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Medical Group's Stand on Surgery Legislation

August 22, 2004

Re "Senate OKs Cosmetic Surgery Bill," Aug. 18: It is important to be clear about certain facts and the position of the California Medical Assn. with regard to SB 1336, the bill that would permit dental/oral surgeons to perform cosmetic plastic surgery.

The article identifies me as CMA's president who was involved in a "handshake deal" with the oral surgeons. I am the CEO/executive vice president of CMA and was not present during the negotiations.

Most important, CMA has not reversed its position on this bill. We continue to oppose it and will urge the governor to veto it. The CMA board of trustees had approved amendments to the bill that, if accepted by the Legislature, would have caused CMA to switch from opposing the bill to taking a neutral position. Though the Legislature adopted some of our improvements, CMA remains opposed to the bill because the bill remains flawed. We continue to believe this legislation, as passed, threatens the quality of care of California patients with respect to facial plastic surgery procedures.

John C. Lewin

California Medical Assn.

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