December 21st, 2009
02:02 PM ET
3 months ago

Doctors' group endorses Senate health care bill

American Medical Association President-elect Dr. Cecil Wilson announced on Monday his organization's support for the Senate health care reform bill.
American Medical Association President-elect Dr. Cecil Wilson announced on Monday his organization's support for the Senate health care reform bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The American Medical Association, a traditional opponent of health care reform, on Monday endorsed the Senate health care bill nearing a final vote in the chamber.

Dr. Cecil Wilson, president-elect of the nation's largest advocacy group for doctors, said at a news conference that the amended bill would solve major problems with the health care system.

"The AMA is pleased to announce its support for passage of the amended ... bill," said Wilson, an internist from Winter Park, Florida. At the same time, Wilson said, the AMA will continue working for additional changes in a final health care bill that results from merging the Senate bill and a House version passed last month.

Wilson became president-elect of the AMA in June, and will serve in that role for a year before becoming president in June 2010.

The AMA has long opposed the kind of health care reform measures contained in the Senate and House bills. It announced this year that it supported health care reform efforts, but had concerns about specific issues such as a proposed expansion of Medicare coverage.

The expanded Medicare provision has been cut from the Senate bill.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. R.B.

    I admit this bill doesn't have everything that everybody wanted; it's hard to please every concerned citizen out there. There are a lot of disillusioned Democrats and Independents out there who voted for Mr. Obama thinking "yes, we can" was gonna be a piece of cake. But, guess what, IT's NOTt. The bottom line is: will this bill curb out of control health care costs and spending? If it doesn't do that, then, politics aside, what's the point? Then I agree with the GOP it shouldn't pass. But for those who say this bill is a liberal fairy tale, I say: the previous GOP administration spending us to the brink of the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression era is not a liberal fairy tale; it was conservative nightmare and America is now paying the price for 8 years of deregulation, costly wars, and reckless arrogance.

    December 21, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. I am The No-So-Great and Powerless Wizard of Rush

    So Sen Tom Coburn (R-OK) says its OK to pray to God for other Senators to fall ill or die.
    What a piece of hypocritical CaCa.
    I pray to God that Se. Coburn will have his government paid-for health care to be rescinded, just after he's diagnosed with a painful and protracted STD. Amen.

    December 21, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    " that includes the greedy unscrupulous lawyers. Vicious circle."

    You think that until you need us. While I don't do med-mal, just wait until you've had the wrong limb amputated, a cancer misdiagnosed (or missed diagnosis) or a surgical sponge left in your abdomen. Suddenly we're your best friend. Besides, since you idiots don't seem to understand (a) the Constitutional issues regarding victims' rights to seek redress thru the Courts and (b) the FACT that tort reform has not worked to reduce health care costs in places like TX where it has been tried, it's fairly obvious you don't realize you'r yet against arguing against your own interests.

    December 21, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Laura, Boston

    Of course the AMA will endorse this bill...they made a side deal with the white house to have Medicare premiums pay them more for services rendered.

    They also are one of the biggest organizations to lobby congress for perks...you need our votes and the president needs dems in the house and senate...get it "quid pro quo"!!!

    December 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. LIP

    My mother was recently hospitalized and the topic of conversation in the hospital was health care and everyone, to include the doctors do not like nor do they endorse the current health care bill. They said that the AMA as an organization may support it, but the doctors don't.

    December 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "The AMA no more represents caring doctors than the AARP represents the poor elderly"

    Funny you say that...you know...seeing as how when Obama mis-spoke/spoke to early about the AARP supporting the reform bills the GOPers/neoclowns were quite quick to cite the AARP as NOT supporting the reform bills and regurgitated a whole host of talking points about how that showed the AARP was truly concerned about the elderly, etc. That's ok tho: we kinda like your "say anthing/whatever's convenient" approach...you GOPers/neoclowns have talked yourselves in so many hypocritical circles it's a wonder you're not vomitting for real.

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. diridi

    they should also stop bringing whole bunch of foreigners...for residencies...we need American kids to educate in Medicine...ok...first give priority to American kids for Medicine...not this foreigners from India...ok

    December 21, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. CL

    right learning independent "how many know that most Dr's are not a member of the AMA because it is a liberal org? How do you know that? do you have a count? do you know for a fact that this is true? I think not. Look moron if you cannot give us facts or something to support your blabbering, then you need to shut the hell up loser.

    December 21, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Take a step back and look at why the AMA would just love this legislation. They are not the patients. They are not the insurance companies. They are the ones all of the cost increases will be paying. They are about to get a monster huge raise for years and we get to pay for it through our taxes. Life is good again.

