President-elect Donald Trump has had a busy few weeks since the election, and his latest move is causing bitter infighting among doctors.
You don’t see doctors or the medical community in general fighting over something, but the claws are out after Donald Trump selected U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for secretary of health and human services, which is sparked a huge amount of infighting in the medical community. It’s not surprising Trump would pick Price, since Price has long hated Obamacare and Trump has made dismantling the Affordable Care Act a key part of his campaign.
Price, himself a former orthopedic surgeon, has extremely conservative views on health care, opposing abortion rights and regulations on tobacco, but its his affiliation with the group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) that has people talking. Among other things, AAPS believes that vaccines cause autism, which has rankled many in the medical community who believe that this idea has been discredited. The group also opposes Medicare and Medicaid.
When several top medical associations like the American Medical Association supported Price’s nomination, it led to fury among doctors who have signed petitions condemning the support for Price.
A letter from progressive group Common Dreams slammed the endorsements, saying they were “deeply troubled” by the news.
“The policies he has endorsed not only stand in stark contrast to our ideals, but also threaten the wellbeing of our patients,” the letter states. “We question why these organizations—established to protect the interests of all physicians, students, patients, and communities—would ignore the priorities of those they represent. As HHS secretary, Dr. Price will endanger medical institutions and policies, as well as jeopardize our medical education and the very practice of evidence-based medicine.”