Thursday, June 11, 2009

Maybe Starbucks can sponsor the AMA's Operation Coffee Cup II

By J. Thomas Duffy

After all, they want to "do business with people with like-minded values," which brought them to sponsor the Morning Joke Show, so it seems that there would be the vibe for them to get behind the AMA, to trot out Operation Coffee Cup II, and rail against the evils of "socialized medicine" once again.

You see, the AMA did that, back in the early 1960s, using a well-known "actor," Ronald Reagan:

The operation received support from Ronald Reagan, who in 1961 produced the LP record Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine for the AMA, outlining arguments against what he called "socialized medicine". This record would be played at the coffee meetings.

(You can go HERE to listen to The Gipper pitch against "socialized medicine.")

As Gomer Pyle would be apt to say, "Surprise, Surprise!"

The American Medical Association is at it again:

Doctors’ Group Opposes Public Insurance Plan

As the health care debate heats up, the American Medical Association is letting Congress know that it will oppose creation of a government-sponsored insurance plan, which President Obama and many other Democrats see as an essential element of legislation to remake the health care system.


While committed to the goal of affordable health insurance for all, the association had said in a general statement of principles that health services should be “provided through private markets, as they are currently.” It is now reacting, for the first time, to specific legislative proposals being drafted by Congress.


But in comments submitted to the Senate Finance Committee, the American Medical Association said: “The A.M.A. does not believe that creating a public health insurance option for non-disabled individuals under age 65 is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs. The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70 percent of Americans.”

If private insurers are pushed out of the market, the group said, “the corresponding surge in public plan participation would likely lead to an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers.”

But wait! ... That was this morning.

This afternoon, the AMA was singing a different tune.

AMA Walks Back From Its Opposition To All Public Options

The American Medical Association is walking back from its strong opposition to the public option ...


But now, the AMA has issued a statement saying that it is willing to accept a public plan that looks like the private option:

Today’s New York Times story creates a false impression about the AMA’s position on a public plan option in health care reform legislation. The AMA opposes any public plan that forces physicians to participate, expands the fiscally-challenged Medicare program or pays Medicare rates, but the AMA is willing to consider other variations of the public plan that are currently under discussion in Congress. This includes a federally chartered co-op health plan or a level playing field option for all plans. The AMA is working to achieve meaningful health reform this year and is ready to stand behind legislation that includes coverage options that work for patients and physicians.”

No doubt, there's a whole lot more dancing to be done to this tune.

In the meantime, the AMA is probably casting about, for the new well-known actor to record Operation Coffee Cup II.

Hmmm ... Wilford Brimley has been doing some medical commercials ...

Or, better yet, let Morning Joe and Ms. Mika Joke do it!

That way, they can plug Starbucks at the same time ...


Bonus Healthcare - Socialist or Private - Riffs

Joe Sudbay (DC): Dear AMA, You're saps and a big part of the health care problem for not standing up to the insurance companies who run your lives

Kevin Drum: The AMA Takes a Shocking Stand

Sam Stein: American Medical Association Trying To Torpedo Health Care Reform Again

Bob Cesca: The Health Insurance Mafia Deserves a Good Screwing

Jurassicpork: Here There be Windmills... Maybe

Matthew Yglesias: AMA Opposing Public Option

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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