To the extent party leaders do not have to worry about voters, they can choose privileged interlocutors, representing those in society whom they find most amenable. In America ever more since the 1930s — elsewhere in the world this practice is ubiquitous and long-standing — government has designated certain individuals, companies, and organizations within each of society’s sectors as (junior) partners in elaborating laws and administrative rules for those sectors. The government empowers the persons it has chosen over those not chosen, deems them the sector’s true representatives, and rewards them. They become part of the ruling class.
Thus in 2009-10 the American Medical Association (AMA) strongly supported the new medical care law, which the administration touted as having the support of “the doctors” even though the vast majority of America’s 975,000 physicians opposed it. Those who run the AMA, however, have a government contract as exclusive providers of the codes by which physicians and hospitals bill the government for their services. The millions of dollars that flow thereby to the AMA’s officers keep them in line, while the impracticality of doing without the billing codes tamps down rebellion in the doctor ranks.
Read the whole article: America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution.
For more about the AMA’s monopoly on billing codes, read AMA’s Government-Protected Monopoly Squeezes Out Alternative Medicine by the Alliance for Natural Health. An excerpt:
In 1997, the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, ruled that the AMA’s exclusivity agreement with HCFA for using CPT “gave the AMA a substantial and unfair advantage over its competitors” and “constituted a misuse of the copyright by the AMA.” The court did not address whether the AMA’s conditions and high prices for a licensee’s use of the CPT code constituted violations of anti-trust law as well.
In 2001, when he was Senate Minority Leader, Trent Lott (D-MS) asked the Department of Health and Human Services to clarify the exclusivity arrangement it had with the AMA’s coding system. In response, the HHS approved a two year pilot project using the ABC codes. The pilot project was an amazing success, providing stunning statistics in a report showing the need for a revised billing code system-one that would include billing codes for ALL health practitioners.
(Monopoly article via the Institute for Health Freedom)