Posts Tagged “healthcare”
Posted by admin in Provoking, tags: Arianna Huffington, Austin, Glen Beck, healthcare, Internal Revenue Service, Michelle Malkin, Not Me, pharmaceutical, scapegoat, Tea Party, Texas, The communist creed
It’s all the Tea Party’s fault
Michelle Malkin – Syndicated Columnist – 2/19/2010 9:25:00 AM
Remember “Not Me”? He was the famous invisible cartoon gremlin in the newspaper comic strip “The Family Circus.” Whenever toys were left on the floor or other school-age disasters struck, the kids in the comic pointed their fingers at “Not Me.” Today, “Tea Party” is the juvenile left’s new “Not Me” — an all-purpose scapegoat for every crime and disaster.
On Thursday morning, a disturbed pilot flew a small plane into an Austin, Texas, office complex that contained an Internal Revenue Service office. Several workers in the building were injured, and Joseph Andrew Stack, the pilot, was killed in the crash. Local authorities suspect he set his house on fire — from which his wife and daughter escaped — before taking off on his deadly journey. Investigators found a Web posting, identified as Stack’s “suicide manifesto,” in which he railed against tax laws, inequity, government, and crony capitalism. He also targeted “puppet” George W. Bush, murderous healthcare insurers, and the pharmaceutical industry.
The “manifesto” ended:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Stack had deadly grudges that transcended partisan lines. But within minutes of the story breaking, a furious left-wing blogger at the popular Daily Kos website — where countless Democratic leaders have guest-posted — fumed: “Teabag*** terrorist attack on IRS building.” The article immediately cast blame on the anti-tax Tea Party movement: “After months of threats on the United States government, and government institutions, the Anti-Government forces known as the teabag***s have struck with their first 911 (sic) inspired terrorist attack.”
At the eponymous mega-website of Arianna Huffington, a 2,000-plus comment thread was filled with allusions to “teabag***s”:
I would bet he has a membership card to teabag nation and the Glenn Beck fan club!
Tea bag bomb.
Good to see natural selection still works! Tea party Unite!
This guy sounds just like a teabag***.
Oh please. This has tea bags dripping all over it.
I hope teabag***s are proud!! … Great opening day for CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) isn’t it??
This guy sounds like a Tea Partier first class! Maybe that movement is more DANGEROUS to our freedoms than they let on! Be afraid America, BE VERY AFRAID!
He was a Tea Party Terrorist.
In the early aftermath of the suicidal pilot’s attack, there was no evidence that Stack belonged to a Tea Party organization. In any case, no law-abiding Tea Party group would ever condone what he did. But it didn’t stop the haters from immediately smearing advocates of limited government. And it’s just the latest in a long line of calculated attempts to paint the vast majority of peaceful Tea Party activists as terrorist threats to civil society.
This week, absurd liberal pundits and bloggers also tried to connect the tragic University of Alabama-Huntsville murders to the Tea Party movement. No matter that the alleged killer, Amy Bishop, was an Obama-worshiping academic who repeatedly got a soft-on-crime pass. Or that Democratic Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts was the former prosecutor involved in dropping charges against Bishop in the deadly shooting of her teenage brother. Or that liberal-dominated campus officials apparently looked the other way in response to Bishop’s several red-flag flashes of violence leading up to the U of A shootings.
Tea Party-bashers claimed that the murders were a manifestation of racist conservative influence on the American landscape. Reuters Foundation fellow Jonathan Curiel picked up the theme: “The ‘results’ that the Tea Party movement envisions include less government — and less of Obama.”
Curiel bemoaned the rejection of a post-racial society by tying together the Alabama massacre and the rise of the Tea Party movement more explicitly. Proof of anti-Obama bigotry, he wrote, could be found in “last week’s shooting in Alabama, where a disgruntled white professor murdered three minority professors; and the growing success of the Tea Party movement, which is overwhelmingly white and increasing (sic) vocal in its violent dislike of the nation’s first black president.”
The same warped worldview blamed Tea Party conservatives for Kentucky census worker Bill Sparkman’s insurance-scam-inspired suicide and for Holocaust Museum shooter James Von Brunn’s rampage (despite his published rants against Fox News).
