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Doctor, doctor, gimme the news...

Earlier this week, Howie Carr (talk show host, newspaper columnist, and general gadfly) had a column in the paper discussing one of his favorite topics -- illegal aliens. In it, he spelled out how not only are illegal aliens treated pretty damned well in Massachusetts, but spelled out in black and white how in some cases you're actually better off if you claim to be an illegal and deny your citizenship.

I'd considered writing about Howie's column, as it's the sort of thing I've said myself before, but I never got around to it. And now I'm glad I did.

Giacomo of Joust The Facts is a "neighbor" of mine -- he's a doctor who lives in southern New Hampshire, but his practice is in Massachusetts. He read Howie's column, and it really hit home to him.

Go over there and see what it's like for a doctor -- a highly-educated, highly-trained, highly-respected professional -- to be treated like an indentured servant (that's a fancy word for "just a smidgen better than a slave") by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And then see if you still wonder why the population of the Bay State keeps dropping.


Comments (27)

That poor doctor -- that is... (Below threshold)
Lee:

That poor doctor -- that is so sad! I bet it's been two years since his last set of new titanium golf clubs.

Oh, and the guy who's lived... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Oh, and the guy who's lived with the deformed foot for most of his adult life? Kill him, just kill him -- no wait, do it on worldwide TV so everyone all around the world knows that the United States has been terrorised into insanity.

Since the Republican'ts can't defend our country, or bring terrorists like bin Laden to justice, maybe the terrorists will leave us alone when they see that we've been truly, deeply defeated.

What else would you call this once great country that is now on its the way to losing its soul? Victorious?

Gee, Lee, that isn't engagi... (Below threshold)

Gee, Lee, that isn't engaging in class warfare, is it?

And didn't you actually READ it? Giacomo is being REQUIRED to perform services at the rate the state dicates, AND has to assume full liability for his actions at the same time. He can not refuse to take the risk. In essence, the state is saying "do this, accept this as total payment, and if anything goes wrong, you're on your own. And if you don't like it, tough -- that's the cost of doing business in this state."

Sometimes, Lee, I wish you'd actually THINK about things instead of merely taking the knee-jerk opposing position. But then I think again, and realize that if you did that, I couldn't continue to blithely dismiss you as the vacuous twit you are.

J.

And if you're so worried ab... (Below threshold)

And if you're so worried about the guy with the foot, Lee, why don't YOU pay for it, instead of making Giacomo pick up the tab? You're so frigging generous with everyone else's time and money...

Socialist chickenhawk chickenshit.

J.

Well, Jay Tea, then give me... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Well, Jay Tea, then give me something to think about then instead of this tripe!

We're supposed to feel sorry for the poor widdle doctor and his six (or seven) figure income, and not feel pity for the guy with the physical deformity? I love that you chose this particular flag to bear -- it is so emblematic of the Christian right -- not that you're a Christian mind you - you've proven that you aren't.

You're a Republican.

Lee:So now progressives hav... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Lee:So now progressives have decided to ditch the 13th amendment.Somehow I'm not surprised.

Lee: NOT a Christian, NOT a... (Below threshold)

Lee: NOT a Christian, NOT a Republican, NOT a shill for the wealthy. You're 0 for 3.

I am very compassionate to the poor and disabled -- I've helped them myself, and been among their ranks on more than a few occasions. For example, Lee, I have a six-gallon pin (that's 48 donations) from the Red Cross.

I'm just not very generous with OTHERS' property. Pity you can't say the same.

J.

Well, I am a Christian, Jay... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Well, I am a Christian, Jay - and I think holding the cost of medicare services down to make health care accessible to the poor and disabled is a good thing.

I'm a Democrat.

Let the poor widdle Doctor use his two year old Titanium golf clubs for another year...

Hey Lee- My bathtub and sho... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Hey Lee- My bathtub and shower could use a good progressive scrubbing.Get right on it or this once great country will have been truly defeated,and some guy with a club foot will be killed on worldwide television.And you better do it right too,or I'll sue your sorry *ss and won't give you that penny I found in my driveway either.

