Why did the American Medical Association oppose the creation of Medicare and Medicaid?
2009-11-15 21:37:17 UTC
During 1964 and '65, the AMA opposed different bills proposed in Congress to provide government funding for health care for the elderly and the poor. In spite of this opposition (and following President Lyndon Johnson's landslide election in 1964), different versions of these bills were later blended together and adopted as the Social Security Act of 1965, creating Medicare and Medicaid.

Why was the AMA opposed to this? What were their arguments against government funding for health care? On what grounds?

Where can I find a description / explanation of their arguments online?

(Yeah, I know this debate was a long time ago...)

(I'm not asking this question as a lobbyist or proponent for any group in the current 2009 health care reform debate. I don't have a vested interest or any stake in the current debate. It's just an honest historical/curiosity question, partially trying to use that previous debate to shed light on the different philosophical / political ideas involved in this question. Please try to answer by talking about the debate that was happening at that time, in 1964-65, if that's possible.)
Four answers:
2009-11-15 22:20:59 UTC
Because they didn't want Government interference in their (belief in ) free trade, commerce. Think about it, before Medicare & Medicaid, Doctors were extremely wealthy and controlled prices for their services & charged what the market would bear. When the Govt. got involved, it set "normal and customary prices" for procedures and limited the income of the medical practitioners. And, a big And, they had to fill out forms, were regulated to a degree by the states and had to answer to the State's Medical Health Board. It limited their practice & basically had to take on Medicare & Medicaid (who would have been charity patients & probably refused medical care) patients for set fees.

No "industry" nor business wants regulations but they had to accept it because it was the law & passed by Democrats & I'm sure then most doctors were Republicans.

You can relate that debate to the health problems & debates thatt we are having now for Health Care for everyone.
Dr. Patrick
2009-11-15 21:49:25 UTC
The argument, then, centered on two issues: (1) Whether or not the aged, or a substantial number of them, did in fact need help with their medical bills; and (2) if they did, what mechanism should be employed to cope with the problem. As the debate progressed, the first point came to be accepted as true, although there continued to be differences over the seriousness of the problem. At the end the unresolved conflict was over means. Three basic alternative approaches were considered—either separately or in combination: (1) some form of Government subsidies for private insurance carriers as in … the AMA’s Eldercare; (2) direct Government, payments for medical services to low-income elderly through State welfare agencies as in the … Kerr-Mills programs; and (3) health insurance financed and administered through social security.
2015-07-30 22:49:45 UTC
They also supported the tobacco industry back in the 1960s.
2016-09-12 15:09:23 UTC
Interesting thread!

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