Representative and physician Tom Price(R) of Georgia is stepping onto the national stage in the health care reform debate.
He recently hosted a teleconference of conservative physicians from the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, a far right group based in Texas.
Now he has set up, with funding from the NRCC, the "Physicians Council for Responsible Health Care Reform."
I had a message on my answering machine this morning tell me that Tom Price was contacting me to get my opinions about health care reform, and gave me a number to call (877-416-7188).
I called and was told about the group and told I was being solicited because I was a physician leader. I serve on the Board of Trustees of my state medical society, so I suspect that's how he got the (wrong) number. They then played a recording of Tom Price, which I can summarize very briefly: Be very afraid and stop the commies!
Less briefly: - HC reform is a threat to physicians - It will lead to government interference in HC - It will lead to a further decline in your revenue - It will let frivolous lawsuits continue - It will lead to TOTAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL of HC - Government burueacrats are bad and will ruin HC - HC reform will be disastrous for me - We physicians need to pull together and fight HC reform - We need to "get out the truth"
A pleasant young man came back on the line and asked if I would be willing to join the Council and it would require absolutely no time committment. Parenthetically, some Republicans did this a few years back, too. They called and asked if I'd let them put my name and title on a Wall Street Journal ad for tort reform or something. Makes the ad look impressive to have all those names, I guess.
In any case I responded that I disagreed with everything Rep. Price had just said. I also pointed out that so did all other leading professional organizations for physicians including:- AMA - American Osteopathic Association - American College of Physicians - American Academy of Family Physicians - America Academy of Pediatrics - American College of Surgeons - American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
I suggested Dr. Price does not speak for physicians and that he should go home and be quiet.
I was thanked politely and professionally, told the NRCC was paying the bills, and we hung up.
So, physicians, feel free to call and let Rep. Dr. Price he does not speak for you, either.
And since he has now identified himself as a "national playah" on the issue, I think it is ethical to start ringing up his offices, isn't it?