    December 21, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. ggb

    Means nothing to me.....I know how few physicians this represents!

    December 21, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Charlotte

    Dems, please stop begging opponents to read the bill. Don't you get it? They aren't smart enough to read. They aren't smart enough to grasp the complexities of what is and is not in the bill, all they want to do is continue to promulgate the LIE that this is some form of "government takeover" and even if that were true, they have absolutely no coherent points as to whether this would even be a bad thing. They are hopeless dimwits and they will never read it – and if they try, they will not comprehend, but wlil fall back on the pre-scripted squawking points that their elected thugs have been spewing in an effort to kill anything that could be considered a credit to our President. Ignore them, they barely read English much less anything technical.

    December 21, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Right Leaning Independent

    Less than 25% of doctors belong to this farce of an organization and most of the members are Residents that get a break on the fees! Do not believe for one minute this organization represents the majority of doctors in the US!

    December 21, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. southerncousin

    Don't you wonder what kind of deal they got? We already know that AARP is bought and paid for by the SEIU (that great union also owns ACORN and a whole lot of Illinois politicians included Hussein Obama). Crooks and liars, all of them.

    December 21, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Mike

    Whooppeee! The AMA backs it! That should tell everyone to duck and cover! Working in the health care field and seeing doctors from all specialties on a daily basis I can tell you this...I have yet to find one that wants any of these bills, and that's out of at least 235-250 doctors of all types. Amazing.

    December 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. barbara

    everyone that has benn paying attention already KNEW that the AMA supported this disaster of a bill. the question is really, how many real doctors support this bill? you will find that most OPPOSE it. the AMA is just an organization that collects dues from those that want to be a part of the group. It does not speak for doctors as a whole but just its paying members.

    December 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Paul from Phoenix

    Hey libs, the AMA represents less than 20% of licensed doctors, so don't get too excited about this endorsement. It is the equivilent to saying the Green Party endorsed a democratic candidate.

    December 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Nix1

    It always amaze me when something does not effect people they can a rat butt about other people. But as soon as they are affected they cry for change. People only care for themselves, i wonder if Jesus cares for himself when he help heal people and die for humanity.

    I hope all of you who want nothing to change stay healthy and well this Holiday season.

    December 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Marc, Canada's single payer system is the best!

    Doctors suppoting this bill should concern everyone.

    It's the equivalent of lawyers being happy about anti-trust not going through. More money for doctors. Of course they support the bill.

    Canada's got it right folks.

    December 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    While I am for reform to the health care industry, no one can say for sure that it is going to end up being better. I know what will be said of Democrats if this fails but I wonder what Republicans will say if it works.

    December 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. rjs

    Less than 20% of doctors belong to the AMA, so what out the other 80% of doctors? Almost two-thirds of Americans are against this current health care biil. I assume we just IGNORE that fact, correct?

    December 21, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. ib

    Wonder how much was given to the AMA to buy them off like they did Nelson and who knows how many others????

    December 21, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Paul Short

    It's true, AMA Endorsement, who cares?

    From Wikipedia:

    "The American Medical Association (AMA), founded in 1847 and incorporated 1897, is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States. While its membership has declined in recent years, it claims approximately 20% of practicing physicians as members."

    December 21, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Michael Z; Norway, MI

    To Right Leaning Independent and MVDCT and all others who agree with them: It is you who are badly mistaken. I am an internist and cardiologist in private practice. It is true that only 20% of the physicians belong to the AMA, but not because it is a liberal organization, but rather because it doesn't represent the interests of most subspecialists, most of whom are moderate to conservative politically. Every one of the medical specialty organizations, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, has come out IN FAVOR of health care reform being proposed currently, IN WRITING. Everyone of the Hospital organizations and Nursing organizations has also, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, come out in favor of this health care reform, IN WRITING. Over ninety five percent of physicians belong to at least one medical specialty organization, and while the specialty organizations do not speak for all physicians, they do relay the wishes of the overwhelming majority of them. Stop believing the crap that you have been told by policital commentators. What I am telling you is the documented truth, like it or not. Anyone who thinks the AMA is a left wing organization, ARE YOU KIDDING? The AMA was vehemently opposed to Medicare before it passed in 1965 and they were opposed to President Clinton's health care reform proposal in 1994. They did not suddenly become a liberal organization in 14 years. They are, in reality, no more liberal politically than the NRA, and the vast majority of members of the AMA are Republicans who voted for Reagan, George Bush Sr., Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain, an indisputable fact.

    December 21, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Put the public option in the bill so everyone can live happily ever after!!!

    December 21, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Fangbird

    Who cares what a bunch of doctors think about this? What do they know about medicine?

    December 21, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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