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Dear Doctor,

We miss you, please come back. To show you how much we miss you we will offer you one half price dues for a year. Puhleeeeeze? 

Love and Kisses,
The AMA

Trade groups are a little like a Ponzi scheme, to survive the group needs to grow keep growing their membership, because there is no way that dues from existing  membership can keep up with the rising costs of running the organization.

The AMA has been bleeding membership lately. Their own estimate is that membership will drop 5-7% by the end of the year. The reason for the loss is Obamacare . Doctors realize that the AMA’s support of Obamacare went against the best interests of their membership.

Dr. Mark Siegel explains:

…In desperation, the AMA membership group is e-mailing ex-members like me, begging us to rejoin at half the usual fee. Sorry: I’m not forking over $210 for the “privilege” of being an AMA member — even if they do toss in a year of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a copy of the pocket 2010 Physician Desk Reference Dosing Guide and other freebies.

I have no intention of rejoining this ethically compromised organization. As I announced in The Post last August, the AMA lost me because it’s become not just an ineffective guardian of the interests of practicing physicians and their patients, but a de facto opponent of those interests.

In a defining moment last year, AMA leaders donned white coats to appear with President Obama and endorse his health-reform plan.

Now, only an ideologue can think that ObamaCare would be good for doctors or patients. Any practicing physician is too familiar with the problems of Medicare and Medicaid to think such government-run care is an improvement over the (often frustrating) system of private insurance.

The AMA leaders (“true believers” aside) probably knew that — but backed the president anyway, because he promised a permanent “doctor fix” to end the yearly threat of savage cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. Suckers: Obama and Congress never delivered.

Instead, we doctors were hung out to dry, with the threat of a 21 percent cut hanging over our heads for months. In fact, the cut actually took effect for a while — with only a temporary fix applied. The AMA actually felt obliged to advise doctors (in another pathetic e-mail) to consider halting or slowing their Medicare services until the problem’s resolved.

Bottom line: The AMA not only sold out its principles, it also got stiffed on its deal. Nice lobbying, guys.

In fact, the AMA is utterly insensitive to the struggle that practicing physicians across the country face as we struggle to keep our offices open amid shrinking reimbursements and rising costs. It no longer represents quality medicine and it certainly doesn’t represent doctors.

Hopefully, the AMA along with another organization that sold out its membership for Obamacare, the AARP, will continue to bleed membership and will eventually be supplanted by a group that actually supports its constituencies.

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