As I continue to share information about the American Medical Association (AMA) as reported in a very lengthy and thorough article on MotherJones.com, I want to reiterate that what most people think of as an institution concerned with the well-being of the American public could not be further from the truth. The AMA was the biggest supporter of the tobacco industry knowing for 30 years prior to the surgeon general’s warning, that smoking was a health hazard and addictive, all the way up until it became absolutely impossible for them to maintain that stance. Then they supported big pharma knowing how addictive and deadly opioids are when misused and abused until once again, it was morally impossible for them to do so.
As a chiropractor with a desire to end addiction and help ease pain and suffering through working with the body’s incredible healing potential, I will continue my research into the various organizations that hold sway over politicians and the American public. Especially those organizations and the industries they support that create and promote products that are harmful to our health.
The Greatest Marketing Gimmick: The AMA “Seal Of Acceptance”
In its earliest days after its founding in 1847, the AMA reportedly “had just a few thousand members and a paltry budget for its first half-century of existence.” But that changed once the organization concocted a campaign offering their “Seal of Acceptance” to drugs, foods, and other items that met certain purity and transparency standards.” According to the MotherJones.com article, “Critics argued that the approval wasn’t based on particularly rigorous standards, but companies boasted about the AMA’s approval in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) advertisements and in their promotion more broadly.” Apparently back in the early 1930’s, Land O’Lakes was granted the “Seal of Acceptance” even while they were facing federal charges “for selling adulterated butter and eggs.” But that seal cured their “paltry budget.” By1948, JAMA subscriptions and advertising were bringing in $4.9 million in revenue.
Don’t Interfere With Doctors
Later on, as the AMA was working to preserve its relationship with Big Tobacco, (read about it in this month’s blog The AMA Hiding Behind The Smoke) “it was also laying the groundwork for a much more lucrative future, one that would reap profits from across the medical world—from private practice physicians to large hospital systems to the federal government.”
The AMA has historically been opposed to any form of national health insurance. It has been reported that, back in the 1930s, the “AMA opposed all health insurance on the grounds that “no third party must be permitted to come between the patient and his physician in any medical relation.” They even opposed Medicare, warning of “socialized medicine.” And, back in the 1980’s Congress tried to “reign in spiraling Medicare costs.” The AMA’s CEO at that time issued a warning suggesting that doctors “are really worried that they’re not going to be allowed to practice medicine as they know it…based on their own judgment.” We have seen how well that works out for hundreds of thousands of patients who were prescribed unwarranted amounts of opioids. Placing all of your trust in a doctor’s “own judgment” can be detrimental to your health.
So, let’s take a look at what the AMA has strongly supported and what they have opposed. They staunchly and strongly supported tobacco companies and opioid manufacturers. They put their seal of acceptance on questionable products. Yet they vehemently oppose medical care for all. And while it’s a fact that the AMA eventually supported the Affordable Care Act, they continue to oppose a single-payer option.