Protesters demand major doctors group backs 'Medicare for All' at annual meeting

Pro-“Medicare for All” protesters demonstrated outside of the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates Annual Meeting in Chicago Saturday with a smaller contingent interrupting the meeting, according to MedPageToday.

“We are here for those who cannot be here today,” Claudia Fegan, MD, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), said, according to the publication. “We are here for those who cannot afford their care. Twenty-nine million people are still uninsured and even the insured have deductibles so high they cannot afford their medications.”

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Talisa Hardin of the National Nurses United union also addressed the group of demonstrators, blasting the AMA for its lobbying tactics.

“The AMA is violating one of its most ethical principles: ‘Do No Harm,’ by being on the wrong side of history,” she said, according to MedPageToday. “We want the AMA to publicly show its support for Medicare for All.”

The AMA has refused to back a Medicare for All program is because “they’re afraid of getting less money [as individual physicians],” Minneapolis psychiatrist David Mair, M.D., told MedPage Today. “The overall cost to run the business would go down [because] you’d have to have less admin staff, fewer prior authorizations, all the nonsense paperwork we have to do now. It’s still possible the pay would come down a little bit, but I think if all the doctors were united and they had the same payer, they could make the case [for higher] reimbursement rates, but they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them.”

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A smaller group of about 30 doctors interrupted the AMA meeting’s opening session to display a banner in support of Medicare for all and conduct a “die-in” intended to symbolize patients who died due to lack of insurance coverage, according to the publication.

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