At AMA’s Annual Meeting, Doctors And Nurses Demand ‘Get Out of the Way’ Of Medicare For All

| Resist!

Above: Nurses, doctors, and medical students demonstrated outside the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago on Saturday, demanding the group “get out of the way” in the fight for a Medicare for All program. (Photo: National Nurses United/Twitter).

 

Note: Protesters also went inside the AMA meeting and interrupted it with a dramatic protest which included a die-in as can be seen in these photos from HOPE in the Midwest – Health Over Profit for Everyone.

 

“The AMA is violating one of its most important ethical principles: ‘Do Not Harm.'”

Nurses, doctors, and medical students on Saturday afternoon gathered outside the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chicago, where the largest professional association for physicians was holding their annual meeting, to demand that the group “do no harm” and stop standing in the way of real, meaningful healthcare reform.

National Nurses United (NNU), Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) and Health Over Profit for Everyone (www.HealthOverProfit.org) were among the groups that gathered to call on the American Medical Association (AMA) to support a Medicare for All program, which would replace the for-profit health insurance industry with government-funded healthcare for everyone in the United States.

On social media, the groups used the hashtag #AMAGetOutTheWay to rally support for the protest.

The AMA is a powerful and wealthy lobbying force in Washington, D.C., but as at least one protester’s sign noted at the demonstration, it counts less than 25 percent of physicians among its membership—down from 75 percent in the 1950s.

“The AMA does not speak for us,” another sign read.

“The AMA is not fighting for their patients, they’re not fighting for the uninsured, and they’re not fighting for the underinsured,” said PNHP President and Harvard Medical School instructor Adam Gaffney at the rally. “We’re here today because the AMA is again on the wrong side of history.”

Advocates for a single-payer healthcare program in the form of Medicare for All say the group does not represent the views of the next generation of doctors. PNHP’s organization of medical students also had a large presence at the rally.

Our Revolution President Nina Turner told the crowd that skeptics of Medicare for All should listen to the perspectives of the medical professionals gathered outside the meeting.

“If you don’t believe Medicare for All is important, let’s hear from the people who stand by the bedsides of all of us in our worst moments and who have been its champion before it became popular,” Turner said.

Registered nurse Talisa Hardin accused the AMA of violating the primary oath taken by all physicians by refusing to back Medicare for All.

“The AMA is violating one of its most important ethical principles: ‘Do Not Harm,'” Hardian said. “Healthcare is a human right, and not a privilege!”

“We will not continue to accept mediocrity,” Turner said. “We will not continue to accept excuses as to why the wealthiest country on the face of the earth cannot provide Medicare for All for its citizens. We will not accept it!”

The above article has been edited with additional comments from Popular Resistance.

 

  • Matthew Borenstein

    AMA = either lead the way, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY ! ! !

  • Leticia Cortez

    I was at the protest because healthcare for all concerns all of us. I proudly marched with the nurses, medical students who organized it, the unions that joined it and of course with the one and only Senator Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution.

  • Neville

    The basic human right is affordable healthcare , if the USA spent less money on it’s mechanisation of war everyone could be afforded free health care

  • mwildfire

    Even without reducing the tremendous money wastage in warfare and preparing for war, we can afford it because it will be less expensive than the current patchwork mess of a system.

  • chetdude

    Alas, although it’s true that we must slash the bloated war budget and end the corruption of human kind, the “economy” and USAmerican “society” it represents, it’s only equivalent to a little over a third of the cost of USAmerica’s exorbitantly expensive corporate, for-profit remedial sick care industry.

    USAmerica’s war machines cost nearly $1.3 Trillion per year while sick care costs USAmericans nearly $3.5 Trillion per year.

    As mwildfire says, just passing HR1384 would eliminate over 1/2 Trillion per year, the cost of the leeches in the insurance industry…

  • Neville

    Before the AMA and the Insurance leeches become involved the US had a health system that served all Americans

  • chetdude

    Actually not.

    Before the AMA and “insurance”, people paid for what little remedial health care they got with cash, chickens and eggs. I truly wouldn’t want to go back there – in fact, even though the system nearly killed me with incompetence and malpractice last year and permanently allowed heart damage, they DID eventually save my life.

    The AMA drove other effective modalities out of the scene in order to push their much more profitable slash, cut and drug default “treatments” instead of promoting Health.

    Employer based insurance was a recent invention of H.J.Kaiser during WWII to circumvent wage freezes during the war. Alas, instead of replacing it with a comprehensive single-payer system as Truman wanted to, “health insurance” exploded like the capitalist cancer that it is.

    The insurance leeches just didn’t leech as much until the counter-revolution of the Plutocrats began in the early 70s and corporate profits became the paramount goal of the entire country and both wings of the One True Party.

  • Neville

    Before the AMA but after chooks ,cash & eggs the health system worked as it should in that it accepted all forms of medicine as a cure like for instance 2000 years ago the Chinese cured prostate but now Eastern medicine is not accepted by the AMA so the only choices are a long needle into the prostate gland or the knife or a long lingering death .