In his oped published in the Arizona Republic on August 30, EJ Montini severely mischaracterizes the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. We’d like a chance to set the record straight.
Mr. Montini apparently heavily relies on an attack piece against AAPS and Dr. Kelli Ward published by a far left publication, Mother Jones, without doing much research of his own. As far as we know, he did not make an effort seek our input on his assertions or the claims made by Mother Jones.
Since 1943, AAPS has advocated for the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. Our motto is “All for the Patient.” Increasingly, bureaucrats are interfering in patient care, to the detriment of the delivery of quality care. AAPS finds such interference immoral. However, Mr. Montini misleadingly seems to suggest that AAPS is summarily against caring for the poor and elderly. This could not be further from the truth.
If Mr. Montini is truly concerned about care to the most vulnerable, we suggest he take a close look at Arizona’s Medicaid program, AHCCCS. A preliminary audit of publicly available documents by a forensic accountant showed that the programs managed-care contractors made more than $225 million in pre-tax profits in just one year. In 5 years, nearly $400 million of Medicaid funding was transferred to other state agencies. A deeper level audit is needed to determine the truth of the assertion that only 20 to 40 cents of every Medicaid dollar actually buys any medical care, meaning that 60% to 80% of revenue is diverted away from care of the needy.
AAPS favors solutions that increase the availability of low cost, high quality care. In fact, many of our members are leading the way in offering increased value to their patients by cutting out the middlemen who detract from patient care.
We also favor an open discussion about the patient impact of policy and medical interventions. Reading Mr. Montini’s piece leads us to the conclusion that his goal is to suppress an open dialog by slandering those he disagrees with. We hope we are wrong and would welcome a dialog with him and others who seek what is best for patients.