My fellow Family docs: Did you know that you are now officially part of the Obama organizing machine?

In the AAFP news:

Physicians need to be closely involved as the recently enacted health care reform legislation begins to take effect, according to AAFP President Lori Heim, M.D., of Vass, N.C. “It is the implementation of (health care reform) that we have to be intimately involved with,” said Heim, during a March 22 Capitol Hill rally sponsored by Doctors for America.

What the article doesn’t state is that Doctors for America was originally an organization called “Doctors for Obama”, and that this “grass roots” organization is associated with and funded by “Organizing for America”, which is part of the Democratic National Committee.

Good morning, Family docs: Did you know that your dues are paying for our elected leaders to go to political rallies associated with the Democratic party?

It gets worse.

I pointed out last year that the AAFP was deeply involved with the Democratic party and the Herndon Alliance, which wrote the “talking points” for it’s “grassroots” to follow (LINK).

Heal Health Care Now – The American Academy of Family Physicians has partnered with the Herndon Alliance to develop Heal Health Care Now, an initiative that supports meaningful health care reform.

So who is the Herndon Alliance? From the Politico:

Herndon can be viewed as the messaging arm of a vast center-left infrastructure pushing health care reform…

And they did this by manipulating the “message”.

“The research from 2006 to 2007 was fundamental to helping shape our view of how to talk about health care and, generally, how progressives and Democrats talk about health care,” said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager of Health Care for America Now, a major umbrella organization for liberal groups.

Well, not all “liberal” groups, since the Physicians for a National Health Plan, who support “single payer” health reform, note that Herndon is full of those who supported President Clinton’s failed program, a program that was closely connected with big insurance and HMO’s, who were already unpopular for their own version of medical rationing. The article then goes on to show how they manipulated polls and data, releasing pres statements that seemed to show the desired results, which was quickly picked up by the media, and of course, quickly parroted by those in professional organizations with whom they networked.

So last year, a press release claimed:”450,000 Doctors Demand: ‘Heal Health Care Now’ “.

How did they get those figures? If you read the article, you will find in whose name they speak:

organizations representing 450,000 doctors …The American Academy of Family Physicians along with the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Medical Student Association, Doctors for America and the National Physicians Alliance

Except, of course, the AAFP didn’t poll their members  before they spoke in our name.

Of course, the average Family doc wouldn’t  know about that, because most of us are working 60 hours a week seeing patients, studying to keep up, and in our spare time caring for our families (which for we women docs meant a lot of cooking, housekeeping and attending PTA meetings).

We are not alone in having our leadership co-opted without our permission.

The same thing happened to Catholic nuns and Catholic hospitals.

Probably a lot of them were horrified to wake up and read in the press that they opposed their bishops to “support” the Obama  healthcare bill, despite the fact that the bill supported abortion paid for by tax payer money.

After all, they belonged to organizations whose leaders supported the bill, so the press obligingly reported the story as if these leaders actually represented their membership.

The same goes for the Catholic Hospital Association, whose head claimed to speak in their name as approving of the bill, which funds abortion with tax payer money

Of course, there is another reason the CHA might support the bill:

I know that CHA was heavily invested in passing legislation — having spent over $1 million last year to make it happen — and that they stand to gain quite a bit financially from its passage. But neither the lobbying nor the reason for the lobbying are even mentioned. Just the dissent from the bishops.

What does all of this mean?

Well, one suspects that the “Tea party” movement is the tip of the iceberg. When we join organizations that cooperate in selling us out, using our membership fees, and who claim to speak in our name while supporting a bill that includes committees who will decide how we practice medicine, it makes me wonder if it is time to quit the AAFP.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes about medical issues at HeyDoc Xanga Blog

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