The American Medical Association announced on Monday that it is closing its 55-year old news magazine, AM News. The AMA is also shuttering the AmedNews.com website, which was managed by the magazine. The AMA said in a statement that revenues for the publication had fallen by a third in recent years. Part of this is no doubt due to the general decline in print publishing. AMA’s support of ObamaCare, contrary to its members’ wishes, likely also played a role.
“It’s symbolic of a once iconic organization that has lost its way and no longer represents the physicians of America,” said a former senior AMA staffer familiar with the matter told Breitbart News. “Most physicians view the AMA as completely irrelevant, if not hostile, to their practices, and they are certainly not going to read the AMA’s version of Pravda.”
During the intense debate over ObamaCare, the AMA surprised many observers by throwing its prestige in support of ObamaCare. AMA support gave many Democrats cover to support ObamaCare. AMA thought it had a deal with Democrats on a reimbursement issue in exchange for its support. That deal, of course, was dropped from the bill after the organization came out in favor of it.
Thousands of doctors cancelled their membership as a result of the AMA support of ObamaCare. In 2011, just two years after the bill passed, only 17% of doctors in the US were still members of the AMA. Of those who remained members, 87% oppose the ObamaCare law.
Even the 17% figure is probably inflated. A knowledgeable source told Breitbart News that medical students effectively are required to join the organization to gain access to necessary textbooks. Although they don’t pay dues, they are counted as members. Only around 10% of practicing physicians are likely members of the AMA, the source said. As recently as the 1980s, 90% of doctors were.
The closing of AM News is just the latest sign that doctors are turning away from the organization.