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The serpent on the staff : the unhealthy politics of the American Medical Association

Author: Howard Wolinsky; Tom Brune
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The American Medical Association has played a key role during the past century in defining what health care is and how it is delivered in the United States. Now, as the nation tackles reform of the inefficient, costly, and often inaccessible health-care system that the AMA helped build, this powerful doctors' lobby once again is asserting its influence.
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Wolinsky, Howard.
Serpent on the staff.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c1994
(OCoLC)606140815
Online version:
Wolinsky, Howard.
Serpent on the staff.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c1994
(OCoLC)624339500
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Howard Wolinsky; Tom Brune
ISBN: 0874777542 9780874777543
OCLC Number: 29564382
Notes: "A Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam Book."
Description: xvii, 267 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: American doctors' association: Looking after medicine's special interests --
Fighting 'The Inevitable': Stopping national health insurance at all costs --
License to make money: Turning Medicare into a cash cow --
Deep pockets: Buying time and clout in Washington --
Principles for profits: Keeping medicine's business ethic alive --
Medical monopoly: Waging war on alternative medicine --
Smoking gun: Playing politics with tobacco and the public's health --
A doctor's right to choose: Putting physican choice first in the abortion crisis --
Political science vs. medical science: Bungling health policy on the AIDS epidemic.
Responsibility: Howard Wolinsky and Tom Brune.

Abstract:

The American Medical Association has played a key role during the past century in defining what health care is and how it is delivered in the United States. Now, as the nation tackles reform of the inefficient, costly, and often inaccessible health-care system that the AMA helped build, this powerful doctors' lobby once again is asserting its influence.

In The Serpent on the Staff, award-winning Chicago Sun-Times reporters Howard Wolinsky and Tom Brune present a critical dissection of the AMA, issue by issue, showing how the nation's best-known physicians organization has time and again acted more as protector of doctors' wealth than as guardian of the public's health. For the past decade Wolinsky has covered the AMA more aggressively than any other reporter in the country.

In 1989 he teamed up with investigative reporter Brune to expose a financial scandal that led to the resignation of the AMA's chief executive.

Based on years of interviews and painstaking research into private and government files and internal AMA documents, The Serpent on the Staff reveals an array of disquieting decisions and public positions taken by the AMA: how it spends millions of dollars to influence politicians and sway public opinion to stall health-care reform; how it succeeded in turning Medicare into a financial windfall for doctors, and how it fights to keep it that way; how it delayed joining the crusade against smoking because of its long, close association with tobacco interests; how it attempts to block competing health professions, such as chiropractic and osteopathy in the past and nursing today; and how it fumbled the nation's public policy concerning AIDS.

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