Hey AARP, and AMA – where did you lose your souls? And where does the iron fist of President Obama end – and where does your influence begin?
Throughout our nation’s history, private advocacy groups have given a voice to the “voiceless,” and have changed the way our government has treated people who otherwise had been trampled-upon or ignored. But today, two of the more prominent groups of these sorts have become indistinguishable from President Obama’s agenda for “change.”
And these two groups may also be learning a very painful and costly lesson: when you get too close to “the man,” eventually “the man” can own you.
Let’s start with the American Medical Association. Any individual who can earn the title “M.D.” is worthy of significant respect, and one would hope that an entire association of M.D.’s would be equally as worthy – but the A.M.A. has seemingly got itself caught in the crossfire of the “Obamacare” war.
The association’s stated mission is to promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health; to advance the interests of physicians and their patients; to promote public health; to lobby for legislation favorable to physicians and patients; and to raise money for medical education. It is also noteworthy that the group originally opposed Medicare, fearing undue government intrusion in the medical profession.
But soon after Medicare’s beginnings, the A.M.A. changed their position – presumably they realized that government-funded health care through Medicare produced more guaranteed, government-funded wages for MD’s. Thus for all of my lifetime, the A.M.A. has aggressively opposed any cuts at all in Medicare funding.
Over the years the A.M.A. has also supported tight government limits on medical school entries – likely for the purpose of limiting the “supply” of M.D.,’s, and thereby enhancing the wages of M.D.’s. On this point the late Economist Milton Freidman once noted that the A.M.A. had become a “guild,’ and was shielding its present-day members from the potential competition of future would-be Doctors.
By mid-2009 the A.M.A. reverted back to being skeptical of government power again, and publicly opposed President Obama’s healthcare “reforms”. The Obama Administration countered the A.M.A.’s opposition with a pro-Obama political group called “Doctors For America.”
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.