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GOP Physician Members Push Back at White House Health Care Rally

Republicans are pushing back against President Barack Obama’s effort to trumpet support from doctors for his health care proposals, asserting that there is significant opposition in the health care community to the president’s plans.In an interview, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), an orthopedic surgeon, said Monday that there is significant disagreement among rank-and-file doctors with the decision of their leadership to support Obama’s plans. “I’m a member of the [American Medical Association], and I’m in pretty close contact with them,— Barrasso said. “There are a lot of members of the AMA who do not support this.—Among the chief complaints by doctors is that the Democratic proposals would make cuts from Medicare that “would not save Medicare— and instead go to paying for health overhaul, Barrasso said. Doctors are also concerned that Democrats and Obama do not plan to include a comprehensive malpractice reform proposal, he said. Obama’s proposal for demonstration projects designed to reduce lawsuits were of no appeal to doctors, Barrasso added, arguing that such initiatives have already been done.Barrasso and other Republicans derided an Obama White House event Monday at which the president was surrounded by doctors in white coats, labeling it a publicity stunt. Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.), co-chairman of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, asserted that Obama did not include a representative sample of physicians in the Rose Garden for Monday’s event.“While he’s managed to gather a few like-minded doctors for this publicity stunt today, there is no question that most health care professionals recognize that inserting government bureaucrats into the doctor-patient relationship is not the prescription for what ails our health care system,— Gingrey said in a statement. “President Obama should stop trying new PR tactics each week to try and convince the American people his plan is the one they want, and instead actually listen to what they are saying.—

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