Many of the Democrats who are either up for re-election or are seeking political office for the first time are claiming that they oppose much of Obamacare and plan to fix it if elected/re-elected.
Don’t believe any of this rhetoric. There is an ulterior motive to these specious statements: to win election by whatever it takes. After that, expect most of these Democrats to toe the party line, either by coercion or personal convictions, and therefore not repeal Obamacare.
Only the Republicans can be trusted to attempt to repeal or defund Obamacare.
Vote Republican in November if you want to fight Obamacare … and to take back our country from the arrogant, elitist and radical Democratic politicians.
Dear Patients: Vote to Repeal ObamaCare Don't believe Democrats who promise to fix the bill once they're re-elected.
By Hal Scherz
Facing a nationwide backlash, Democratic congressional candidates have a new message for voters: We know you don't like ObamaCare, so we'll fix it.
This was the line offered by Democrat Mark Critz, who won a special election in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district after expressing opposition to the law and promising to mend it—but not to repeal it. As a doctor I know something about unexpected recoveries, and this latest attempt to rescue ObamaCare from repeal needs to be taken seriously.
For Democrats who voted for ObamaCare, this tactic is an escape route, a chance to distance themselves from the president with a vague promise to fix health-care reform in the next Congress.
To counter this election-year ruse, my colleagues and I at Docs4PatientCare are enlisting thousands of doctors in an unorthodox and unprecedented action. Our patients have always expected a certain standard of care from their doctors, which includes providing them with pertinent information that may affect their quality of life. Because the issue this election is so stark—literally life and death for millions of Americans in the years ahead—we are this week posting a "Dear Patient" letter in our waiting rooms.
The letter states in unambiguous language what the new law means:
"Dear Patient: Section 1311 of the new health care legislation gives the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and her appointees the power to establish care guidelines that your doctor must abide by or face penalties and fines. In making doctors answerable in the federal bureaucracy this bill effectively makes them government employees and means that you and your doctor are no longer in charge of your health care decisions. This new law politicizes medicine and in my opinion destroys the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship that makes the American health care system the best in the world."
Our doctor's letter points out that, in addition to "badly exacerbating the current doctor shortage," ObamaCare will bring "major cost increases, rising insurance premiums, higher taxes, a decline in new medical techniques, a fall-off in the development of miracle drugs as well as rationing by government panels and by bureaucrats like passionate rationing advocate Donald Berwick that will force delays of months or sometimes years for hospitalization or surgery."
We cite the brute facts of ObamaCare's passage:
"Despite countless protests by doctors and overwhelming public opposition—up to 60% of Americans opposed this bill—the current party in control of Congress pushed this bill through with legal bribes and Chicago style threats and is determined now to resist any 'repeal and replace' efforts. This doctor's office is non-partisan—always has been, always will be. But the fact is that every Republican voted against this bad bill while the Democratic Party leadership and the White House completely dismissed the will of the people in ruthlessly pushing through this legislation."
Then we address the Democrats' evasive campaign maneuver:
"In the face of voter anger some Democratic candidates are now trying to make a cosmetic retreat, calling for minor modifications or pretending they are opposed to government-run medicine. Once the election is over, however, they will vote with their party bosses against repealing this bill."
The letter's final lines are the most important:
"Please remember when you vote this November that unless the Democratic Party receives a strong negative message about this power grab our health care system will never be fixed and the doctor patient relationship will be ruined forever."
This message is going out to an electorate that is already frustrated over what they see happening to health care. Missouri voters rejected ObamaCare overwhelmingly in August, voting by a margin of 71%-29% to reject the federal requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance. Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen has assessed that ObamaCare is "a disaster" for Democrats. And around the country many little-noticed primaries have reflected voter rage—including the Republican primary victory of surgeon, political newcomer, and advocate of repeal Daniel Benishek in Michigan's first district.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration's damage-control efforts have fallen flat. The latest round of pro-ObamaCare television spots targeting the elderly and starring veteran actor Andy Griffith have not only failed to move the polling numbers. They have caused five U.S. Senators to ask for an investigation of the ads as a violation of federal laws barring the use of tax dollars ($750,000) for campaign purposes.
