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At AMA's Annual Meeting, Doctors and Nurses Demand Powerful Lobbying Group 'Get Out of the Way' In Fight for Medicare for All

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/09/amas-annual-meeting-doctors-and-nurses-demand-powerful-lobbying-group-get-out-way

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National Nurses United founded in 2009 is a bit short sighted when it states Medicare for All would replace health insurance funded healthcare with government funded care. It does far more than that.

Glad to hear that these busy medical professionals are taking the time to protest the AMA, but I wish the story included a comment from the AMA about their stand on the issue.

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I bet that the sixteen members of Congress who are physicians side with the AMA on most matters. That is three percent of Congress, while physicians represent around one-third of one percent for the US population. Naturally these sixteen have secured numerous influential committee assignments of interest to the AMA, the tentacles of which stretch far and wide.

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The AMA represents doctors who expect to have a mini-mansion on a golf course, a BMW, a Mercedes, Country Club membership, a yacht, an airplane and a trophy wife plus office expenses, loans and mortgages to pay. That’s who the AMA defends, not medical students, nurses and small town doctors.

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The AMA also lobbies to continue to limit the number of medical schools, limit allowing foreign doctors to practice in the US, and make sure that Medicare never covers natureopathic medicine or acupuncture.

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Acupuncture is covered (in CA) by Medicaid. I’m not sure but it might be accessed by waiver with other providers. Naturopathic medicine is not covered except for chiropractic care.

Why is this protest taking place OUTSIDE of the AMA convention? I’m sure there are members who support PNHP and Universal coverage. They need to make their voices heard INSIDE the convention. Let the media film them being arrested and dragged out.

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Hey NB,

You are being a little chauvinistic. One half physicians now are women. I have been a physician for almost 50 years and still do part time primary care. Never joined the AMA, it poorly represented my specialty then and barely now. The deals that big Pharma and Insurers have made with the government are obscene. Physicians in general want reform.

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Thanks Earthbound. Nice to hear from a real doctor.

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The AMA oath: Thou shalt maximize profits!

If people don’t mobilize behind Bernie Sanders as presidential candidate, we won’t be able to get Medicare For All in the nearer future - and the situation will continue to deteriorate with many more deaths and bankruptcies and poverty.

That’s reality.

Liz Warren is a sell-out on Medicare for All, like the others.

These people at this demonstration know it’s Bernie Sanders. Nina Turner was there and she was incredible. Bernie and her should run together - her on the VP ticket. Forget every other Democrat, people. It really is Bernie or Bust as far as single payer is concerned.

These Justice Dems like AOC know this, too. That’s why they have played out for me pretty darn quick with their wardrobes and publicity stunts. She is not endorsing Bernie and her endorsement could make a big difference in his campaign - meaning - a big difference ITO whether or not we get Medicare For ALL. But she’s more interested in her career moves, rather than advancing issues. And the same goes for her talk on the urgency of the next 12 years on climate change since Bernie is the only front-runner who’s not bought and will deliver as needed with the leverage of the presidency on these issues.

So I’m finished with the AOC adoration club, too, along with the other Justice Dems. This country is finished. People are too worried about appearances to get anything done.

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How do you know? Has she said she’s not going to endorse anybody in the primary? What if she is going to wait until the debates are over but still before Iowa? That seems like the more principled thing to do if you ask me. If she endorses anybody (and I hope she does later), it will almost surely be Bernie.

I don’t believe in the ethics of super-delegates one bit, but endorsements are fine - I’d prefer them to come after the debates myself. I’d also prefer any talk about VP choices come after the nomination which is another area that people are pushing for stuff to happen too early if you ask me.

No, she makes vague responses “Oh I’m not nearly ready to make an endorsement,” etc.

The only thing she’s doing by playing this game with endorsements is handing the numbers to Warren and helping to defeat Bernie. And she knows that. She’s very numbers-savvy. People have noticed how Warren has been playing her up on her twitter stream and they’ve been so cheery together, etc.

The NYT has played her on this too, with stroking comments along the lines of, “Smart girl, not endorsing,” and clearly they want her to stay away from Bernie. He’s their big fear in this election. They’re more scared of Bernie winning than Trump. They never would have made Trump GOP nominee otherwise - and 1 step from the POTUS (and then dropped the ball on the general so greatly).

What’s important to know about AOC is that she has a unique ability w/ endorsements. She endorses someone and their numbers jump up. More than other people. So it’s quite valuable and she could be employing this “market value” toward putting a candidate in the POTUS who will truly advance the issues that she says she wants advanced.

But … I don’t think it’s so much about the issues for her. It’s about AOC. She’s more self-serving than people realize. Her foreign policy is quite weak too. And that is surprising given her involvement in climate change - bc our endless wars for oil are the biggest part of that problem - and - from someone who graduated from Boston University with a dual major in economics and international relations. Yet she mouths GOP talking points that would support a war for oil in Venezuela. She’s also totally quiet on Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Bottom line is these elections are totally unfair. And these members of Congress - especially the so-called Justice Dems - know this. They campaign on that point - with the money and media in politics. So for her to then posture as if this is about a fair election is total hypocrisy. She knows very well it’s helping to give the election to Warren and to defeat Bernie.

