I wondered why the AMA was still pushing Pelosi’s bill…

Dems’ slick fix: $210 billion of fiscal restraint | Washington Examiner
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
November 13, 2009

Something unusual and largely unnoticed happened last week as Democrats pushed the national health care bill through the House. In a complicated, late-night maneuver, on a party-line vote, the House Rules Committee used the health bill to pave the way for a $210 billion increase in Medicare payments to doctors, without any money budgeted to pay for it. Congress then combined that $210 billion with a measure that would force lawmakers to exercise fiscal discipline — except when it came to the $210 billion.

It was a particularly slick move, even by congressional standards. With one vote, committee Democrats managed to propose spending a huge amount of money while also claiming to clamp down on spending. More importantly, they threw a very big bone to several physicians organizations, which badly want the increased doctor payments and to whom Democrats are deeply indebted for support of health care legislation. And at the same time, they gave cover to moderate Democrats, who are under pressure to support health reform but also fear the wrath of voters concerned about overspending.

This is pretty much the same sort of move the Senate voted down earlier.¬† I, like every other doctor, wants the SGR problem fixed, but this isn’t the way to do it.


  1. Yeah, I wrote about this ten days ago. Not good. I agree that the SGR fix, like everything else, should be paid for.

    What drives me nuts are the people who insist on fiscal discipline on these matters and then bitch when new taxes are found to pay for them.

  2. This kind of byzantine sh*t is what gives congress their well-deserved reputation. Bring this problem out into the light, debate it honestly, and let’s see where the chips fall.

    Is that too much to ask?

  3. The AMA sold out on its core values for a buck. What I feel is worse is that it claims to represent US physicians and from what I can tell it represents less than 13% and that number is rapidly decreasing with its recent actions. To top it off, it then decided to get involved with the military policy of “dont ask, dont tell”. Now it is even being courted by MoveOn.

  4. Why are people so shocked to find out that money will move/sway votes? This is not new, certainly not a secret of Skull and Bones and even more certain, a phenomena unlikely to ever disappear. Can’t herd cats – true, but getting cats to follow the food bowl, now that is easy. Especially if you know the food they prefer, in this case $$$$$$$$. When will it stop? Ask China they have all of our money.

    I wonder if the AMA suggeted to Obama a fee schedule for AMA members and one for Non-Members? Now that would increase membership !!


  1. […] I wrote a piece for AmSpec about the AMA’s cynical endorsement of Obamacare. Byron York (via GruntDoc) provides the latest chapter¬†of this tawdry tale: Something unusual and largely unnoticed happened […]