this earth.

    11. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      Actually AMA represents LESS than 15% of all MD's, I am a nurse and all the Dr's, MD's and DO's are against this bill, the change should start with Tort reform, making sure premiums are spent on health care, not sorgees and big Golden parachute packages. I am 100% for doctors making decisions not some Ins. guy who's only medical knowledge comes from a chart in front of him. Medicine is NOT an exact science and we are all individuals so care and medicine varies from patient to patient, Gov't. needs to stay out of everyones private affairs, including health.

    12. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I forgot one thing, those MD's who are speaking for AMA most have not practiced medicine for some time, if ever.

    13. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Although the AMA ledership will support Obama's bill, the overwhelming majorty of the membership

      does not! As we all should know by this time, Obama is a LIER. He will say anything and distort the true facts to get his socialist dream passed by Congress.

    14. Hunter, Philly says:

      Senator Tom Coburn, also a doctor, said on the floor of the Senate this week that 22,000 british citizens lost their eysight due to govt. rationing. When a patient has macular degeneration it seems that the govt. waits for one eye to go completely blind before it will issue the medicine for the other eye.

      There are only 2 countries in the world with true single payer and England is not one of them. They are Canada and North Korea! President Obama has said (search you tube) that he wishes America to join them. This law is un-American.

    15. Joyce, California says:

      The AMA is obviously a front for Leftist policy. the AARP is as dangerous as the ACLU as it too is a front for Socialistic fodder. I just found AMAC which is an emerging society trying to push AARP off the page.

    16. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      The AMA sells insurance and the Obama hoods made a deal to protect their program.

      The AMA does not represent the best interests of doctors.

      They got to go.

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    18. SueD, AZ says:

      Cheer up, there is still hope this disaster will go down in flames. While this Congress has chosen to placate and excuse or justify the blatant abuses by ACORN, the constitutional rights of the American people are being questioned, e.g. Cornhusker and Louisiana Purchase kick-backs. With more "tea party" member pressures, both on Obamacare and objections to the pervasive questionnaire upcoming in the 2010 Census, America and Americans can win these battles and, hopefully, be better informed for the 2010 elections.

    19. Drew Page, IL says:

      Rest assured, the AMA is getting something for this endorsement from the administration. One day we will find out what ii is.

      AARP has sold out its constituency by supporting the Senate bill. AARP makes most of its money by selling and endorsing insurance. I and other previous members of AARP were constantly getting mail solicitations at home, over the air waves and in the print media to buy one type of insurance or another that they sponsor. By cutting the government subsidy for Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans, the 11 million people currently carrying those plans will see their premiums jump, driving many of those with Advantage plans into the Medicare Supplement plans sold by AARP. In exchange for their support for the Senate bill, AARP sells more insurance and makes more money.

      One hand washes the other and the beat goes on.

    20. Jim Winning Dayton O says:

      Regarding the AMA support of Obamanation care( not misspelled), it is very easy to read between the lines and realize there is already a behind the scenes (as every part of the health care process has been to date) agreement with White Hose(not misspelled) and AMA that there will be no reduction of reimbursement for the doctors. I don't think there should be either, but this reimbursement reduction counted to make the bill deficit neutral should not be used to calculate savings either. This is just another Dirty Harry creative financing gimmick.

    21. Dave, Laguna Niguel says:

      The AMA is no different than the AFL/CIO(big labor) UNIONS…BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE DEMORATS WHICH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL! They TAKE money from union members who are IGNORED as to their personal political preferences and give it to the DEMS for political FAVORS! Any group which is in favor of trampling our CONSTITUTION should be DISBANDED! And get out the TRUTH! It AINT about healthcare! Its about CONTROL and ENSLAVEMENT of 300 MILLION PEOPLE STUPID! And, the main stream media is all for this monstrosity! They are NEXT on the chopping block!

    22. John, Vienna says:

      The AMA must not be reading the your material, or perhaps taking too much medication.

      I am not a physician nor am I engaged in the formulation or delivery of Health Care Services. Nor do I participate under Medicare Part B, C, or D, even though I am eligible by age. I have subscribed to Medicare Part A, since its inception, because I had no choice.

      I expect a major and dramatic change in these programs in 2011 that could completely alter my own health care and my participation in these programs. The Senate version of Obama’s Reform Health Care, if signed into law, will force care givers providing Medicare services to do so at 80% of current charges, in spite of the fact that most doctors argue that the existing payments are not sufficient to cover their expenses.

      Based on this testimony, I reasonably conclude that the number of Doctors willing to discount their services by 20% in order to meet the new government imposed cost containment thresholds are few and far between, and I predict the number of care givers participating in Medicare will fall dramatically, perhaps to an unacceptable level impacting first the availability and second the quality of treatments provided under the Federal Medicare Program.

      Now let’s add 30 million untreated and potentially seriously ill patients to this boiling kettle of hot Medicare soup, and what might we expect to happen. Yes, your right, patients will have to line up early and wait to see a doctor, the waiting room will always be full, and the lines will extend out the door of the clinic, and around the building.

