UncleSamDrThe AMA leadership supported the Bill.  (I am informed that the AMA Membership did not support the Bill).  It is my understanding that they were offered higher Medicare Payments.  It is pretty sad to see people sacrifice their principals for a small increase in payments for a short period of time.  I also understand there were many very upset docs at the Houston meeting of the House of Delegates of the AMA this weekend.  They are upset at the sellout, and should be.

The AARP leadership supported the Bill. (I am told that the vast majority of Seniors did not want Medicare payments increased nor did 11,000,000 of them want Medicare Advantage benefits deleted).  Of course the AARP got strong weapons against their competition in the Medigap insurance arena in return for their support.  Talk about selling out your constituency.  As I said in an earlier post, I would quit both the AARP and the AMA were I a member of either.

The Trial Lawyers supported the Bill.  (They benefit from stiff penalties for any State that choses to limit attorneys fees or place caps on awards in Medical Malpractice Suits – payback for helping elect Mr. Obama and majority Democrats).

The SEIU supported the Bill.  Why not?  The Democrats claim it will give medical insurance coverage to almost 47 million more people.  More customers means more pay, more job openings, more money thrown at their industries.

The major Insurance Industry ‘leaders’ supported the Bill.  They like the idea that everyone will be required to buy insurance.  Sure they will be subject to huge new Government mandates for coverage, but they will have less competition so raising prices will be no big problem.

So the AMA ‘leadership’ sold out their rank and file doctors for a temporary fix to Medicare payments.  And the AARP sold out their seniors, especially those on Medicare Advantage, so they could sell more Medigap insurance.  And the trial lawyers avoided the dreaded cap on fees and the even scarier cap on damage awards by their huge contributions to the campaigns of many House Democrats.  The SEIU, of all these major interest groups, may actually be looking after the needs/desires of the bulk of their membership.  They are very short sighted but I think their members are as well.

Then there are the Congress Members who were bought off with minor provisions that helped them politically in seeking reelection.  The lone Republican to vote for the Bill comes from a normally strong Democrat Constituency and he was given special ‘incentives’ by the President.  He also cast his vote after the needed 218 yes votes had already been counted.  The ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats that were needed for the Bill’s passage were bought off with a last minute amendment that was to disallow abortion coverage in government mandated medical insurance policies.  That allowed them to keep their ‘right to life’ stance and still vote with the Democrats.

What is saddening about the whole thing, other than the fact that the bill will create huge deficits and spend more money than anything like it in over 50 years, is that the vote was political, not representative.  Instead of having our representatives vote for what was right for their constituencies, a majority voted  to keep their seats in Congress.sellout