The smear merchants, of course, are simply following Rahm Emanuel’s advice to exploit every crisis. Pointing fingers at the Tea Party gremlin demonizes the left’s most potent political opponents. This is the blame-gamers’ ultimate agenda: criminalizing dissent.
COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
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If you’re like me, President Obama’s condescending tone
during Wednesday’s State of the Union address became annoying.
He upbraided the Republican minority; he chastised his own
party’s legislators; he publically excoriated the United
States Supreme Court; he blasted former administrations;
and he told the Joint Chiefs of Staff exactly how it was
going to be on the explosive issue of homosexuals openly
serving in the military.
In fact, the only government official who remained above
blame for any of the nation’s problems was… himself.
The closest President Obama came to accepting personal
responsibility was to admit that on the healthcare issue he
was culpable for, “…not explaining it more clearly to the
As if anyone could explain the 2,000-plus pages of each
version of the ObamaCare bills! I am deeply concerned that
the Obama White House, which has done so much to dominate
Congress and manipulate the legislative process, is now
openly attacking the judicial branch!
++Political attacks on Justices Alito and Roberts
The President’s public humiliation of Supreme Court Justices
seated in front of the Democratic side of the chamber was
outrageous. The impact of his strong criticism of their
recent decision in “Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission” brought Democrats leaping to their feet to
join his condemnation!
The Justices were forced to endure the sustained applause of
his criticism – and then hear his emphatic promise to
circumvent their decision! This breach of civility had
the effect of intimidating the Supreme Court Justices.
This political theater was painful to watch and constituted
a serious affront to the Constitution’s separation of powers.
Just two days later, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), President
Obama’s chief advocate and “water carrier” in the United
States Senate, began complaining to the press that both
Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito had “misled”
Congress during their confirmation hearings.
The chorus then grew to include Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
The political point? Don’t think about crossing the
tyrannical Obama/Pelosi/Reid power axis, even if you’re
seated on the highest Court in the land!
++One more reason why we MUST “Take Back America”
After watching the President’s new “combative posture” he
displayed in the State of the Union address, I have become
more committed than ever to Liberty Counsel’s campaign
for a return to national sanity.
We cannot allow the radical Obama/Pelosi/Reid power axis
to take any more ground!
The 2010 State of the Union address made it perfectly clear
that President Obama and his crowd are not going to give up
on ANYTHING they said they wanted from the beginning -
including Cap and Trade, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell,” passage of the discredited ObamaCare legislation,
and all the other frightening proposals the President
laboriously mentioned in his speech.
We want to tell the media, our elected representatives,
government bureaucrats – and whoever else needs to hear
about it – that tens of thousands of Americans REFUSE to
stand silently by while socialist Democrats take our
nation apart, plank by plank!
If President Obama gets even a small part of the radical
agenda he poured over for more than an hour on Wednesday
night, America will be in grave danger of becoming a
America will experience change this year. The question is
what kind of change. Will it be the radicalism of Obama, or
will it be a return to the sound principles of the Founders?
Thank you and God bless America!
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman
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Seven Ways to Make Health Care in America Better
April 13, 2009
By Herman Cain
My most recent column highlighted the massive ignorance about the U.S. health care system. Too many people want to fix the leaks in our health care roof by blowing up the building. Here’s a novel idea, let’s just fix the leaks in the roof, and here are seven solutions by Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute.
Pipes explains each solution in more detail in her book, The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care, but these brief explanations will make you more knowledgeable about solutions to our health care system than 90 percent of the voting public. Taken together, there would be no involuntary leaks in the roof.
Change the tax code. Level the playing field by allowing employees to have the same tax deductibility rules as employers, which would make it possible for the employees to buy employee-owned health insurance accounts. People would then make more prudent choices, because it would be their money and not their employer’s money.
Reduce costly government mandates and regulations. Just look at Medicare and Medicaid. The more the government tries to control costs with mandates and regulations, the more costs go up and the quality of care goes down.
Allow the purchase of insurance across state lines. This one is more controversial, because the states are vastly different concerning mandated coverage and insurance regulations. But it is worth exploring for the sake of enhanced competition.
Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). These accounts are available at most banks and allow you to save money tax-free for current and future health care expenses. But as usual, the government has set stupid limitations and regulations that discourage their use. One of the best features of the HSA is that money not spent from the account in a given year can be carried over to accumulate an emergency health care fund that you control. Imagine that. You control the money and not the government!
Support Retail Health Clinics. Wal-Mart and Target are opening health clinics in many of their stores. They are doing it despite some opposition from state bureaucrats and objections from some health professionals. These clinics are not hospitals, but they provide convenient and affordable basic services to millions of people. The clinics are staffed with medical professionals, and of course these retailers know that most people will fill their prescriptions in their stores and pick up some other items before they leave. So what?
Implement Tort Reform. When it costs doctors an average of $250,000 for malpractice insurance, something is wrong. This is driving a lot of doctors away from medicine and out of small towns that cannot generate this kind of medical ante. People’s legal rights need to be protected, but not to the extent that it eliminates health care in some areas altogether.
Provide Vouchers for the Working Poor and Chronically Ill. Brilliant! It is the same principle as providing food stamps for the people who need help buying food. Just like we would not ration food to make sure we feed the poor, we should not ration health care to take care of those who do not have it. Fix the “leaks” in the roof.
Every nation that has gone the route of socialized medicine has made access, cost and quality of care worse. We have an opportunity to get it right. Then why are the Democrats in Congress and the Obama Administration determined to take the U.S. in the same direction?
It’s not about health care, it’s about control.
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Posted by admin in Thoughtful, tags: American, cap and trade, citizen, congress, Czars, democrat, healthcare, representation, republican, TARP
The following letter is rapidly circulating around the country. Americans everywhere identify with this 53-year -old woman. She has given us a voice. (Her letter was read on the Glenn Beck show.)
I’m a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are . Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you’re willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:
One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.
Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.
Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.
Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.
Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!
Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don’t you start there.
Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.
Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why — what do you have against shareholders making a profit?
Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.
Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band-Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.
Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try — please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.
Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let’s just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy. I’m busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.
I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should t rust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.
From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop.. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington . Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we’re morons.
We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured.. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.
Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back.. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.
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Some of the items in the Health Care Plan now in the works: (Yes, someone IS reading the immense amount of pages!!!But it ain’t your representatives in Washington D.C.!)
Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!
Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes you get
Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!! You can only get so much “care” per year
Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits 4 you. You have no choice!
PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise
Pg 58HC Bill – Govt will have real-time access to individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!
Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access 2 your banks accts for elective funds transfer
PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).
Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Govt control.
PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Govt mandates ALL benefit pkgs for private HC plans in the Exchange
PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs for Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!
PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services….. Example – Translation for illegal aliens
Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups I.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individually for Govt HC plan
PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs of Benefit Levels for Plans. #AARP members – your Health care WILL be rationed
-PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Indiv. will be automat.enrolled in Medicaid. No choice
pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt Monopoly
pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ #AMA – The Govt will tell YOU what you can make.
Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public opt plan. NO CHOICE
Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.
Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Emplyer w payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll
pg 150 Lines 9-13 Biz w payroll between 251k & 400k who doesn’t prov. pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll
Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC accrdng to Govt will be taxed 2.5%
Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (You and I will pay for them)
Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal recds
PG 203 Line 14-15 HC – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that
Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor will be very affected
Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors, doesn’t matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same
PG 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr’s time, professional judgments, etc. Literally value of humans.
PG 265 Sec 1131Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries
PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs
PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!
Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals for what Govt deems preventable readmissions.
Pg 317 L 13-20 OM!! PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.
Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand
pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have oppt to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can you say ACORN?!!
Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Govt mandates estab. of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing
Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing all into Govt HC plan
Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs
Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Cmtte. Can you say HC by phone?
PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life. Seniors will be interviewed every year for health issues and decisions made as to what care they can or can’t receive
Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!
PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides apprvd list of end of life resources, guiding you in death
PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends
Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “adv. care planning consult” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates
PG 429 Lines 10-12 “adv. care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV
Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.
PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life
Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Services here!!?
Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment to a community-based org. Like ACORN?
PG 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your marriage
Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Svcs including defining, creating, rationing those services
This is all in there, check it out yourself! And be afraid. You must contact your representatives and STOP this insane Health Care Plan before they pass it some night at midnight.
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.”
Benjamin Franklin, 1759.
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Posted by admin in Provoking, tags: careers, doctors, free, government, healthcare, medical, nation, physicians, President Obama, socialized medicine, uninsured
Obama writes checks the medical community can’t cash
As you know, I am no fan of socialized medicine. Of course, President Obama is — he’s a big fan of any excuse to get the government poking its nose into peoples’ business. But it turns out there’s a major hitch to Obama’s goal of massive healthcare reforms: there aren’t enough doctors to provide the massive amount of health care the president is promising.
It’s a wonderful irony: more and more of our best and brightest have been deliberately steering clear of medical careers because it’s too much of a hassle. Time was when there were 50 applications for every open spot in medical school. The Annals of Internal Medicine reported that there will be a shortage of 200,000 doctors in the U.S. In the next 20 years. But the health care manpower crisis may have already arrived.
Federal officials are already unnerved by the shortage, and are scrambling for ways to boost the number of physicians. In the Obama administration’s view, there are millions of uninsured who are already lining up for the “free” health care provided by the president’s promised legislation. The light is finally going on that these new medical demands cannot possibly be met with the current population of doctors in the U.S.
“We’re not producing enough primary-care physicians,” Obama said at a recent White House health care forum. “The costs of medical education are so high that people feel they’ve got to specialize.”
This is a half-truth. It’s true that America has a downturn in primary care docs, but it’s not just because of the cost of getting a med school education. Sorry, Mr. President. I know that this little jab at U.S. Education costs dovetails nicely with your Let-Taxes-Pay- For-Everything worldview. But the reality is, there are fewer doctors because bright kids realize that there is very little financial reward to medicine.
Think about it: would-be doctors face 12 or more years of study, at a tremendous cost (med school loans can tally as much as $140K)… Only to face ungrateful patients who sue, and the resulting huge malpractice insurance costs. And don’t forget that docs are routinely persecuted by county, state, and federal boards for not toeing the line on the type of medicine they practice.
Obama correctly points out that more medical students are pursuing the more lucrative path of medical specialties. According to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana), “Primary-care physicians are grossly underpaid compared with many specialists.”
In the face of the shortage, Obama and his team have cooked up some possible fixes — all of which come with their own problems.
One idea is to boost the amount of Medicare payments to primary care doctors – a proposal that has sparked rage among medical specialists who (correctly) claim that this picks their collective pockets.
What’s more, this will only serve to increase the amount of medical costs that Obama himself has pledged to help tamp down.
Other proposals include increasing enrollment in med schools… But no one is suggesting exactly how to do this. The government quick fix for this could be similar to affirmative action policies of the 1960s and 1970s,which sought to boost the enrollment of African-Americans in U.S. Colleges by mandating lower academic standards. At the college level, this is irresponsible. At the med school level, it’s downright dangerous.
Is it really going to do anyone much good if we can say we have an adequate number of doctors if they’re less talented?
Some are saying we should spread out the existing supply of doctors by increasing the use of physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners. With all due respect to those who happen to be nurse practitioners or physicians assistants: they are not doctors. The schooling to become qualified as one of these professions is certainly difficult, but falls far short of an M.D. This “solution” won’t solve anything — there will still be an inadequate number of legitimately qualified physicians.
Obama seems to think that community health clinics could solve the problem, and has been allocating untold millions to these facilities. But the truth is, these clinics are not immune to the doctor shortage, and they too are having a difficult time finding staff.
It’s going to become more and more obvious to those in this administration and the American people that Obama cannot merely wave his Hope-and-Change wand and make real-world problems disappear.
If Obama wants his plan to work, he’ll need more doctors. And more doctors mean that his health care proposals can only be realized at an astronomical cost to the American taxpayer. Sadly, Obama has not yet let astronomical costs get in the way of his overhaul of the American way of life.
Never short on my supply of the truth,
William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
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