The American Medical Association has nerve it hasn't even used yet.
The AMA, which counts House Speaker Newt Gingrich among its friends in high places, has devised a healthcare plan it says will rescue Medicare from 30 years of bureaucratic flaws.
The plan would give beneficiaries a choice of options and convert Medicare from a program that guarantees benefits to one that guarantees financial contributions. All that and at projected savings of about $162 billion over seven years from what Medicare would spend under current provisions.
But a closer look at the AMA plan by our Washington reporter Jonathan Gardner shows that virtually all the savings would come from hospitals and senior citizens. Moreover, the proposal would relax laws on pricing, rate-setting and corporate organizations controlled by physicians.
Whatever happened to the virtue of self-sacrifice? To the AMA, it means giving up the security of predictable Medicare fees while gaining more control and freedom.
Even as a starting point that's a dubious strategy. By now, everyone involved in the healthcare system should know that meaningful reform can't be achieved by maintaining the status quo or expecting others to assume the burden of sacrifice.