From Democracy NOW!

President Obama is ramping up efforts for his proposed overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system. On Monday, the President spoke at the annual conference of the American Medical Association in Chicago, opening a week in which healthcare will dominate attention in Congress. Obama’s speech before the AMA on Monday came just days after the group signaled opposition to his proposal for a public health plan to compete with private insurers. We speak with Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program, and Dr. Chris McCoy, an instructor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and the chair of the policy committee for the National Physicians Alliance. He recently withdrew his membership from the American Medical Association in protest over their position regarding a public healthcare option

President Obama is ramping up efforts for his proposed overhaul of the nation”s health care system. On Monday, the president spoke at the annual conference of the American Medical Association in Chicago, opening a week in which health care will dominate attention in Congress.

On Wednesday, leaders of the Senate Finance Committee hope to unveil what will be the one bipartisan measure in Congress. Obama revealed more details of his plan over the weekend, outlining $313 billion dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid aimed primarily at the revenue of hospitals and drugmakers.

Obama’s speech before the AMA on Monday came just days after the group signaled opposition to his proposal for a public health plan to compete with private insurers. In his speech, Obama defended his plan and used some of his strongest language to date to reject a single-payer system that would eliminate for-profit insurance companies entirely.

President Obama speaking before the American Medical Association on Monday. With a quarter of a million members, the AMA is the nation”s largest physician group. It gave more than $1.8 million dollars to federal candidates in the last election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Throughout its history the AMA has opposed many efforts at health care reform, including leading the charge in the mid-1960s against the creation of Medicare.

Dr. Quentin Young, National coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program. He has been a member of the American Medical Association since 1952. He was Reverend Martin Luther King’s doctor when King was organizing in Chicago and was a close ally of Barack Obama in Chicago

Dr. Chris McCoy, an instructor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and the chair of the policy committee for the National Physicians Alliance. He recently withdrew his membership from the American Medical Association in protest over their position regarding a public healthcare option.

See video here.

4 Comments

  1. care4all on June 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    The American Medical Association (AMA) does NOT represent most physicians. The majority of physicians are not members of the AMA.

    Quote from a report:

    “Physician membership in the group has DECREASED TO LOWER THAN 19% of practicing physicians.”

    Source :
    Report of The Board of Trustees 20 – A-06



  2. Tom Hagan on June 16, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    “Many like what they already have” – Obama, referring to private health insurance.

    It would be fascinating to know how many who like what they have now think of it once they are in bankruptcy court with upayable medical bills. Or after they lose their jobs and their insurance. Or get sick and then change jobs.

    And didn’t slaveowners “like what they already had”? And many male voters before women’s suffrage? And didn’t Jim Crow racists denying civil rights “like what they already had”

    Enough of this nonsense. HR 676.



  3. Sara Gusseck on June 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I am furious when I hear some Democrats and Republicans say the single-payer health care is not an option or it wouldn’t pass. I’ve had no coverage for years due to cost and prior condition exclusions. The only option that is sound economically is single-payer, a not-for-profit health care solution.

    Having one’s insurance tied to employment is so outdated as to be ludicrous and at the same time a burden on employers’ bottom line.

    I used to be more hopeful, but am beginning to believe I’ll never get health care – at least until I’m 65 and eligible for Medicare. It’s not that far away, but I wonder if they’ll try to get rid of that also.



  4. JPA on July 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Dr. McCoy is not on staff at Mayo Clinic. He is a chief resident in internal medicine. He joined AMA 3 months prior to quiting. (I’m a staff physician at Mayo). Mayo Clinic has also expressed serious concerns with the public option.