Tom Price’s promotion sparks a medical backlash

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell. (AJC file)

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell. (AJC file)

One of the first groups that rallied to Georgia Rep. Tom Price’s defense when he was tapped as Donald Trump’s new health secretary is also one of his most stalwart allies: The American Medical Association. And their strong endorsement has provoked a backlash from some doctors.

More than 5,500 healthcare providers have signed a petition penned by a trio of physicians – Drs. Jane Zhu, Navin Vij and Manik Chhabra, that contends the “AMA has not aligned with the well-being of patients.” They called their piece “The AMA Does Not Speak for Us.”

“The AMA represents approximately a quarter of physicians in the US — a loud, but minority voice,” read the piece.

They’re backing an AMA rival called the Clinician Action Network, which said its membership has surged after Trump’s election. Zhu told CBS News that the goal is not to block Price’s confirmation, but to fight his attempts to unravel the Affordable Care Act.

“We want to show our physicians’ organization that there are a number of physicians out there that feel Dr. Price’s policies are going to harm patients and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she told CBS.

Price, a Roswell surgeon, may have more to worry about than this growing medical lobby. The New York Times reported that Democrats plotting a path forward – and focused on blocking attempts to restrict access to healthcare coverage – have settled on Price as a juicy target.

More AJC coverage on Tom Price:

Tom Price, the Georgian who will lead Trump’s health policy

Georgia Democrats target Tom Price’s vote on Confederate flag emblem

Tom Price, Kasim Reed and the Art of the Deal: Georgia edition

Price’s promotion sets off a scramble to fill his north Atlanta seat 

Confirmation appears clear for Georgia’s Price as health secretary

Scoop: Georgia Rep. Price expected to join Trump Cabinet


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