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Last month President Obama gave the first presidential speech to the American Medical Association in 26 years.
The President is looking to the AMA as a partner as he attempts a massive federal health care overhaul.
The last presidential speech to the group was in 1983 by Ronald Reagan.
Reagan launched his political career in the 1960sa as the spokesman for “operation coffeecup” – the AMA’s public relations effort that enlisted thousands of doctor’s wives to arrange coffee klatches to discuss health care issues.
The goal of the campaign was to defeat a congressional health care bill designed to assist elderly Americans – what later became Medicare. The AMA, with Reagan’s help, set the tone for a debate over “socialized medicine” that continues on conservative talk radio today.
Today where we live – we’ll take a look at the history, and how the debate has changed.