America's doctors have millions of personal interactions each week with patients. We have political power. And we intend to use it by working to defeat those who have disrupted and gravely endangered the best health-care system in the world.
Dr. Scherz, a pediatric urological surgeon at Georgia Urology and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, serves on the faculty of Emory University Medical School and is president and cofounder of Docs4PatientCare.
Fresh and ongoing from it initiating, feeding and perpetuating the housing debacle and collapse, the Federal government with its pernicious Obamacare is poised to destroy medicine and medical care as we know it here in the United States. If allowed to take root, gone will be the world’s best and most sophisticated healthcare system, home of most of the most important innovations and discoveries in medical care. In its place will be a near 3rd world level of “quality” of care encumbered by an oppressive and arcane government controlled system. At least in third world countries they don’t have swarms of attorneys pullulating like flies looking for their next jackpot.
It is commonly known that there will be a significant shortage of primary care physicians in the future which Obamacare will tremendously exacerbate for myriad reasons. Of course, neither Obama or Congressional Democrats considered this in their reckless haste to ram the healthcare reform legislation into effect. What a surprise – politicians didn’t anticipate something inherently important?
The end result? You will have the “right” of healthcare but you may not have a doctor to provide it to you. If you are ultimately able to schedule an appointment to see a doctor, you may have to wait an excessively long period of time to finally be seen, or be seen by a physician located far from where you live or work, or be herded through like cattle spending little time with the doctor who is massively overworked and overloaded with patients (and over-regulated).
Does the word “rationing” ring a bell? Or decreased quality of care? These were all important issues that were raised by those who opposed the Democrats’ plans but were ignored or denigrated by them and the press.
What is a “brilliant” solution for this problem that is being considered by the government? Have nurses act like doctors. Add a little more training, change some statutes and voila! Doctorlight. Easy! Just don’t be very sick or you might not make it to a real doctor.
And if the nurse gets a PhD, they can officially be addressed as Dr., adding to confusion but subtracting from quality. This proposal would place millions of Americans at unnecessary risk due to inferior training and as a consequence, inferior care.
Furthermore, given the government’s plan to reimburse these nurses the same or marginally less than real doctors, why would any sane person want to become a doctor? After all, for maybe $5 to $10 more per patient that a doctor would be reimbursed versus a nurse, that person would also have to go to medical school and residency for up to 11 or more years, assume debt to pay for school of $250,000 or more and then pay malpractice rates in practice that can exceed $100,000/ year.
This will surely dissuade many including the best and brightest from seeking a career in medicine and don’t we want our doctors to be smart and competent?
Sounds like another government plan causing unintended consequences.
Doctor shortage? 28 states may expand nurses' role
By Carla K. Johnson (AP) – 4/15/2010
CHICAGO — A nurse may soon be your doctor. With a looming shortage of primary care doctors, 28 states are considering expanding the authority of nurse practitioners. These nurses with advanced degrees want the right to practice without a doctor's watchful eye and to prescribe narcotics. And if they hold a doctorate, they want to be called "Doctor."
For years, nurse practitioners have been playing a bigger role in the nation's health care, especially in regions with few doctors. With 32 million more Americans gaining health insurance within a few years, the health care overhaul is putting more money into nurse-managed clinics.
Those newly insured patients will be looking for doctors and may find nurses instead.
The medical establishment is fighting to protect turf. In some statehouses, doctors have shown up in white coats to testify against nurse practitioner bills. The American Medical Association, which supported the national health care overhaul, says a doctor shortage is no reason to put nurses in charge and endanger patients.
Nurse practitioners argue there's no danger. They say they're highly trained and as skilled as doctors at diagnosing illness during office visits. They know when to refer the sickest patients to doctor specialists. Plus, they spend more time with patients and charge less.
"We're constantly having to prove ourselves," said Chicago nurse practitioner Amanda Cockrell, 32, who tells patients she's just like a doctor "except for the pay."
On top of four years in nursing school, Cockrell spent another three years in a nurse practitioner program, much of it working with patients. Doctors generally spend four years in undergraduate school, four years in medical school and an additional three in primary care residency training.
Medicare, which sets the pace for payments by private insurance, pays nurse practitioners 85 percent of what it pays doctors. An office visit for a Medicare patient in Chicago, for example, pays a doctor about $70 and a nurse practitioner about $60.
