Et tu, Sen. Kirk?

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

The Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion must be won­der­ing: Where’s the love, Sen. Mark Kirk, where’s the love?

Kirk is an Illi­nois Repub­li­can who most re­cently re­ceived $5,000 from the AMA’s po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee, AM­PAC, in the 2010 race in which the U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive won the U.S. Se­nate seat once held by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. But Kirk has been a reg­u­lar ben­e­fi­ciary of AM­PAC do­na­tions, col­lect­ing a to­tal of $37,500 since 2000 for his House and Se­nate cam­paigns, ac­cord­ing to data from the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

But in what Out­liers can only ap­plaud as a sign that money doesn’t in­flu­ence pol­i­tics, the AMA came in for some harsh words from the sen­a­tor.

Speak­ing at an Amer­i­can Col­lege of Sur­geons pro­gram in Chicago, Kirk was asked what the ACS can do to get its points across in Wash­ing­ton. Kirk replied that one thing it could do is ex­ert what­ever it in­flu­ence it has on the AMA, which he said had be­come “an ut­terly po­lit­i­cally cor­rect or­ga­ni­za­tion that swings with the po­lit­i­cal winds. And pa­tient care should not swing with the po­lit­i­cal winds. Pa­tient care is pa­tient care.”

Out­liers notes that AM­PAC re­port­edly had an 88% suc­cess rate last year with a 319-36 record in the po­lit­i­cal races it in­vested in dur­ing the 2010 elec­tions.

No word on what per­cent­age of those can­di­dates are now trash­ing the AMA.

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