      Understandably, given the law of supply and demand, when the government legislates by law an environment in which the number of patients seeking Medicare health care services is increasing while at the same time lowering the revenue paid to doctors for treating these patients, the net effect is fewer doctors willing to participate in Medicare and fewer patients treated. I understand that Medicare Advantage was initially designed to resolve a similar problem and is considered a success. I also understand Medicare Advantage is to be discontinued in order to lower costs, in the same poorly conceived manner as reducing payments made to care givers treating Medicare patients. I ask you to judge are we all on the same page?

      Another way of predicting the likely success of Obama Health Care incorporating these proposed changes is “You only get what you pay for”, and since we intend to pay substantially less, on what basis does the AMA conclude that the new reformed health care will be better than what we have now.

    23. Tim Az says:

      It would seem to me that doctors could bring a class action lawsuit against the AMA to force them to purge Doctors from their circulation lists for cuurtesy subscriptions. These lists are obviously used to qualify them for some sort of govt. subsidies and to allow them to claim representation of more Doctors then the few they actually do represent. I would'nt want my name or practice soiled by an association that holds contempt for the medical field it is supposed to advocate for. Nor would I use the services of a Doctor who was a member of the AMA. That would be like having a brain surgeon remove a tumor when the surgeon would rather not be bothered at all.

    24. Tom MD, Houston says:

      The AMA is a political mover that doesn't stand up for the rights of patients and physicians. They are motivated by their own limited political self-interest. They need to learn good medicine and standing up for values of patient and physician like the Texas Medical Association does. The TMA is strongly opposed to Obamacare and is not afraid to say so.

      I'm proud to be a member of the TMA, and proud to have never been a member of the sleazy AMA.

    25. Joe, Phoenix AZ says:

      The AMA makes its money (almost all of it) from ICD9 codes. The deal is that the gubment will continue to use the codes if the AMA supports the legislation. Just that simple…

    26. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      The AMA leader stated yesterday, in response to a question regarding the 20% cut, that it has been pending every year and never allowed to stand. Don't know what kind of a deal he got but the docs should thank the AMA and get a 20% cut. Of course that won't help us, the patients, at all. The taxes, increased premiums, lower access and quality of health care all will be carried by us, the people, that the dems don't care about.

    27. Robert, Slidell, Lou says:

      The leadership of the AMA is a group of academic liberals who are the only "Doctors" who have the time to participate in leadership roles. The Medical Schools like to have their staff in such roles as a matter of prestige. Very few of them are actually seeing patients or practicing medicine. They are just a bunch of liberal college professors.

    28. Bobbie Jay says:

      Every employed person who is NOT TAX EXEMPT, is OWED SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, MEDICAID. THE TRUE OWNERS OF THESE GOVERNMENT ONGOING CORRUPTIVE SCAMS. DISCIPLINE OF THE GOVERNMENT, NEEDS TO BE IN ORDER, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND OF THE PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY.

      EXCEPTIONS ARE MADE TO THOSE WHO ARE TAX EXEMPT AND THE ONES WHO RIGHTLY PAID FOR IT ARE LEFT WITH THE GOVERNMENTS CORRUPT CONFUSION TO DEAL WITH! GET GOVERNMENT OUT! THEY ARE BIAS, RACIST THIEVES!!!!! WHO WANT NOTHING BUT DESTRUCTION OF THE GOOD OF MANKIND!

    29. Legion, Northeast says:

      I heard the AMA represents 29.1% of all physicians. Still a ridiculously low rate. The speak for the minority. And how many of the 29.1% like this plan? Certainly not the whole thing. Why would anyone vote to cut their own paycheck for working harder in a industry that is recession proof? This is your fault you people who voted for stinky b.o. and any demonrat or Rino.

    30. Jay from Glen Ellyn says:

      The AMA leadership are bureaucrats that do not represent doctors. Obamacare will drive me out of practice. Currently not everyone has health insurance but everyone gets health care (just show up at the ER). With obamacare everyone will have health insurance but no one will have healthcare. Jay

    31. Hal, Oklahoma City says:

      Follow the money! We've just gone through a melt down of the financial system due to greed and irresponsible behavior. Let's try to give people without insurance some medical care without forcing them to go to an ER and the rest of us paying for it anyway. It looks like most responses here just want to magnify the greed, as Wall Street did, by not facing the reality that what is going on is the medical elite not getting enough money while the poor get poorer.

    32. ED PERRAULT, NORTH P says:

      The other day John Dean, the former DNC Chairman made a comment on the news to the effect that if you want to see socialized medicine that is successful we should look at the Veterans Administrations healthcare program. Well I am a veteran and it is one of the worst examples outdated medical treatment. Just try and get some of the latest medicines for diabetis or heart conditions. They are so far behind on technology for prostate surgical procedures that even using the word antiquated does not fit the bill. V.A. healthcare is MASH care at it's best.Thank God I can afford private insurance. But what about those veterans that cannot??

