Do you know the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist? The ophthalmologists are afraid you don’t and that optometrists are edging onto their turf taking business which is ophthalmologist business. The ophthalmologists have sought to solve this problem (as they see it) via their friends in Congress.
This effort reflects a trend generally toward seeking to limit health options for consumers in the name of medical licensure and increased public safety. In truth it’s an effort to protect a monopoly or near monopoly.
Does AARP really speak for the elderly? Or the AMA for doctors?
An article in the Washington Times by Dr. Richard Armstrong (2/6/12, P 36) explains that the AMA as recently as the 1960′s represented 70% of American doctors, but now only represents 15%. In the 1960′s, it opposed the creation of Medicare. The government decided to win the AMA over by granting it a monopoly in 1983 on the treatment coding system to be used in Medicare. The same CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) system is now used by private insurers as well and brings in an estimated $50-80 million to the AMA each year, vastly more than comes in from member dues or other sources. In this way, the government gave the AMA a stake in the federal system of medicine.