The health care overhaul law gave nurse midwives, a type of advanced practice nurse, a Medicare raise to 100 percent of what obstetrician-gynecologists make — and that may be just the beginning.
States regulate nurse practitioners and laws vary on what they are permitted to do:
_ In Florida and Alabama, for instance, nurse practitioners are barred from prescribing controlled substances.
_ In Washington, nurse practitioners can recommend medical marijuana to their patients when a new law takes effect in June.
_ In Montana, nurse practitioners don't need a doctor involved with their practice in any way.
_ Many other states put doctors in charge of nurse practitioners or require collaborative agreements signed by a doctor.
_ In some states, nurse practitioners with a doctorate in nursing practice can't use the title "Dr." Most states allow it.
The AMA argues the title "Dr." creates confusion. Nurse practitioners say patients aren't confused by veterinarians calling themselves "Dr." Or chiropractors. Or dentists. So why, they ask, would patients be confused by a nurse using the title?
The feud over "Dr." is no joke. By 2015, most new nurse practitioners will hold doctorates, or a DNP, in nursing practice, according to a goal set by nursing educators. By then, the doctorate will be the standard for all graduating nurse practitioners, said Polly Bednash, executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Many with the title use it with pride.
"I don't think patients are ever confused. People are not stupid," said Linda Roemer, a nurse practitioner in Sedona, Ariz., who uses "Dr. Roemer" as part of her e-mail address.
What's the evidence on the quality of care given by nurse practitioners?
The best U.S. study comparing nurse practitioners and doctors randomly assigned more than 1,300 patients to either a nurse practitioner or a doctor. After six months, overall health, diabetes tests, asthma tests and use of medical services like specialists were essentially the same in the two groups.
"The argument that patients' health is put in jeopardy by nurse practitioners? There's no evidence to support that," said Jack Needleman, a health policy expert at the University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health.
Other studies have shown that nurse practitioners are better at listening to patients, Needleman said. And they make good decisions about when to refer patients to doctors for more specialized care.
The nonpartisan Macy Foundation, a New York-based charity that focuses on the education of health professionals, recently called for nurse practitioners to be among the leaders of primary care teams. The foundation also urged the removal of state and federal barriers preventing nurse practitioners from providing primary care.
The American Medical Association is fighting proposals in about 28 states that are considering steps to expand what nurse practitioners can do.
"A shortage of one type of professional is not a reason to change the standards of medical care," said AMA president-elect Dr. Cecil Wilson. "We need to train more physicians."
In Florida, a bill to allow nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances is stalled in committee.
One patient, Karen Reid of Balrico, Fla., said she was left in pain over a holiday weekend because her nurse practitioner couldn't prescribe a powerful enough medication and the doctor couldn't be found. Dying hospice patients have been denied morphine in their final hours because a doctor couldn't be reached in the middle of the night, nurses told The Associated Press.
Massachusetts, the model for the federal health care overhaul, passed its law in 2006 expanding health insurance to nearly all residents and creating long waits for primary care. In 2008, the state passed a law requiring health plans to recognize and reimburse nurse practitioners as primary care providers.
That means insurers now list nurse practitioners along with doctors as primary care choices, said Mary Ann Hart, a nurse and public policy expert at Regis College in Weston, Mass. "That greatly opens up the supply of primary care providers," Hart said.
But it hasn't helped much so far. A study last year by the Massachusetts Medical Society found the percentage of primary care practices closed to new patients was higher than ever. And despite the swelling demand, the medical society still believes nurse practitioners should be under doctor supervision.
The group supports more training and incentives for primary care doctors and a team approach to medicine that includes nurse practitioners and physician assistants, whose training is comparable.
"We do not believe, however, that nurse practitioners have the qualifications to be independent primary care practitioners," said Dr. Mario Motta, president of the state medical society.
The new U.S. health care law expands the role of nurses with:
_ $50 million to nurse-managed health clinics that offer primary care to low-income patients.
_ $50 million annually from 2012-15 for hospitals to train nurses with advanced degrees to care for Medicare patients.
