From Siegel's November 12 New York Post column, "The AMA's 'reform' sellout":
The American Medical Association leadership is spineless when it comes to the health reforms now before Congress. The organization has focused almost entirely on a single issue -- the repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which penalizes doctors a percentage every year if the total amount we're reimbursed exceeds government projections. The formula calls for a 21 percent across-the-board cut in our Medicare payments this year.
Yet the simple fact is that the AMA no longer speaks for the profession (if it ever did). Only about 20 percent of physicians belong, and many stay in only for the free subscription to the Journal of the American Medical Association, which publishes important studies.
I officially quit the AMA over the summer, and I haven't regretted it. I am now asking my fellow doctors to quit in protest, too.
At a time when we doctors are facing ever more cuts in reimbursements, shrinking direct payments from patients, more restrictions in the tests and treatments we can prescribe, the last thing we need is a bureaucratic group of lobbyists falsely saying they represent us.