Organization: American Medical Association Background:
Born in Newark, N.J., and educated in his home state at Rutgers University and at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia Served as Lt. Commander in U.S. Public Health Service's Heart Disease and Stroke Control program before moving to West Coast for a gastroenterology fellowship at UCLA Joined area medical associations and began moving up the ranks Attained presidency of Los Angeles County Medical Association in 1978 and the California Medical Association in 1992 Switched his focus to national medical issues Reached presidency of the AMA in June Still maintains a gastroenterology practice in Santa Monica and is an assistant clinical professor at UCLA's School of Medicine.Role in Patient Rights Issue:
As a top-ranking AMA member, spent last several years formulating the organization's position on patient rights Last fall, engaged Sen. Slade Gordon, R-Washington, in an impromptu hour-long radio debate Republican senator later lost election by less than 2,500 votes This helped Democrats take control of the Senate this year and bring the current patient rights bill forward Now finds himself on the front lines, testifying before Congress in support of the bill that finally cleared the Senate in late June Last week, went on lobbying trip to New York to congressional districts held by the GOP as the House gets ready to debate the bill.Dr. Richard Taw Jr.
Organization: American Private Physicians Association Background:
Los Angeles native Attended Occidental College and earned a medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1970 Pursued specialty in cardiology Appointed assistant professor at UCLA School of Medicine in 1975 and director of Non-invasive Cardiology Laboratory Disturbed by the encroachment of managed care, founded the American Private Physicians Association, a group of mostly West Side doctors with no managed care contracts Maintains private practice in cardiology in Santa Monica.Role in Patient Rights Issue:
As founder and president of the APPA he has advocated a radically different approach to patient rights focuses on freedom of patients to make own health care decisions, choose own providers and choose method of finance Group, which has grown to 150 doctors, publishes various reports aimed at assisting businesses and consumers in navigating their way through health care industry Believes the current debate on a patient bill of rights is irrelevant to core problems Claims that giving patients an expanded right to sue will lead to higher insurance costs Advocates loosening restrictions on medical savings accounts and requiring all companies that offer HMO coverage to also offer MSAs Advocates converting employee Medicare trust fund contribution to an individual health care retirement medical savings account to be used upon retirement.
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