CHICAGO (CBS) — The nation’s doctors remain divided over a key plank of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports the rift widened at the American Medical Association’s meeting in Chicago this week.

By a vote of 60 to 40 percent, the AMA delegates voted against an attempt to beat back the association’s support for mandatory health insurance coverage.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Some doctors, such as Bruce Malone of Texas, oppose it as an unreasonable government intrusion.

“Some people who strongly support the idea of no mandate may drop their membership with the American Medical Association,” Malone said.

The AMA has already lost thousands of members. Last year alone, 12,000 doctors left the association, dropping membership to 216,000 – fewer than 25 percent of the nation’s doctors.

On other issues, the AMA voted to support a federal ban on hallucinogenic drugs known commonly as “bath salts.”

The delegates did not take a stand on the health effects on passengers who must pass through full-body scanners at airports. The group says the issue needs more study.

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