Trying to woo support from doctors, President Obama was booed when he told the American Medical Association he wouldn’t help them win jury award limits in malpractice cases. He was already playing to a somewhat hostile crowd, since the AMA had already come out against Obama’s “public option” health insurance, which the President suggested would be “scare tactics” and “fear-mongering” to call socialized medicine.
Um, sorry, Mr. President, but if you’re planning on offering government-funded and government-run health insurance (which even Joe Lieberman opposes), that by definition is socialized medicine. Whether or not it’s beneficial can be debated, but let’s at least be honest about the terms. It’s not scare tactics to call a spade a spade.
In my opinion, it was tactically stupid for President Obama to even bring up malpractice award limits in the AMA speech. If you’re trying to win over skeptics, don’t tell them to essentially pound sand on their biggest issue. He would have been much better served just leaving that part of his appeal, but so much for all those famed diplomacy skills, eh? I wouldn’t doubt, though, that the line was put in there as reassurance for Obama’s supporters, but it has the same effect of telling the AMA, “I won” and telling them its his way or the highway. And while he may have had some nice words for the medical profession, somehow I don’t think this is going to win over much support in the American Medical Association.