Healthcare policies are concerned with the quality and quantity of care citizens receive, with most of the funding typically coming from the taxpayers. The USA does not currently have public healthcare, although this is often criticized by the supporters of free medical care for all. In 2010, President Barack Obama implemented the Affordable Care Act, which strived to provide access to medical services for most Americans (Gaffney & McCormick, 2017). Policies are often supported or opposed by various interest groups, the organizations that aim to affect governmental decisions (Lumen Learning), and ACA is not an exception. The American Medical Association, a professional interest group of physicians, advocates for ACA over Medicare for All (Japsen, 2019). According to Lumen Learning, AMA’s general goal is to “promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health” (para. 21), which explains why it supports Obamacare. Comprised of over 200,000 doctors, the organization strives to help the entirety of the American population obtain access to medical care without uprooting the already-established practices (Japsen, 2019). AMA is mainly funded by pharmaceutical companies, which often puts it under scrutiny as a “greed motivated trade union” (SourceWatch, 2017). Nevertheless, the organization frequently lobbies for the causes its members believe in, such as Obamacare. Furthermore, the American Medical Association often funds political individuals and organizations fighting for the same goals. The fact that AMA consists of both medical students and esteemed professionals allows for different perspectives on the current issues and helps it focus its efforts on what matters. For example, as a strong supporter of Obamacare, AMA has been for years lobbying against Medicare, which has affected the current health policies in the US.
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Since I am not in the medical profession, I would not choose to join the association. However, suppose I were a medical student – in that case, it could be a helpful networking tool, as well as an excellent opportunity to make meaningful changes to governmental policies and have my voice heard. Although I would be concerned about the organization’s motivations, which are often money-based, I would want to be a part of it and, perhaps, attempt to modernize it.
Gaffney, A., & McCormick, D. (2017). The Affordable Care Act: implications for health-care equity. The Lancet, 389(10077), 1442-1452.
Japsen, B. (2019). AMA: Build on the ACA rather than pursue Medicare for All. Forbes. Web.
Lumen Learning. (n.d.). Boundless Political Science: Types of Interest Groups. Web.
SourceWatch. (2017). American medical association. Web.