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Three conservative reviews of Obama's healthcare reforms

Too much government involvement in private medical decisions, say some critics. Too scanty on the details, charges another.

President Obama (c.) greets attendees after delivering remarks on the healthcare system at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago on June 15.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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Even before President Obama had taken the podium Monday at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago, conservatives were prepared to counter his arguments.

Tom Price, a Republican member of Congress from Georgia and a physician, outlined his major concerns about Mr. Obama’s healthcare reform in a conference call with reporters while he waited for the president to begin.

Two biggest show-stoppers

Concern No. 1: Where will medical decisions be made? Dr. Price asked.

Decisionmaking will move from patients and physicians to “a government takeover of those medical decisions or a government-run plan,” Price said. “That’s unacceptable to the physicians of America. I think it’s unacceptable to the patients of America.”

Concern No. 2: There are no actively practicing physicians on the new 15-member Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

This council, funded by economic stimulus money and aimed at providing information on the strengths and weaknesses of different medical interventions, will define what is “appropriate quality care,” Price said. The lack of practicing physicians on the board “ought to give Americans great pause,” he added.

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