A question for the American Medical Association: What were you thinking?
Despite the national news media’s near-complete refusal to report it, the news was no less real. United Healthcare, a managed care health services company based in Minnesota, is underway with laying-off “thousands” of physicians in Connecticut.
The reason? The company won’t dare say this, but they had to do something to stave-off their decline in revenues, a phenomenon brought about by – you guessed it – the new federal healthcare law, AKA “Obamacare.”
President Obama once famously promised “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” but that promise is not being kept for Medicare patients in Connecticut. The physicians who are losing their employment are specifically assigned to treat Medicare benefits’ recipients there. And this may be only the beginning of Medicare patients “losing their doctor,” because the Obamacare law reduces funding for the elderly and disabled recipients of Medicare benefits, just as it takes-on the burden of funding new websites, databases, subsidies for those who will receive health insurance “for free,” and lots and lots of new federal “administrators.”
The sad truth, though, is that the association that purports to represent the entire medical profession – the “AMA” – actually supported Obamacare for a time, before they officially and viscerally opposed it. And ironically, they opposed Medicare before they officially and viscerally supported it. Without any particular commitments to economic principles and with a seemingly naïve understanding of public policy, the AMA has welcomed the government’s encroaching control over their profession.
It started in the early 1960’s when the idea of Medicare was first proposed. The AMA warned their members that the government’s “intrusion” in to their profession could disrupt doctor-patient relationships, and lobbied Congress against passage of the Medicare legislation.
But soon after the implementation of Medicare, the AMA recognized the benefits of the government’s steady stream of revenues and began to support it. And for most of the last half-century or so the AMA has aggressively lobbied Congress against any and all proposed Medicare funding reductions.
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.