_ 10 percent bonuses from Medicare from 2011-16 to primary care providers, including nurse practitioners, who work in areas where doctors are scarce.
_ A boost in the Medicare reimbursement rate for certified nurse midwives to bring their pay to the same level as a doctor's.
The American Nurses Association hopes the 100 percent Medicare parity for nurse midwives will be extended to other nurses with advanced degrees.
"We know we need to get to 100 percent for everybody. This is a crack in the door," said Michelle Artz of ANA. "We're hopeful this sets the tone."
In Chicago, only a few patients balk at seeing a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor, Cockrell said. She gladly sends those patients to her doctor partners.
She believes patients get real advantages by letting her manage their care. Nurse practitioners' uphill battle for respect makes them precise, accurate and careful, she said. She schedules 40 minutes for a physical exam; the doctors in her office book 30 minutes for same appointment.
Joseline Nunez, 26, is a patient of Cockrell's and happy with her care.
"I feel that we get more time with the nurse practitioner," Nunez said. "The doctor always seems to be rushing off somewhere."
As we have mentioned myriad times, an overwhelming majority of physicians are resolutely opposed and in a state of perpetual outrage at the dictates of Obamacare. This may not necessarily be apparent given that most have elected to vent their disapproval in quieter ways such as e-mailing, writing and calling their Senators and Representatives.
One physician who did decide to be a little more overt in his vehemence, Jack Cassel MD, the Florida urologist who posted a sign on his door regarding those who voted for Obama, did get his message heard … and nationally. Unfortunately, the malignant and portentous Representative of his district, Alan Grayson (D – Florida) then initiated malicious verbal assaults on him including calling him racist and unprofessional and has indicated that he will seek professional sanctions and legal charges against him. This has become a dangerous and illegal pattern of Democrat politicians pursuing whatever measures possible to squelch First Amendment Rights. Threaten and silence the opposition into submission.
With this scenario fresh in mind and cognizant of the ubiquitous threats from the Government, media and even liberal loons, Dr. Joseph Scherzer, a Scottsdale, Arizona Dermatologist in practice for 34 years, felt that for the good of the country and patient care in particular, more needed to be shared with the public. He has bravely elected to speak out on the pernicious nature of the Obamacare legislation and its severe and adverse impact on medical care in America which will lead to irreparable harm to the world’s best healthcare system.
Neil Cavuto interviews Dr. Joseph Scherzer on FoxNews:
The story below details an Orlando, Florida area urologist who posted a sign on his office door stating:
“If you voted for Obama … seek urological care elsewhere.”
This physician reaction has created a tempest in many parts, but what did Obama and the Congressional Democrats expect? They have legislated involuntary servitude of America’s physicians with their corruptly passed and ideologically radical healthcare “reform”. They are trying to pay for the Obamacare wealth transfer on the backs of productive citizens and physicians though all healthcare providers including medical device companies will be negatively impacted. They are destroying the physician-patient relationship, quality of care, etc. with the insinuation of federal officials in the mix, determining who can be treated and by what (less expensive) means.
And then there is the reimbursement part that we will put in perspective. Medicare reimbursement rates this year pay doctors below 1995 levels which were low at that time. To make matters worse, as of this April 1st, reimbursement is scheduled to drop another 21.3%. In other words, physicians will be paid almost 22% less than they were 15 years ago. Meanwhile, Congress which incredibly can vote for its own pay raise, will received nearly 95% more than they were 20 years ago!
Many physicians have been losing money for years taking care of Medicare patients at artificially low reimbursement rates that don’t even cover their expenses. Now lower that rate another 22% and add far more government bureaucracy and you have a disastrous situation.
Though it may not judged to be “politically correct” for a physician to react as this sign indicated, it is well within one’s Constitutional rights to do so and does not violate any medical laws nor should it. Despite the fine line that medical societies may need to toe in response to actions of physicians like the above, there is nothing illegal or immoral. Unfortunately, our government has facilitated such actions by their oppressive legislation.
The overwhelming sentiment in the medical community is vehemently against Obamacare for myriad reasons. Therefore, we expect to see additional significant actions in the future that would far surpass this one incident in scope and extent. Reactions to Obamacare are only just beginning...
Doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere for health care
A Mount Dora doctor posted a sign telling Obama health care supporters to go elsewhere.
By Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel April 2, 2010
MOUNT DORA — A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."
"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."
The sign reads: "If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."
Estella Chatman, 67, of Eustis, whose daughter snapped a photo of the typewritten sign, sent the picture to U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the Orlando Democrat who riled Republicans last year when he characterized the GOP's idea of health care as, "If you get sick, America … Die quickly."
Chatman said she heard about the sign from a friend referred to Cassell after his physician recently died. She said her friend did not want to speak to a reporter but was dismayed by Cassell's sign.
"He's going to find another doctor," she said.
Cassell may be walking a thin line between his right to free speech and his professional obligation, said William Allen, professor of bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida's College of Medicine.
Allen said doctors cannot refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability, but political preference is not one of the legally protected categories specified in civil-rights law. By insisting he does not quiz his patients about their politics and has not turned away patients based on their vote, the doctor is "trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation," Allen said.
"But this is pushing the limit," he said.
Cassell, who has practiced medicine in GOP-dominated Lake County since 1988, said he doesn't quiz his patients about their politics, but he also won't hide his disdain for the bill Obama signed and the lawmakers who passed it.
In his waiting room, Cassell also has provided his patients with photocopies of a health-care timeline produced by Republican leaders that outlines "major provisions" in the health-care package. The doctor put a sign above the stack of copies that reads: "This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it."
Cassell, whose lawyer wife, Leslie Campione, has declared herself a Republican candidate for Lake County commissioner, said three patients have complained, but most have been "overwhelmingly supportive" of his position.
"They know it's not good for them," he said.
Cassell, who previously served as chief of surgery at Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares, said a patient's politics would not affect his care for them, although he said he would prefer not to treat people who support the president.
"I can at least make a point," he said.
The notice on Cassell's office door could cause some patients to question his judgment or fret about the care they might receive if they don't share his political views, Allen said. He said doctors are wise to avoid public expressions that can affect the physician-patient relationship.
Erin VanSickle, spokeswoman for the Florida Medical Association, would not comment specifically.
But she noted in an e-mail to the Sentinel that "physicians are extended the same rights to free speech as every other citizen in the United States."
The outspoken Grayson described Cassell's sign as "ridiculous."
"I'm disgusted," he said. "Maybe he thinks the Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no good.' If this is the face of the right wing in America, it's the face of cruelty. … Why don't they change the name of the Republican Party to the Sore Loser Party?"
Over the last year, we have expressed our resolute opposition to Government controlled healthcare reform independent of the various iterations that have been promulgated. The present behemoth legislation, in excess of 2700 pages, will destroy the best healthcare system in the world and ultimately bankrupt this country with uncontrollable and unsustainable costs.
There are countless reasons to oppose this legislation, many of which have received little exposure in the press or by analysts (privacy issues). Regardless, this bill must be vehemently fought and opposed by all Americans if we want to preserve the world’s best healthcare as well as our rights and freedoms.
Below, is an abbreviated list assembled by Investors Business Daily of some of the reasons why Obamacare should not be implemented.
Why Health Bill Makes No Sense
Investors Business Daily 03/12/2010
Health Reform: So it's come down to this — desperate Democratic leaders strong-arming members on the worst bill ever before they go home to explain to constituents why they decided to commit political suicide.
We've said just about all we've had to say on this issue — actually dating back to 1993-94, when we wrote nearly 100 editorials in opposition to HillaryCare. Since January of last year, we've weighed in 150 more times against the latest version of socialized medicine.
But to review, here are just 15 reasons why a government takeover of the finest medical system in the world makes no sense at all:
1. The people don't want it! This, we would think, should have some bearing on decision-making. Yet the Democrats forge ahead without consent of the governed. In the latest Rasmussen poll, 53% opposed the Democrats' reform while 42% were in favor. More than four in 10 "strongly" opposed; just two in 10 "strongly" favored. This jibes with other surveys, including our own IBD/TIPP Poll, taken since last year.