I’ll add too (to my last response post) someone endorsing early is nothing unusual. Barbara Lee endorsed Kamala Harris almost immediately. I later learned they’ve been friends for some time. But the point being, it was commendable, IMO, that Lee did this. Bc the progressive community was going to be driven crazy waiting to see if she’d endorse Bernie - or who she’d go with. And she cut to the chase and told everyone upfront what they could expect. Well, I have no such regard for what AOC is doing to the broader progressive audience “out there” or “out here.” She’s driving people crazy - and I’ve lost a lot of respect for her, as a result. I don’t like how Barbara Lee endorsed, but at least she didn’t F around with people like AOC is doing and knows that she’s doing. So I’m done with AOC - and Justice Democrats, for that matter - thanks to her. She has shown everyone what they’re really about - and how they are not the answer to the problems in the Democratic Party. We will have to build a third party instead - or just vote for strong independent candidates who aren’t beholden to either party’s leadership. As Bernie has been for decades. AOC’s brown-nosing of people like Pelosi has been sickening, too.

I’m not a huge AOC fan, but she seems promising. I did read (not my favorite source, but it’s what came up when searching for AOC endorsement 2020) that she is considering both Sanders and Warren (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/aoc-names-two-candidates-she-could-endorse-in-2020). I would have thought she would endorse Bernie for sure, but I see where you are coming from on the possibility she would endorse Elizabeth. I don’t know how key endorsements will be this time around - I actually imagined when Warren dropped out as I assumed she would after not doing well in the primaries, that she would endorse Sanders this time, but it really is too early to say anything other than (as AOC said) we can rule certain people out completely (in AOC’s case, she mentioned Delanay because of his stance on Health Care - https://www.salon.com/2019/06/03/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tells-democratic-2020-candidate-to-sashay-away-for-his-health-care-views/ - given this, if she really feels passionate about this issue she has to go with Sanders since Warren is very weak supporter of Medicare for All).

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Uggh, I missed that story. That is a depressing aspect of Barbara Lee who I recall people weren’t happy with here on how she voted in a defense authorization bill - I wasn’t happy there either, but this one is more shocking.

I don’t agree with you that Lee’s idea to endorse now is better than AOC’s idea to endorse later. I feel quite bad for voters who are biting their nails to see who anybody is going to endorse - can’t they think for themselves (at least for a while)? I like Bernie but he endorsed voting for Clinton (presumably in safe states as well of which I’m in one), I certainly don’t have to listen to him (I voted Stein). If and when the endorsements come, there will be others including progressive women who will endorse Sanders I’m sure (and I’m sure Khanna will endorse Sanders). But now I’m more interested to see who AOC ultimately endorses - I presume we’ll know this year at some point. I’m not worried about any poll postion right now - I think Bernie can still easily pull it off (or not, but his standing in the polls now has little to do with the probability I think).

On AOC and Pelosi, I’m kind of with you - I can’t stand Pelosi either, but I was willing to let this slide is the necessary political BS that those who want comittee assignments have to be willing to dole out.

It’s not about needing AOC’s opinion to figure out who to vote for - these people (including myself) already know who we’re voting for (Bernie Sanders) - we want her to endorse Bernie to help him win the race - and so these issues can advance - from Medicare For ALL to foreign policy to a Green New Deal to college for all, so on. Bernie in the POTUS is an enormous opportunity for the interests of ordinary Americans - for war and peace - for the health of the entire f’in planet to revolutionizing the U.S. health care system. Our elections are dominated by corporate media and big money - and having a politician like AOC who can significantly influence numbers with a mere endorsement is important, wouldn’t you say? So the rest is a bogus conversation in fake morality given the stakes and the outcome for millions of human beings … life and death? “Oh, but people need to make up their own minds.” Like that’s what they’re doing - and we have time for this lesson from Miss AOC up there high above?

No, Barbara Lee was honest, upfront, and showed respect for people by simply saying what she was doing and where she was coming from. AOC is a pretentious, FOS snot.

Our elections are finished at the primaries if Bernie doesn’t win. The rest is a farce. I will be disenfranchised by the Democrats. Yeah, I voted Green too in the general after they cheated Bernie. But I doubt I will next time. The Greens have their own issues - one of which is they don’t get the high stakes for people. AOC clearly doesn’t either. For all her big talk about 12 years crushing in on all of us. They have all the time in the world for their lessons in nothing more than their own sense of superiority. Yeah, we get that.

I don’t think AOC is promising, as you write. I think she’s a big disappointment already; a fast rise and fall ‘star.’ She’s already a sell-out.

I realize you and many many others aren’t using AOC’s input to decide - but somebody is (or it doesn’t matter who she endorses) - I feel bad for those people.

All agreed. There are certain things I like better about Tulsi, and I think she could beat Trump and have more ability to get consensus on changing our military. But I’m going to have to face facts after the debates and likely move my support to Bernie assuming she hasn’t dropped out by then. We don’t get ranked choice voting yet, so I have to vote for the most likely person to beat Biden (at the moment - maybe he’ll crash and burn before the CA primary) and that is Sanders. If it is somebody else by then who is the only person to beat Biden, I’ll have to weigh my options.

Yes. I’m not saying she (or anyone) shouldn’t endorse at all or that I’ll won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t endorse Sanders (I will) - I’m only saying I see no problems and prefer it in fact if she waits till after the debates. Basically that is saying - “Hey, I know a lot about this and I’ve mostly made up my own mind but we should hear everyone make their case before I influence any set of voters”. Basically I think all this polling and talk about the horse race is too early - if it were up to me I’d say polls be taken out of the consideration on who qualifies for the debate (use signatures or individual donations).

On Lee, I was more exasperated by her choice then her timing. I can’t believe she is picking Harris (my senator who is not an impressive progressive that I can see) over Sanders.

I’m not trying to convince you to change your mind on AOC - she’s done many things to irk me not the least of which is getting fundamental numbers wrong (I’m an engineer) and I am mostly in agreement with @LibWingofLibWing that Gabbard’s prexisting bill to deal with climate change was completely ignored by AOC which is ridiculous - when you join a movement you see what there is to build in before throwing out your own proposals. But on the waiting to endorse - I’m still on AOC’s side.