AMA Representation and CPT Code Books

T. Jackson Tidwell, MD
Article Type: 
Fall 2001
Volume Number: 
Issue Number: 

Dear Editor,

I have followed up on the notion that the AMA is another "arm of the government." The more I learn the more I am convinced all 32 percent AMA membership has going for it is "scream power." AMA leaders can scream about the benefits of "AMA Publishing, Inc." but that doesn't mean they have legitimate excuses. The AMA can scream and scream but when all is said and done and all the screaming is over, the federal government has the final say. All the government has to do is withdraw the AMA's exclusive publishing contract on the CPT code books. If the government were to put it out on bid, as it should like in a free market economy, the AMA would lose all that money and then the organization would have to go out and get members and work the old fashioned way. Right now, the AMA is not motivated enough to leave the government tit it is sucking on. This is very scary. We are so under the control of that contract they hold over us that the AMA will do anything to keep it, while we, the practitioners, are forced to do what the AMA and the government want in order to survive.

[The medical profession] has gotten itself into a pickle by non-vigilance, avarice, sloth, and lack of forethought in a very serious game. The government has us where they want us. We are stupid and manageable sheep, not ethical and responsible men. Baa. Baa!

T. Jackson Tidwell, MD
Columbus, GA

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2001;6(3);73-74. Copyright©2001 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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