American Medical Association

Republican Skeptics On Ryan Health Care Plan: John Kasich, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Darrell Issa, And Many Others

The Republican Party has an increasing number of skeptics about the Paul Ryan alternative bill to ObamaCare, which has now been scored on its effect on the budget by the Congressional Budget Office, and it is a total disaster.

All of the following are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, as it is, but warn against the House sponsored plan:

Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Congressman Darrell Issa of California
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado
Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Dean Heller

But also there are the right wing extremists, the Freedom Caucus House Republicans who oppose the Ryan bill, as do the following groups:

Freedom Works
Club For Growth
Heritage Action

And the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Association Of Retired Persons, and many other groups are also totally against the legislation.

So in the midst of control of both Houses and the White House, the Republican Party is in a crisis as to how to appeal to their base, as they work to deny them health care–elderly, sick, disabled, and poor.

A Century Of Struggle For Health Care: Theodore Roosevelt 1912 to Barack Obama 2012!

Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, out of office and running on the third party movement, the Progressive Party, in 1912, first proposed some form of national health exactly a century ago as part of his New Nationalism platform!

His distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, considered it as part of his New Deal in the 1930s, but it was controversial enough to promote Social Security, which was called “Socialism”, and bitterly opposed by most Republicans, and used as a campaign issue by Republican Governor Alf Landon in the 1936 Presidential campaign.

Harry Truman actually was the first to promote a program as part of his Fair Deal programs in the 1940s, but the Southern Democrats and the American Medical Association bitterly opposed it as “Socialism”, and it died in committees in the US House of Representatives and US Senate.

John F. Kennedy proposed what became Medicare for the elderly as part of his New Frontier, but it was blocked again by the AMA and the Southern Democrats who headed Congressional committees in both houses of Congress in the early 1960s.

Lyndon B. Johnson overcame the AMA and Southern Democrats, and accomplished Medicare in 1965, and the Republicans campaigned against it, but failed to gain enough support to repeal it

Richard Nixon had devised plans for more health care legislation, but Watergate killed any movement in that direction in the 1970s.

Jimmy Carter also had developed a plan for expansion, but faced too much conservative opposition and other issues and crises, which drew attention away from the idea.

Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton proposed a major government program, but it went down to defeat in 1994, with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the conservative Heritage Foundation proposing a “mandate” instead, which would allow private health insurance companies to profit from health care reform, but nothing was done.

And Senator Ted Kennedy fought the good fight for decades, and was at least able to see progress before his death in 2009.

And when Hillary Clinton, and then Barack Obama, adopted the Heritage Foundation plan in 2008, far less than the original Clinton plan of the 1990s, suddenly the Republican Party and conservative ideologists bitterly opposed it, as they still do, and their hope is to repeal the program declared constitutional by the Supreme Court this past Thursday.

So it has taken a century, and we are the ONLY major nation in the world which allows millions of people to be uncovered for health care, and we have the opposition bitterly trying to destroy it, including Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who actually promoted the SAME idea successfully in Massachusetts in 2006, but now is out to destroy “ObamaCare”!

What a history, and hard to believe that it would take a century, and still be a controversy in 2012!.

Dr. Jack Cassell, Congressman Alan Grayson, And Health Care Reform

A major controversy has erupted in central Florida, in the town of Mount Dora, where an urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, has posted a sign on the door of his office telling Obama supporters to go elsewhere for medical care.

A strong critic of the Health Care reform, Dr. Cassell claims that he is not denying anyone medical care from him, who wants it. He sees it as his right to make his position clear on the health care reform, and believes that very few people who have come to his office have turned away from walking in.

Congressman Alan Grayson, who is the Representative from Cassell’s district, is bringing a case to the Florida Medical Board and the American Medical Association against Dr. Cassell, as acting in a discriminatory manner against some of his patients, and others who might seek medical care from him.

He points out that the Hippocratic Oath and the American Medical Association Code of Ethics makes clear that a medical professional is not to use political viewpoints as a reason to refuse medical care to any of his patients.

Many would argue that this is a freedom of speech case, and certainly, in his role as a private citizen, Dr. Cassell has every right to express his views in any forum outside of his work place. But in his role as a medical professional at work, it is totally inappropriate and against medical ethics to do what he is doing.

Grayson is pursuing the idea of consequences for what Dr. Cassell is doing, and it seems appropriate that Dr. Cassell needs to agree to cease and desist in what he is doing at his workplace, and pursue it instead in other venues or even in running for public office to promote his views, if he sees fit.

Freedom of speech does not include the right to intimidate patients and imply denial of medical care, as much as it does not include the right to “shout fire in a crowded theater”. There is a time and place for such assertions of the First Amendment!

Support From American Medical Association And Public Opinion Poll For Health Care Legislation

Good news for the Obama Administration comes from the head of the American Medical Association, who calls the Senate bill good for America.

This is an important moment for that support, and a poll also indicates that as more people follow the health care debate, the public support is growing, as it becomes obvious that the GOP is promoting fear tactics and misleading information to try to defeat the bill.

It seems assured that a year from now, the American people will understand what the Democrats have done is for the good of the nation, and the Republicans will suffer electorally for their total opposition to dealing with this most important issue!

This does not mean that the Republicans will fail to gain seats in Congress, as that is a normal result in the midterm election for the party out of power. But those who think there will be major gains will be very surprised next November!