The American Medical Association went to bat for the Democrats on ObamaCare, campaigning openly for it and giving the Obama administration a number of photo ops that allowed him to claim support from the entire medical community for the top-down overhaul of the American health-care system. In exchange, the AMA hoped to gain enough political IOUs to keep Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement cuts from taking place. Instead, all they got was a few month’s reprieve — and a growing reputation as saps, according to Politico:
Months after delivering its crucial endorsement of the health care overhaul, the American Medical Association has found itself with fewer friends on Capitol Hill and more critics questioning its lobbying savvy.
Its troubles couldn’t come at a worse time: It is more dependent than ever on having allies in Congress, thanks to the growing number of Medicare patients.
The AMA’s most prominent lobbying failure has been its inability to repeal the obsolete formula governing payments for Medicare patients — a method that has for years required regular temporary “fixes” to avoid big pay cuts for doctors.
The problem predicates itself on the AMA’s willingness to prostitute itself on behalf of a basic deception in ObamaCare. Democrats attempted to sell it as a net deficit reducer, but kept the reimbursement cuts in place to do so. The AMA willingly went along with ObamaCare, assured that a side deal would eliminate the cuts, even though that would destroy the economic basis for claiming that the bill would bend the cost curve downward.
At the time, Democrats didn’t think it would take long to get ObamaCare pushed through Congress. The so-called ‘doctor fix’ attempts began last summer, but stalled as attention drew to the problems it would create with the fiscal argument for ObamaCare. Meanwhile, the AMA kept pimping for the overhaul while pressing Democrats to keep their end of the bargain.
Unfortunately, Democrats began looking at the polls — and started scaling back the doctor-fix legislation. Instead of playing along the second time, the AMA attempted to campaign against a compromise bill that would have scaled back the cuts for the next five years rather than repeal them altogether. After spending millions of dollars, they succeeded in stopping the five year plan, but instead Congress adopted a five month fix that will last until just after the November midterms.
Now the AMA has found itself outside of both parties on Capitol Hill. Democrats, having passed ObamaCare with the AMA’s millions of lobbying dollars, has no more use for them. Neither do Republicans, who would rather work with other health-care associations that don’t sell themselves out so easily. The AMA is six million dollars poorer and in the worst shape in which it could possibly be — and they only have themselves to blame for it.