Doctors Boo Obama

Obama’s trek towards socialized medicine got off to a rocky start with his speech to the American Medical Association in Chicago last Monday. Part of the reason was that he refused to endorse limiting the payouts of medical malpractice lawsuits.

From Richard Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press:

For all the young president’s popularity, the response he got Monday from doctors at an American Medical Association meeting was a sign his road is only going to get rockier as he tries to sell his plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

The boos erupted when Obama told the doctors in Chicago he wouldn’t try to help them win their top legislative priority—limits on jury damages in medical malpractice cases.

Why would Obama go to an AMA conference and say something that he knew would draw the ire of the crowd?

Read on:

If Obama announced support for malpractice limits, that would set trial lawyers and unions—major supporters of Democratic candidates—on the attack. Not to mention consumer groups.

Every other group in the health care debate has a wish list and a top priority. Insurers don’t want competition from the government. Employers don’t want to be told they have to offer medical coverage to their workers. Hospitals want to stave off Medicare cuts. Drug companies want to charge what the market will bear.

Obama can’t give all of them what they want. Instead, he’s got to figure what’s just enough to keep as many groups as possible on board—without alienating others. It’s a fine line for him—and sometimes for them.

Obama and the Democrats can no longer hide the fact that socialized medicine is going to be expensive (about $62,500 per person per year, including illegals) and that people are going to get screwed by the new socialized system.

But, the Dems still say they want to reform the system because the current system is too expensive. Where is that expense coming from?

The article actually hit on it here:

Doctors have special reasons to be wary of the president’s plans to overhaul the health care system.

Not long ago, doctors’ decisions were rarely questioned. Now they are being blamed for a big part of the wasteful spending in the nation’s $2.5 trillion health care system. Studies have shown that as much as 30 cents of the U.S. health care dollar may be going for tests and procedures that are of little or no value to patients.

A very large perecentage of the tests and procedures that have “little or no value” to the patient are requested by the doctors to make sure they didn’t miss anything that they could be sued for. In other words, it is not the patients or the insurance companies driving doctors to request these test, it is the medical malpractice suits that Obama refuses to address that are the driving force behind them.

Obama also tried to say that he is not endorsing a socialized medical system. Either he is lying or he is incredibly ignorant. There are people from Canada and Great Britain who know very well what a socialized medical system is and they see Obama trying to build exactly that.

Here is something to show that Obama really is pushing government run health care:

Since doctors are the ones responsible for ordering tests and procedures, health care costs cannot be brought under control unless they change their decision-making habits.

Obama assured the doctors that his plan would provide them with objective information on what treatments work best, with new computerized tools to better manage their patient case loads, and with support for harried solo practitioners to form networks.

And how would those “decision making habits”change? Through government edict.

Although Obama avoided the term “socialized medicine” he was unable to avoid the desciption of it in his own plan.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Analysis: Doctors’ Boos Show Obama’s Tough Road
Richard Alonso-Zaldivar
Associated Press via Breitbart
June 15, 2009

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3 Responses

  1. I never understood why people assume that just because doctors order tests and procedures, they take time to read and analyze the results.

    I’m a U.S. citizen who was insured and because I wasn’t externally bleeding when I went to the ER for internal bleeding, I was sent home with a note to see a private doctor. My condition ended up causing permanent damage so now I’m disabled on SSDI. No malpractice attorney will take my case because there are too many doctors involved who did nothing more than order tests and refer me to a specialist who did the same.

    Just because doctors order tests doesn’t mean they read or analyze results when the tests are completed. There’s no CPT code for reading and analyzing test results. Because the doctors can’t bill the insurance companies for this service, this part of medical care falls through the cracks. So doctors wing a diagnosis or pass the patient along to someone else. I was never properly diagnosed nor treated, despite the preponderance of accumulated evidence to the contrary — all the positive test results! I’m still trying to get care after five years — through Medicare once it kicks in this August through SSDI.

    Private industry’s attempts to ensure profits regardless of the effects on patients’ health sounds a lot worse than permitting a competing system that would at least give people like me (who the present medical care system failed) a chance at getting health care.

