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Saturday, November 27, 2010

When Will AARP, Consumers Union and AMA Be Held To Account for Obamacare?

The Daily Caller (h/t Instapundit) has an interesting post today on the push back by Tea Party supporters against corporations -- particularly in the pharmaceutical industry -- which cooperated and cut deals with the Obama administration to help pass Obamacare.  The Washington Post had a similar article just after the mid-term elections, focused not so much on Tea Parties but how the Republican establishment was taking note.

But what about AARP, Consumers Union, and the AMA, each of which provided invaluable cover and support to the administration, as documented in my prior posts:
In November 2009, as the House prepared it's Saturday night vote on Obamacare, I noted the role of the AMA and AARP:
Don't have much time this morning to comment further, but note the irony that today the jobless rate hit a 25-year high at 10.2%, and tomorrow night Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to push through a health care restructuring bill that is guaranteed to kill more jobs. The Democrats refuse to wait until Monday for a vote and insist on a special session Saturday night....

Oh, and AMA and AARP - you people have no idea of the damage you are doing by supporting this last minute rush towards madness. Or maybe you do, but you don't care.
It is time to hold all institutions -- not just for-profit corporations -- which helped pass Obamacare to account for what they did.  AARP, Consumers Union, and the AMA would be a good start.

Update 11-28-2010:  For the record, I let my Consumer Reports subscription, which I had for many years, expire last year, and I throw out all the membership cards and info. from AARP which show up in my mailbox.  As my readers know, I'm not a big fan of organized boycotts, but that doesn't mean I have to give them my money.

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  1. AARP support continues to erode and doctors continue to bail out of AMA.

    When I get an envelope from AARP asking me to join, I load all my other junk mail into their return envelope and stick it in the mail with a note about why I won't join. Even if it doesn't cost them money, I'm sure it pisses someone off.

  2. AARP gets nothing from me because of their overall politics, especially their anti-civil rights (anti-firearms) stand.   My online subscription to Consumer Reports expires in December and because of their support of Obamacare will not be renewed.

  3. I graduated from medical school in May and I refuse to join the AMA, no matter how many free textbooks they offer me.

  4. Cancelled subscription to Consumers Report years ago on account of their leftwing politics.

  5. As long as the AARP can get a single leftist to send them the price of a subscription they will stick with the leftists, in their hope to bankrupt this nation.

  6. Do not think that the AMA speaks for physicians. Fewer than 20% belong and I would guess that a majority of them are furious about the sell-out.

  7. I gave up on Consumer Reports years ago because of their constant screeching for a bigger nanny state, more regulations, more government, etc.

  8. I'm 61 years old, and get regular invitations to join AARP. I'm never going to accept. I disliked them even five years ago, because I see them as a lobby for giving retirees as much government money as possible, no mater what it costs the young or the country as a whole; now I detest them.

  9. After nearly 15 years, I let my subscription to Consumer Reports expire early this year. And unsubscribed to their Email updates, listing the reason as "Your support of Obamacare". Strangely enough, they keep sending me the magazine and an occasional bill, as if I never dropped them and I'll get over their Left-wing bias.

    Note to Consumers Union: There are product reviews all over the internet, for free, and written by people I trust more than you. I'm not gonna subsidize your Lefty politics anymore.

  10. Professor Jacobson: Somehow I was enrolled in AARP, and I stayed there until they betrayed we seniors on Obamacare for their own livelihood. I long ago gave up my Consumers Report/Consumers Union affiliation. I dealt with its longstanding major domo, James Guest, when he was the Secretary of State - cum Voters' Advocate, for the State of Vermont. He actually tried to impose a ban on advertising by non-Vermont banks, until our law firm nudged him toward a glance at the multiple Constitution provisions standing in his way.

