AMA House Ends on Sour Note: The Policy & Practice Podcast

The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates meeting wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon, a day ahead of schedule. The delegates touched on a wide range of issues over the four days at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.  None was more hotly debated than whether the AMA should back the so-called individual mandate that’s a central tenet of the Affordable Care Act.

AMA delegates at work. By Alicia Ault

While much time and energy was devoted to that topic, delegates also discussed many public health, practice management and payment issues.  The nation’s obesity epidemic was addressed in many resolutions.  Pediatricians and medical students pushed for having the AMA take a strong stand on fast food, competitive eating, and physical education.

The annual meeting generally showcases the diversity of opinions among the nation’s physicians and among the various medical specialties that make up the House of Delegates. In the end, the policies that are adopted are supposed to reflect some kind of consensus forged out of those many voices.

But perhaps more than any year in the past, it was clear as the meeting ended that the AMA is struggling to maintain a consensus.  Many state delegations complained of declining membership, which they said was directly related to dissatisfaction with how the AMA was representing them.

Take a listen to our final wrap-up podcast on the meeting proceedings.

And tell us whether you think the AMA continues to represent your voice in medicine.

— Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)

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Filed under Family Medicine, Health Policy, health reform, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Podcast, Practice Trends, Primary care

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