Some Doctors’ Groups Breaking With AMA To Oppose Health Bill
Doctors are divided over health care reform with an increasing number of them expressing opposition. The New York Times report: "Even though the American Medical Association offered qualified support for the Senate health care bill this week, many other medical groups are unqualified in their opposition. A coalition representing 240,000 physician specialists, like the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, said it 'must oppose the bill as currently written.'" In addition, the California Medical Association, representing 35,000 physicians, "declared this week that it opposed the current Senate legislation, joining counterparts in Texas and Florida that took stands in late November. The California doctors emphasized that the Senate bill did not make adjustments in a Medicare payment formula that would otherwise result in deep cuts in physician payments in coming years" (Sack, 12/3).
The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports on the variations in what doctors' groups are saying. It notes the overlap between the stands of the American College of Surgeons and the AMA. In addition, it reports, "The American Academy of Family Physicians cited pros and cons without supporting or opposing the overall bill" (Goldstein, 12/3).
CQ HealthBeat reports on some of the specific provisions that have drawn opposition from the College of Surgeons and its allies. The list includes "[t]he bill's Independent Medicare Advisory Board, whose recommendations possibly could become law without congressional action; Mandatory doctor participation in a 'seriously flawed' Physician Quality Reporting Initiative program that would penalize physicians who don't take part; A requirement that physicians pay an application fee to cover a background check for participation in Medicare, even though they already meet training, licensure and board certification..." and touches on a number of other provisions (Norman, 12/3).