    My most recent dealings with Mr. Guest's consumer "protection" agency, actually sent directly to him, and unacknowledged, was when my cancelled Consumer Reports subscription was re-renewed, without my consent. Not only did they renew me, but they charged the costs to the credit card that I had used to subscribe years before. OK, a mere lapse, you could say. But actually, it was a credit card that had been cancelled long before. I found out when VISA or Mastercard sent me a monthly bill that contained only two charges - first, an annual charge for renewal of the card, which I had not requested, and second, the subscription charge for Consumer Reports, Mr. Guest's consumer "protection" magazine.

    Clearly Mr. Guest's Consumers Union has ways not only to force dissatisfied readers into renewing a subscription to a magazine they don't want to receive, but also to get credit card issuers to re-open closed accounts through which to dun them.

    I'm retired, and have way too many interests to pursue this, but if there is a class action lawyer lingering over your comments section that wants a nominal plaintiff, I can probably give her or him an assist.


  11. I have disliked AARP since long before I retired. They got nothing from me because of their antigun stance, long before any Hillarycare or, now, Obamacare. Since I gave them nothing because of the antigun and now this Obamacare, seems like they ought to be paying me.

    I do, though, whenever I remember, always send that envelope back to them to cost them some postage.

    Never had a subscription to Consumer Reports, maybe I ought to extend my subscription to Rifle Magazine and Handloader.

  12. I was a member of the AMA for many years. I have let my membership lapse ever since the organization sold out physicians to support the recent health care reform measure. I know of several other physicians who have ceased being members of the AMA. I think the AMA must be feeling this at least a little as I just received a mailing asking why I'm no longer paying for a membership and asking what it would take to bring me back. Fat chance.

  13. Add me to the list of Consumer Reports non-renewals, both paper and on-line editions, because of their stance on health care reform. My paper sub ran out late last year, before Obamacare actually passed, but they sure were shilling for the concept.

  14. I was very active in the AMA as a resident, getting sideways with the current President of the AMA (Jim Rohack) over a decade ago convinced me not to continue the relationship. It did teach me about the nature of folks in politics, even the milquetoast medical kind, and the general nature of political organizations to drift to the left over time as the complainers are usually from the left and organizations are set up to deal with complaints.

    The AMA got roundly suckered, in return for their name on Obamacare they walked away with nothing. Their goal was a permanent "Doc Fix", we are nowhere near that even nine months later. As a hospital-based physician with no office overhead, I can survive a 25% hit in income. Few of my primary care colleagues can say the same and life will be very hard for Medicare beneficiaries, AARP members or not. There's a two-fer of fail right there. This may be the death knell of the AMA, if there was any truth in labeling they would rename themselves the American Academic Medical Association as that will comprise the majority of their members.

    The Texas Medical Association much more closely reflects my values, yet another example of representative organizations in proximity to their constituents doing a much better job of reflecting their beliefs and priorities. That might actually work in national politics, we should give it a try.

  15. The AMA survives only because the government bought and paid for it years ago by handing the organization a stranglehold on the codes used to bill for services. The organization maintains a policy of frequent updates, such that doctors have to pay several times a year for coding materials to submit bills for reimbursement. The system is arcane and, I suspect, that's also part of the deal...constantly changing the rules means the government makes money when doctors submit bills that don't have the newest codes.

    A thoroughly corrupt, inbred organization with delusions of grandeur and a record of failure when it comes to representing both the best interests of physicians, and the patients.

  16. I'm 61 years old, and get regular invitations to join AARP.

    I'm just over FORTY and have gotten invitations from them.

  17. I work actively to get everyone I know out of AARP clutches. What was a putative spokesman for the elderly doing getting euthanasia enshrined into case law in the Schiavo matter? When the death panels sign my death warrant I'll be cursing AARP.

  18. I've never been an AMA member, but have been one of the state affiliate (Oregon) which has successfully represented docs to the legislature. The AMA is incompetent at best.

    The specialty societies are mostly just as bad, I quit the American Academy of Family Practice over economic and political issues years ago. The AAFP was joined with the AMA in this mess.