2. Doctors don't want it! A survey we took last summer of 1,376 practicing physicians found that 45% would consider leaving their practices or taking early retirements if the Democrats' reform became law. In December, the results were validated by a Medicus poll in which 25% of doctors said they'd retire early if a public option is implemented and another 21% would stop practicing even though they were far from their retirement years. Even if the bill doesn't have a "public option," nearly 30% said they'd quit the profession under the plans being considered.
3. Half the Congress doesn't want it! Not a single Republican backed the health care bill that cleared the Senate on Christmas Eve 60-39. House passage was by a slim 220 to 215, and the lone Republican "aye" has since switched to "no."
Columnist Michael Barone says other changes would put the House vote today at 216-215 in favor, and he has doubts Democrats can even muster 216.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her job of securing yes votes even more difficult last week when she told a meeting of county officials that "we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it." Members of Congress aren't waiting: They've already exempted themselves from whatever they inflict on us.
4. People are happy with the health care they've got! Polls show that 84% of Americans have health insurance and that few are displeased with what they've got. Last month, the St. Petersburg Times looked at eight polls and reported that satisfaction rates averaged 87%.
5. It doesn't even cover the people they set out to cover! Supporters of government-run health care say there are as many as 47 million Americans — 9 million to 10 million of them illegal aliens — without medical insurance. The Democrats' plans, however, will put only 31 million of the uninsured under coverage.
6. Costs will go up, not down! Democrats say their plans will cost less than $1 trillion over the first decade. But analyst Michael Cannon at the Cato Institute puts the cost at $2.5 trillion over the first 10 years. Even if we go with the government's lower estimates, the cost is already on the rise. A new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of the Senate bill at $875 billion over 10 years, $4 billion more than its original projection. Imagine how fast costs would soar if one of the bills became public policy.
7. Real cost controls are nowhere to be found! The Democrats are offering no meaningful tort reform that will help push down the high malpractice insurance premiums that are a burden to doctors and their patients. Nor are they considering any other cost-saving provisions, such as allowing the sale of individual health plans across state lines or easing health insurance mandates.
8. Insurance premiums will rise, not fall! One goal of nationalizing health care is to lower costs, to bend the spending curve downward. Yet, as Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin acknowledged Wednesday, that won't be the case.
"Anyone who would stand before you and say, 'Well, if you pass health care reform, next year's health care premiums are going down,' I don't think is telling the truth," he said from the Senate floor. "I think it is likely they would go up."
An analysis completed by the CBO at the request of Sen. Evan Bayh confirms Durbin's suspicions. Insurance coverage in the individual market will "be about 10% to 13% higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law," it concluded.
9. Medicare is already bankrupting us! The Medicare trust fund, which has unfunded obligations of $37.8 trillion, will be insolvent in 2017. How can lawmakers justify another entitlement that will cost trillions when they can't pay for existing liabilities?
10. There aren't enough doctors now! Last month, 26% of physicians responding to a Web poll on Sermo.com, which calls itself "the largest online physician community," said they had been forced to close, or were considering closing, their solo practices. Providing coverage for an additional 31 million Americans when the number of doctors is shrinking won't improve our health care.
11. The doctor-patient relationship will be wrecked! The latest IBD/TIPP Poll, taken just last week, found that Americans, by a wide 48%-26% margin, believe the doctor-patient relationship will decline if the Democrats' plan is passed.
12. Medical care will also deteriorate! IBD/TIPP has also found that 51% of Americans believe care would get worse under government control. Only 10.5% said they felt it would improve. In our doctor poll, 72% disagreed with administration claims that the government could cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.
13. Rationing of care is inevitable! Health care is not an unlimited resource and must be rationed, either by the individual, providers or government. In Britain and Canada, where the government does the rationing, medical treatment waiting lists are sometimes deadly and quite often excessively long.
For instance, late cancer diagnoses in an overcrowded public health care system cause up to 10,000 needless deaths a year in Britain. The reasons cited for the late diagnoses include doctor delay, delay in primary care, system delay and delay in secondary care.
14. Private health insurers will be destroyed! Added mandates and price controls will force many insurers to simply get out of the health plan business because it will no longer be profitable.
15. It's probably unconstitutional! One way to help bring down the number of uninsured is to demand that those without coverage buy health plans. But the government has never passed a law requiring Americans to buy any good or service.
