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June 19, 1972

Conservatism: In Defense of Freedom

JAMA. 1972;220(12):1600-1601. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200120050016

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Some publications, professional and other, devote much space to criticisms of the American Medical Association, as though the Association were an enemy of the profession or of the people. In the professional arena, conservative voices especially denounce AMA's sponsorship of the Medicredit proposal. Yet of all legislative proposals of this kind, Medicredit would be most supportive to private practice— the very thing conservative physicians hold most dear.

It is understandable that some physicians would dislike the prospect of even so much federal intervention as would inevitably be caused by Medicredit. Nevertheless, among many purposes served, merely having this proposal before the Congress has given the AMA a ticket of admission to the whole three-ring circus of legislative shenanigans. When the AMA had no solid base on which to stand, as was the case in Medicare days, the Association, after the Johnson landslide of 1964, received scant hearings and almost no