AMA Sorry About Fighting Health Care, Offers America A TokeS

The American Medical Association—the doctor lobby—has fought health care reform tooth and nail throughout its entire existence. Until like last week! Maybe this explains their change of heart: they are all high on mary jane.

About 15% of actual working physicians are members of the AMA, which means they're not terribly representative of doctor opinions, but it's all they got, and it has generally not been a fan of government health care. In the '60s, the AMA warned that Medicare would destroy the fabric of American society and kill all the olds. (Now they oppose any cuts to Medicare of any kind, of course.) But then they endorsed the House health care reform bill! And then, apparently drunk on liberal praise, they went on to endorse gay marriage and the abolition of Don't Ask Don't Tell and medical marijuana.

The AMA noted that bans on gay marriage lead to health coverage disparities. Then, in a counterintuitive bit of logic, they said DADT was also hazardous to the health of the LGBT population (you'd think banning them from the military would, on the whole, do a lot to keep gays and lesbians alive, but there is an issue with doctor-patient confidentiality and military doctors being forced to report the sexual orientation of personnel who go to see them).

Finally, they reversed their 12-year position on the demon weed. The AMA used to say marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, which is insane what is wrong with this country, but now they say that if it is going to be used medicinally that there should probably be some controlled clinical trials involving it, which is impossible under its current classification as "a substance that will get your daughter raped by a colored jazz musician."

So aside from that whole "arranging a doctor shortage" thing the AMA is looking pretty good these days!