Constitutional scholars say any such mandate would likely draw a legal challenge.
Obama and the Congressional Democrats are trying to seize control of and transform healthcare in America which parallels their Marxist doctrine. By doing so, they will ultimately dismantle the best healthcare system in the world, precipitate a mass exodus of physicians from the practice of medicine and drive our country to bankruptcy in shorter order.
There already is a physician shortage in this country partially based on rational personal decisions made by those who might have contemplated careers in medicine. With implementation of Obamacare, there will be many reasons for doctors to either work less or flee medical practice altogether. This combined with an inevitable precipitous increase in consumption of medical care by previously “uninsured” Americans and illegal aliens will result in a supply and demand imbalance, fostered by unwise government intervention.
The result: healthcare rationing, poor quality care and long waits to receive care.
The Doctor Shortage
Investors Business Daily 03/04/2010
Health Reform: Democrats promise their plan will improve care at lower cost while thinning the ranks of the uninsured. How will they do this with fewer doctors?
America's population is 305 million. If the Democrats are correct about the number of uninsured, roughly 260 million are covered by a health care plan. When the insured — and the uninsured who use the traditional method of paying out of pocket — are sick, they are treated by 800,000 physicians.
It would be foolish to believe that today's already stretched doctor-patient ratio will remain stable. In the near future we will have fewer doctors treating a growing population.
Physician search firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates estimates that by 2020 we'll need 90,000 to 200,000 more doctors than we'll have then. As alarming as that estimate is, it could be low.
Last August, our IBD/TIPP Poll found that 45% of doctors would consider leaving their practices or taking early retirement if the Democrats' version of reform were to become law.
Last month, 26% of physicians responding to a Web poll on Sermo.com, which calls itself "the largest online physician community," said they had been forced to close, or were considering closing, their solo practices.
Reasons include "low and delayed reimbursements, problems with management companies, and a lack of business/practice management education," as well as high malpractice insurance costs.
Not every doctor who told these polls that he or she would consider leaving the field will do so. Some will go into group practices and others move on to positions at hospitals and in the military. Another group will change nothing.
Even if half followed through with their threats, our care will suffer. If the Democrats' plans become law, fewer than 700,000 physicians would be available to treat a patient population growing in size, aging in years, shunning medical education and receiving "free" health care or insurance coverage from the government in increasing numbers.
The result will be longer wait times to see a doctor and a decline in the high quality of care Americans are accustomed to as overworked physicians try to keep up.
To see how this works in reality, look at the Canadian and British government health systems that encourage unnecessary doctor visits with the illusion of free care. Both have long, and sometimes deadly, wait times. Neither provides treatment as high in quality as what's found in the U.S, where the system is supposedly broken.
With demand for doctors already outstripping supply, the last thing we need is to aggravate the situation with poorly thought-out public policy.
Washington has meddled in health care too much already.
Despite inexorable denials by Obama, Pelosi and Congressional Democrats, the basic fiscal tenet of Obamanocare is rationing of healthcare. Plain and simple. Ignore the prevarications about rationing, cost savings, compassionate care, keeping your own doctor who will make the healthcare decisions along with you, etc. These are all part of the nefarious scheming intended to deceive the public about their ultimate goal of government control of healthcare, transfer of wealth and further aggrandizement of government power.
The following editorial from The Wall Street Journal, delineates some of the inimical dictates of the legislation.
The Rationing Commission
Meet the unelected body that will dictate future medical decisions.
As usual, the most dangerous parts of ObamaCare aren't receiving the scrutiny they deserve—and one of the least examined is a new commission to tell Congress how to control health spending. Democrats are quietly attempting to impose a "global budget" on Medicare, with radical implications for U.S. medicine.
Like most of Europe, the various health bills stipulate that Congress will arbitrarily decide how much to spend on health care for seniors every year—and then invest an unelected board with extraordinary powers to dictate what is covered and how it will be paid for. White House budget director Peter Orszag calls this Medicare commission "critical to our fiscal future" and "one of the most potent reforms."
On that last score, he's right. Prominent health economist Alain Enthoven has likened a global budget to "bombing from 35,000 feet, where you don't see the faces of the people you kill."
