At AMA’s Annual Meeting, Doctors And Nurses Demand ‘Get Out of the Way’ Of Medicare For All

At AMA’s Annual Meeting, Doctors And Nurses Demand ‘Get Out of the Way’ Of Medicare For All

Note: Protesters also went inside the AMA meeting and interrupted it with a dramatic protest which included a die-in as can be seen in these photos from HOPE in the Midwest – Health Over Profit for Everyone.

Original Article by Julia Conley for Common Dreams with added commentary by Popular Resistance

“The AMA is violating one of its most important ethical principles: ‘Do Not Harm.’”

Nurses, doctors, and medical students on Saturday afternoon gathered outside the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chicago, where the largest professional association for physicians was holding their annual meeting, to demand that the group “do no harm” and stop standing in the way of real, meaningful healthcare reform.

National Nurses United (NNU), Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) and Health Over Profit for Everyone (www.HealthOverProfit.org) were among the groups that gathered to call on the American Medical Association (AMA) to support a Medicare for All program, which would replace the for-profit health insurance industry with government-funded healthcare for everyone in the United States.

On social media, the groups used the hashtag #AMAGetOutTheWay to rally support for the protest.

🤕 29 million are uninsured.

🤒 44 million are underinsured.

🤑 137 million have suffered due to exorbitant medical costs.

This is what a BROKEN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM looks like.

This is why we fight for #MedicareForAll – this is why we say #AMAGetOutTheWay! pic.twitter.com/wQOD1GQOgJ

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) June 8, 2019

THANK YOU to @snahp_national and @PNHP for exemplifying what it means to “do no harm” and for your patient advocacy! 🙏❤️✊@AmerMedicalAssn, stand with us in supporting #MedicareForAll or get out of the way! #AMAGetOutTheWay pic.twitter.com/foKf4nr835

— Alyssa Kang (@1alyssakang) June 8, 2019

Marching to the AMA plaza for their annual meeting to call on them to stop fighting against #MedicareforAll #AMAGetOutTheWay pic.twitter.com/ZwkAvX6xGW

— Natalie Shure (@nataliesurely) June 8, 2019

The AMA is a powerful and wealthy lobbying force in Washington, D.C., but as at least one protester’s sign noted at the demonstration, it counts less than 25 percent of physicians among its membership—down from 75 percent in the 1950s.

“The AMA does not speak for us,” another sign read.

The AMA protesters have logged on #AMAGetOutTheWay and support #MedicareForAll pic.twitter.com/OOhxZfRmke

— Natalie Shure (@nataliesurely) June 8, 2019

“The AMA is not fighting for their patients, they’re not fighting for the uninsured, and they’re not fighting for the underinsured,” said PNHP President and Harvard Medical School instructor Adam Gaffney at the rally. “We’re here today because the AMA is again on the wrong side of history.”

Advocates for a single-payer healthcare program in the form of Medicare for All say the group does not represent the views of the next generation of doctors. PNHP’s organization of medical students also had a large presence at the rally.

Our Revolution President Nina Turner told the crowd that skeptics of Medicare for All should listen to the perspectives of the medical professionals gathered outside the meeting.

“If you don’t believe Medicare for All is important, let’s hear from the people who stand by the bedsides of all of us in our worst moments and who have been its champion before it became popular,” Turner said.

Registered nurse Talisa Hardin accused the AMA of violating the primary oath taken by all physicians by refusing to back Medicare for All.

“The AMA is violating one of its most important ethical principles: ‘Do Not Harm,’” Hardian said. “Healthcare is a human right, and not a privilege!”

HAPPENING NOW: RNs, medical students, physicians, allied health care workers and activists are marching to the @AmerMedicalAssn‘s House of Delegates meeting.

We’re demanding that the AMA stand up for their patients: support #MedicareForAll or get out of the way! #AMAGetOutTheWay pic.twitter.com/MWtlSf4v0p

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) June 8, 2019

“We will not continue to accept mediocrity,” Turner said. “We will not continue to accept excuses as to why the wealthiest country on the face of the earth cannot provide Medicare for All for its citizens. We will not accept it!”

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