What is it with the golf fi... (Below threshold)

What is it with the golf fixation, Lee? Did someone shove a Big Bertha up your ass?

Do you even know if the doctor in question plays golf? Or are you just engaging in stereotyping and profiling?

"Keep Medicare costs down" -- not a bad idea, in theory. But the practical application here is by screwing over the doctors.

Here's a hint, Lee: there is nothing keeping those doctors from just up and moving out of state. Massachusetts is already hemorrhaging people, and this is one of the reasons.

Grow a clue, will ya? And just how Christian is it to take from others without their consent? Isn't there something in the Bible about not stealing?

J.

It worries me that you are... (Below threshold)
Lee:

It worries me that you are thinking about my ass again, Jay. Do I need a restraining order?

Tsk, tsk... Such violent talk -- from such violent people...

Basic class warfare from Le... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Basic class warfare from Lee. Can't stand to see somebody else get ahead.

So what if the doctor makes a six or seven digit income. How many years did he go to school for it? How much money did he have to borrow to pay for it? How many hours of residency did he put in? How much responsibility is laid on his shoulders? How much is his liability insurance?

I'm sure some dictors can give you better specifics than I can, but a little info from a doctor friend of mine from the mid 1980's is in order. Eight years of schooling/residency without earning any real income, $100,000+ in loans to repay, 12-14 hour days in residency, on call 24/7. He was an OB/GYN, and quit the OB part because insurance was $80,000/yr. That's about $40.00/hour.

So if the going rate for a certain operation is $15,000, why should the doctor be told he can only get $8,000? Should we tell doctors, "Sorry, the going pay scale for doctors is $32,000 - $52,000 per year. Ditch diggers get $28,000 - $47,000 per year." Gee, which would somebody rather do? I believe that is how they do things in communist countries, and we know how everybody is just clamoring to get medical procedures done in those countries.

I haven't played golf in 5 ... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

I haven't played golf in 5 years because I too busy taking care of the illegal aliens for free.

When you provide free care, you have to find paying customers to make up for the loss.

Lee, good luck getting a surgical specialist to come to the ER to treat whatever emergency you develope, but I'm sure you'll understand and not sue him when he says "I had to go treat and illegal alien for free, instead of tending to your wounds".

Right, uh Lee?

Gee, I hope it's "doctors" ... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Gee, I hope it's "doctors" who give us this info, not "dictors".

Post the doctor's income la... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Post the doctor's income last year and we'll talk, engineer.

Suggesting his income is on a par (golf joke, sorry Jay) with a ditch digger is just plain stoopid.

A doctor has already made a... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

A doctor has already made a solid commitment to his profession in the years of school required, plus establishing a practice and continuing training.

This is something Lee has consistently failed to understand. He sees someone he thinks makes too much money, so therefore it is acceptable to steal from him and wrong him.

Of course, it's already been demonstrable that Lee has all the commitment of a mink in heat, except when it comes to whatever leftroid notion has been spoonfed to him lately.

Lee,What is your i... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Lee,

What is your income and profession?

Engineer,
New docs now have between 150 and 200k in loans to pay back for schooling. That is a mortgage.
They start generating meaningful at age 30 to 36, depending on the duration of training required, starting at a low end of the pay scale. (I'm sure Lee will quote us the high end and tell us it's the average.)
Hidden costs such as disability insurance (which is capped due to years of abuse/used as a retirement plan), health, life, practice insurance. Oh yeah, some people in their 30's have children, whose college education they may want to pay for.

It's the years of lost wages, avalanching debt and virtually no way to pay it off....yeah, Titanium driver my ass!

Lee:I think you ha... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Lee:

I think you have a reading comprehension problem. Reread what I wrote. I didn't say his salary was $X amount. The premise was, should we limit the amount that they can make. By setting price controls that is exactly what you are doing.

