It appears physicians are not the only group that’s taken notice of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) waning influence. The AMA’s recurrent failures in representing physicians have also attracted the media’s attention. In an article published by Axios on Wednesday, the growing dissatisfaction with the AMA from Congress’s Physician’s Caucus was reported. Of course, Axios tried to spin the problem as falling on the backs of Republicans, stating, “Republicans break with another historical ally: doctors.” However, a closer look reveals that the problem actually lies with the AMA.
According to Axios, Republicans have enjoyed a “historical alliance with the nation’s leading physicians’ group.” In studying the AMA’s political support throughout the years, the author notes a definite rise in contributions to Democratic candidates over the past three cycles. Although the numbers are accurate, the trend is not due to some Republican recalcitrance. In fact, some of it can be explained by the AMA’s tendency to siphon its contributions to candidates belonging to the party in power. Thus, the increase in contributions to Democrat candidates in 2020 and 2022 is predictably explained as reflecting the power balance in Congress and in the executive branch.
Yet more revealing are the sentiments quoted in the same article by various physician congressmen about the AMA. Physician Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, noted shortly after his meeting with AMA leadership, “It looks like all you care about are woke issues.” On the Senate side, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., observed that the AMA “has been very much left-wing or left-of-center for a long time” while voicing concerns regarding the misguided priorities of its subsidiary organizations such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. According to Axios, the tension has led some political scientists to conclude that the Republicans were losing the support of “doctors.”
This conclusion is bunk! Reports of the AMA’s decreasing influence are plentiful. The organization that in the 1950s boasted a membership of greater than 75 percent of America’s doctors now only attracts an estimated 12.1 percent of physicians. The reason was most succinctly expressed by Dr. Kevin Campbell, a cardiologist from Raleigh, North Carolina, when he wrote, “The AMA touts itself as speaking for all of us — but rarely listens to any of us — they work to fill their own pockets with dollars from big pharma and government.”
Dr. Campbell’s comments serve as a natural transition to the pivotal problem in American medical advocacy: The AMA no longer speaks for America’s doctors, and whenever the press or leftist politicians need to back up their unsupported liberal positions, they ride the coattails of the leftist AMA, as if it actually represents doctors!
If Axios were truthful in its reporting, it would state that the AMA (not doctors) has lost its alliance with Republicans (not the other way around), which leaves us with a very troubling situation. Unless physicians mobilize, they will continue to find themselves without appropriate political representation.
First, their national organization is neither willing nor able to listen to approximately half the members of Congress. Second, physicians’ positions are being ransacked due to the absence of any organized objection coming from the opposing side.
This disparity is being addressed, as physicians who are dissatisfied with the inactions and misrepresentations of the AMA are engaging with a newly formed United States Medical Association (USMA) whose goal is to serve as “the voice of America’s doctors” while “promoting the independent practice of medicine, the enhancement of medical technologies, and the development of medical science.”
If the USMA is successful in its quest, it helps balance out the one-sided, monopolized agenda driven by the biased, leftist forces of the AMA that act in the name of organized medicine. And if that happens, doctors and patients alike will be the biggest winners of all.