As envisioned by the Senate Finance Committee, the commission—all 15 members appointed by the President—would have to meet certain budget targets each year. Starting in 2015, Medicare could not grow more rapidly on a per capita basis than by a measure of inflation. After 2019, it could only grow at the same rate as GDP, plus one percentage point.
The theory is to let technocrats set Medicare payments free from political pressure, as with the military base closing commissions. But that process presented recommendations to Congress for an up-or-down vote. Here, the commission's decisions would go into effect automatically if Congress couldn't agree within six months on different cuts that met the same target. The board's decisions would not be subject to ordinary notice-and-comment rule-making, or even judicial review.
Yet if the goal really is political insulation, then the Medicare Commission is off to a bad start. To avoid a senior revolt, Finance Chairman Max Baucus decided to bar his creation from reducing benefits or raising the eligibility age, which meant that it could only cut costs by tightening Medicare price controls on doctors and hospitals. Doctors and hospitals, naturally, were furious.
So the Montana Democrat bowed and carved out exemptions for such providers, along with hospices and suppliers of medical equipment. Until 2019 the commission will thus only be allowed to attack Medicare Advantage, the program that gives 10 million seniors private insurance choices, and to raise premiums for Medicare prescription drug coverage, which is run by private contractors. Notice a political pattern?
But a decade from now, such limits are off—which also happens to be roughly the time when ObamaCare's spending explodes. The hard budget cap means there is only so much money to be divvied up for care, with no account for demographic changes, such as longer life spans, or for the increasing incidence of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Worse, it makes little room for medical innovations. The commission is mandated to go after "sources of excess cost growth," meaning treatments that are too expensive or whose coverage will boost spending. If researchers find a pricey treatment for Alzheimer's in 2020, that might be banned because it would add new costs and bust the global budget. Or it might decide that "Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller," as President Obama put it in June.
In other words, the Medicare commission would come to function much like the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which rations care in England. Or a similar Washington state board created in 2003 to control costs. Its handiwork isn't pretty.
The Washington commission, called the Health Technology Assessment, is manned by 11 bureaucrats, including a chiropractor and a "naturopath" who focuses on alternative, er, remedies like herbs and massage therapy. They consider the clinical effectiveness but above all the cost of medical procedures and technologies. If they decide something isn't worth the money, then Olympia won't cover it for some 750,000 Medicaid patients, public employees and prisoners.
So far, the commission has banned knee arthroscopy for osteoarthritis, discography for chronic back pain, and implantable infusion pumps for pain not related to cancer. This year, it is targeting such frivolous luxuries as knee replacements, spinal cord stimulation, a specialized autism therapy and MRIs of the abdomen, pelvis or breasts for cancer. It will also rule on routine ultrasounds for pregnancy, which have a "high" efficacy but also a "high" cost.
Currently, the commission is pushing through the most restrictive payment policy in the nation for drug-eluting cardiac stents—simply because bare metal stents are cheaper, even as they result in worse outcomes. If a patient is wheeled into the operating room with chest pains in an emergency, doctors will first have to determine if he's covered by a state plan, then the diameter of his blood vessels and his diabetic condition to decide on the appropriate stent. If they don't, Washington will not reimburse them for "inappropriate care."
If Democrats impose such a commission nationwide, it would constitute a radical change in U.S. health care. The reason that physician discretion—not Washington's cost-minded judgments—is at the core of medicine is that usually there are no "right" answers. The data from large clinical trials produce generic conclusions that rarely apply to individual patients, who have vastly different biologies, response rates to treatments, and often multiple conditions. A breakthrough drug like Herceptin, which is designed for a certain genetic subset of breast-cancer patients, might well be ruled out under such a standardized approach.
It's possible this global budget could become an accounting fiction, like the automatic Medicare cuts Congress currently pretends it will impose on doctors. But health care's fiscal pressures will be even stronger than they are today if ObamaCare passes in anything like its current form. And that is when politicians will want this remote, impersonal and unaccountable central committee to do the inevitable dirty work of denying care.
The only way to take the politics out of health care is to give individuals more power to control medical dollars. And the first step should be not to create even more government spending commitments. The core problem with government-run health care is that it doesn't make decisions in the best interests of patients, but in the best interests of government.