Hey Lee-So when are you goi... (Below threshold)
xennady:

Hey Lee-So when are you going to come over and clean my bathroom? Since you have no problem compelling labor from others I don't see why labor can't be extracted from you.

@ LeeSince you don... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

@ Lee

Since you don't know any docs, you blow shit from that sewage pipe of a mouth about them making lots of money and playing golf. Is your opinion of this profession based on the plastic surgeons doing tits in Beverly Hills you masturbate to each week on TV? That's what I thought.

Your four-figure grease fryer scrub boy 'job' at Burger King has got you on the defensive. Why don't you take that converted garbage truck camper ups to Canada for free health care and don't come back.

Lee,PLEASE! You'r... (Below threshold)

Lee,

PLEASE! You're killin' me.

Pray tell, what have you done for me lately? I'm in dire need of a new cigarette lighter. The present man is very unsteady.

Do us all a favor (including yourself) and refrain from voting.

Is Lee's real name Lee-ho o... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Is Lee's real name Lee-ho or Ho-lee since it is evident he is a communist playing democrat. He fits right in since 50%+ of the leadership are now multi-billionaire's playing democrat to convert the country to communism. Can anyone say international criminal Soros, the inspiration for the democrats, that is as long as he hands out 'money' for they communist/socialist programs.

How would other countries f... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

How would other countries feel if our citizens were going over there to get our health problems treated at the onus of their taxpayers and then returning back to the states. It's criminal, and should be treated so.

I also find it appalling that after being afforded free healthcare out of our pockets, you can turn around and sue the doctor. That's like a homeless guy suing me because because the cigarette he bummed from me gave him cancer.

Or ask <a href="http://news... (Below threshold)
JGrams:

Or ask Britons how they feel about expats in the US who "if ill fall back onto the British NHS."

Interesting comment thread.... (Below threshold)

Interesting comment thread. Lee, what planet do you live on? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have a titanium driver. So now I'm not allowed recreation? I've used the driver for a grand total of 5 rounds this summer. It cost about $300. Which is about what Medicaid pays - not to me, but to my practice - for fracture care when a 10 year old boy falls off a bike and breaks his wrist, requiring my services in the ER and then the OR in the middle of the night. Oh, and the driver is 4 years old, bought after I had used another driver for 12 years.

So, yeah, I do make a reasonably good living. As do a lot of people in this wonderful free-market economy of ours. I also know a host of people that went to less school than I did, that work shorter hours, that perform jobs where they are much less likely to be sued, whose work requires a lot less focus, concentration and determination, that take longer and more luxurious vacations, and live in bigger houses.

Unlike you, I don't resent them for it. I like what I do. If I was consumed with the "almighty dollar" I never would have joined a practice in Massachusetts in the first place.

You have to remember that I am not just a doctor, I'm a small business. My practice has seventeen employees. Their benefit costs and salaries increase annually. The only way my practice's gross income increases to keep up is if I have paying customers coming through the door. Unlike other businesses, however, my prices are fixed by what the insurers will pay. Increasing my fees does almost nothing; HMOs, Medicare and Medicaid pay according to their fee schedule, not mine. If all my patients were Medicaid or the misnomer "self-pay" I'd have to fire several of my employees. Read my lips: Medicaid payment rates are not enough to keep my business going. But Massachusetts wants even more of my business to be Medicaid - illegals on Medicaid.

By the way, some of you may... (Below threshold)

By the way, some of you may find this interesting. During residency we had to fill out time cards to "prove" to Medicare that we were working at least 80 hours in 2 weeks. I filled out one time card honestly listing 296 hours worked in two weeks. Do the math: there are only 336 hours in a two week period. It was Cardiothoracic surgery, every other night in-house call on sick patients, and my "night off" I routinely got home at 11 PM, then had to be back at the hospital at 5:15 AM for rounds.

Giacomo,Great post... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Giacomo,

Great post! What makes me laugh is when someone uses the phrase 'lucrative Medicare patients'. People don't understand that fee schedule is actually below minimum wage.

Just because we enjoy our work doesn't mean we must do it for free.




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