    Why isn’t anyone talking about all the people who can and do pay, but still don’t get medical care, I believe, largely due to an insurance-inspired payment system that is responsible for hiking costs to increase profits without regard to care quality? This ought to be prosecuted as a crime — even if only for lying on SEC 10K filings about patient care.

    Where are the regulators? Does “enforcement” have any meaning anymore? Or have political contributions so pervaded our system of “justice” so as to put a kabash on giving our laws teeth? And speaking of laws — if you have any knowledge of health care law, you’ll realize how direly we need to revamp these convoluted laws before we can address awards. That’s where the problem is. Or don’t you think taking away someone’s right to a fair trial is truly socialistic?

    My journey searching for competent care can be found at http://doctorblue.wordpress.com. The chronology of blogs detailing the stories that lead to my disability are numbered from 1 on.

    You can repeat the word “socialistic” as many times as you please to incite dissent. This is America after all. In my humble opinion, the term has been so overused for fear-mongering as to have lost any meaning whatsoever.

    • Anna,

      I’m sorry to hear about your condition and the cause behind it. It is a case certainly worthy of looking at on its own merits and in the context of the doctors and the hospital you were originally seen at, but we must be careful of judging an entire system by this one case, just as we must be careful of judging an entire community because of one crime committed by a member of that community.

      Your case appears to be an anomoly under our current system, but if you read my other posts that give detail to the things that are happening in Canada and Great Britain, your case would be almost comonplace there.

      The Truth About Socialized Medicine

      I use the term “socialized” to ensure proper context and factual accuracy. If I was fear-mongering, I would use the term that Canadians and Brits use to describe their own medical systems: “Rationed.” As with any government attempt at regulation, the government is so inefficient that shortages occur and rationing results. This includes government medical services.

      As imperfect as our system is, it is still the best in the world. That is why people from other nations, including Canada and Great Britain, come here to get the treatment that their government-run health services are unable to provide and very often deny to their citizens.

      While it is true that insurance companies do seek to make a profit (everyone does, even the government), simply allowing people to remain sick or die in order to make money is not on their agenda despite whatever claims are made in Hollywood movies and television shows. Dead people and people too sick to work cannot pay premiums. If people cannot pay premiums, insurance companies cannot make a profit. Thus, it is in the best interest of the insurance companies to make sure their clients can get medical treatment in a timely manner.

      That is the main difference between private health care and government health care. Private insurance providers only make money if their efforts to help heal their clients are successful, thus private providers take more interest and put more effort into making sure patients are tended to. Government bureaucrats get paid whether the patients live or die, so they don’t have anywhere near as a big a personal stake in the health of the people they are supposed to be helping.

      Ultimately, that’s what socialized health care is, an excuse to be stoic and non-caring when it comes to providing treatment to those in need.

      Anna, again, I am sorry to hear about your condition. But thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

      84rules

      • 84rules,

        Thank you for your sincere response. Unfortunately, my experience with private doctors and insurance companies clearly refutes nearly every statement you made. And I am not an anomaly. That’s the really sad part. All you need do to verify this is read any of the many, many blogs here on WordPress written by people who had experiences similar to mine and who are now disabled as a result.

        I am a former reporter who worked in the Washington DC area. I have a masters in journalism from Syracuse University. I have spent the last five years researching first hand the state of U.S. health care. I have personally spoken with and met hundreds of individuals just like me who were forsaken by their private doctors and insurance companies. I have spent hours in medical waiting rooms talking with others to determine exactly whether my case was an anomaly. I have read books by medical malpractice attorneys who concede what happened to me is commonplace. They see it all the time.

        You have every right to your opinion. I respect that and know that your beliefs are based upon what you’ve read and experienced. In fact, I found that few people can even fathom how dire our medical care system is until personally faced with chronic illness or some tragic event that pulls them into this horrid reality. It is what it is. And nothing you say can change the facts.

        I appreciate the opportunity for this discourse. God bless.

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