[Please scroll down for update]
Several months ago, we raised the question (and a lot of hackles) of whether doctors - as a group - are dim bulbs. Our justification for concluding that they were was fairly damning: the AMA website, which continued to tout a government takeover of the health care industry [ed: see UPDATE below for news].
But the AMA doesn't necessarily speak for all physicians, and a grassroots effort to stop the gummint juggernaut has been launched:
"We are an organization of concerned physicians committed to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, promotes quality of care, supports affordable access to all Americans, and protects patients’ freedom of choice."
Let's examine those principles one by one:
"sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship" Under a nationally-run system, the government decides who you see, when and how often you see them, and (under some proposals now under consideration) what courses of treatment the physician may undertake.
"promotes quality of care" This should be self-evident, but under current gummint-run systems (e.g. Medicare, VA), quality of care is not the primary metric (that would be cost).
"affordable access to all Americans" That one's somewhat of a puzzler: there are already a myriad of programs, both public and private, that give every American access to health care.
"protects patients’ freedom of choice" Freedom to choose which doctor (or doctors) one may see, what kinds of care one may receive, and the opportunity to make (informed) choices.
That last is especially relevant: while the politicians and pundits try to cast this battle in terms of economics and heart-strings, it's really about choices, and the freedom to make them. To choose whether or not one wishes to buy insurance, and what kind; the freedom to choose a provider, or not; the freedom to choose personal accountability and responsibility.
Choice versus mandate.
UPDATE: Well looky here! The AMA has finally seen the light, and has now gone on record as opposing the so-called "Public Plan."
Of course, they continue to conflate health care and health insurance:
"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.”
Still, if they can be made to see the light on one major issue, perhaps there's yet hope for the doc's.