    33. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Since when does the AMA represent the Patients? As to the savings of one Billion the first Ten Years, and one Trillion the second Ten Years; with the path they are on and the inflation that is bound to happen One Billion in the 1st Decade will be just about equal to One Trillion the 2nd.

    34. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      guerrilla politics taking back america one politician at a time

    35. Corky says:

      Oh yes, VA is a great example of a government run night mare. I am set up to get my diabetic medications every 90 days and I just went 2 weeks without!! My blood sugar went to 340 and I had to go to the ER! I am NOT the only one with troubles with the VA! I am on a fixed income and I am "to young" for medicare and "to old" for medicaid. I CAN NOT get any help what's so ever from State or Federal governments. obama is nothing more that a power hungry lier and pelosi and reid are his jesters.

    36. Jeff, Iowa says:

      When the members of AARP realized they had been sold out, a competing organization was formed to take its place ( http://generationamerica.org ). We need something similar to represent physician's actual positions, and to advocate in our behalf.

    37. Greg Clements, Round says:

      Hey Hal, you have been apparently getting your information from the fringe media (ABC, NBC, CNN, etc). While you are correct that greed and corruption were the cause of the financial meltdown, it was not the banks that were the source of that corruption and greed (with the notable exception of Goldman Sacs), it was Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Acorn who were (way back in 1994), and still are greedy and corrupt. You can't legislate or mandate equality of outcome. It never works. When the goverment quits distorting the markets with narrowly focused legislation, the markets will work properly, and that includes the health care market.

    38. Ron Miller, Murfrees says:

      Lets get some real savings. Starting in Jan.2010 every Washington pol. salary AND fringes should be cut 20% and cut again the same amount in 2011. All the fringes, haircuts, workout rooms swimming pools should be considered income and taxed as such. Maybe then we could get rid of a few of the corrupt ***** pols. that never seem to be voted out. I think our country is the only one that has a pol that has to be drug out of drug rehab to vote and has one pol so old and senile he has to be told where he is at. Shame on American voters.

    39. Illinois says:

      Americans will be sad when they will be waiting in the doctor's office and have an appointment but do not get to see the doctor that day because too many younger citizens came in and the seniors can come back tomorrow and wait again. Seniors, we are going to be in trouble getting doctor care. Like it is said in Great Britian, "Everyone has health care but not good health care."

    40. May, Texas-San Anton says:

      My husband and I just returned from an appt with our Opthamologist. When we asked him what he thought about Obama Care–his reply was–I will have to stop practicing and am very concerned about my own health care and my children's. We spent more time discussing this terrible situation that Congress is putting out country in than our own needs of the day! (We were well taken care of) but it shows you how the medical people are as concerned about their patients as well as their own welfare and their children. How can so many people in this country not see the horrific problems this administration is putting our country in? Whether democrat or republican–it will certainly affect all.

    41. Carol Gacioch RN RHI says:

      My question is if they pass this fiasco of a health care bill, can it be outlawed when O loses in the next election, or can the new congress this year, outlaw it and try to bring back what we have now???? I am 70 and still working, I am considering long term care insurance but wonder what will happen to that money if I do pay for it??? Can we the citizens impeach Congress on our own or even the president. This gets sadder every day and I am getting really scared. I may not have much longer on this earth, but what will we be leaving my adult children and grandkids??? Can we stop the insanity somehow??????

    42. FS, Detroit says:

      Actually, the AMA is a UNION that represents many physicians. Their primary role, like other physician interest groups, is to protect the outrageous salaries of doctors. Yes, I know about medical school debt. However, on average, after finishing a residency, physicians work for at least 4 times the salary of the average American. Medical school debt is easily repaid by the time one gets to the mid-30s. After that it is 30 years of a good salary.

      Physicians often complain of retiring early because of hard work. BS. They retire early because their retirement accounts are fat. Do you know of any unemployed physicians? Do you know of ordinary hard-working Americans who retire early because of "hard work/"

      Let me be clear. I do not begrudge the salaries of physicians. However, physician interest groups have restricted the supply of physicians. Shortage of medicare financed residencies? First, why should the government have to pay for residencies (my taxes)? Why can't the industry figure out a way to pay residents? Second, many residencies for family docs actually go unfilled because not enough students want to take them. Know who fills many of them? International docs from many developing countries.

      Medical training is one of the few (perhaps only?) professions that is not subject to the market because medical schools (another union) has restricted the number of docs they train. Between the 1980s to the early 2000s, the AMA was projecting a surplus of docs. Their solution: restrict the creation of medical schools and cap enrollments. Only recently, has their been an uptick in new medical schools. Has this restriction in supply happened in any other profession? Engineers? Computer Scientists?

      One incredible story I recently heard is of a British doc with decades of experience being required to do 4 year residency for about $40,000 per year in order to practice in the US. Only a cartel (the AMA and their cronies) would support that.

      You all are conflating Obamacare with protecting UNIONS of docs. I thought you were for a free market, including a free market of professionals.

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