The normally staid members of the American Medical Association held a rousing rally today in the first step of a new, well-orchestrated effort to persuade Congress to reverse Medicare rate cuts to physicians scheduled to equal about 12% over the next three years. Waving placards and chanting "Fix the mistake," as the theme from "Rocky" blared over loudspeakers, about 1,000 AMA members interrupted their midyear policymaking meeting in New Orleans for the 15-minute rally. The AMA's 553-member House of Delegates approved a new lobbying plan that calls for print and radio advertisements, visits to key states by top officials and a "fly-in" to Washington in early January by hundreds or thousands of physicians. The AMA resolution also called for "aggressive, appropriate legal remedies" as one method to halt the payment cuts. But one official, Ronald Davis, M.D., a member of the AMA board of trustees, described that as a "remedy of last resort" in the event legislative and administrative efforts fail. -- by Michael Romano
AMA rallies to reverse cuts
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