Obamacare: a Physican's Perspective

Hugh Hewitt published a letter he received from an oncologist practicing in a 22 doctor practice in the Chicago area. In the letter he tells Hugh what many have already predicted would happen and that is if Obama gets his health care reform bill passed in both houses of Congress, disaster awaits:

Make no mistake: most of us enjoy the opportunity to do what we do. After all, we cure cancer for a living. Hard to top that on the “Useful Professions” scale.
We also, however endure just the stressors and personal strains that you might imagine. We trade time, and inconvenience, for money. Just like everyone else in the private sector, only more so—after ten years of training after college. With the prospect staring us in the face of working harder than the average internist, and earning less: well, if I were 58, and my kids were grown and my mortgage paid: well, I’d call it a day. At 48, I’m already working on an exit strategy by 55 in anticipation of this scenario.

I could go on, but this note is far too long already. Specialists, and underpaid generalists will hang it up years ahead of their planned exit from medicine in just about any system that the Obama administration is likely to devise. They’ll scarcely need to ration care: there just won’t be anyone around to deliver it. Government will kill the golden goose, and then blame it upon everyone and anyone else. As usual.

In my AIP column last week, I addressed the rationing that will surely follow if we have a single payer health care system. Instead of a system like what Obama and the Democrats are going to introduce, we should be considering a system more like the Netherlands’ free market based system. The Republicans have offered a plan that is similar but is based upon tax credits that allows people to purchase insurance. Jeff Emanuel as a column at Pajamas Media that gives some insight into how the bill works:

The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 is an effective alternative to the rationing-based, bureaucrat-run, federal-government-centric proposals being kicked around Washington, D.C., from the White House to Capitol Hill to K Street. The bill is not perfect, a fact exemplified by its citation of the disastrous “RomneyCare” program in Massachusetts and by its reliance on government to step in and fix problems of cost and quality that they largely created by prohibiting interstate competition, imposing mandates, and pushing our health care marketplace further toward a third-party-payer only system.

Despite these drawbacks, though, the PCA is light years ahead of the government-run alternatives being championed by President Obama and his Democrats in the U.S. Senate. The willingness to attack the currently problematic tax treatment of health care and to help poor Americans divorce their medical fates from the whims of state and federal bureaucrats is a giant leap in the right direction and deserves more attention and support.

Unfortunately, the fact that the PCA takes less than a fully government-centric approach to solving the health-care crisis virtually guarantees it will not make it out of committee in the current Congress. However, by putting forth this proposal, Republicans in the House and Senate are effectively showing that they are, in fact, paying attention to policy and paying more than lip service to offering alternatives to the Obama-led Democrats’ statist proposals. That in and of itself should be considered a victory for the GOP, even though this legislation won’t see the light of day any time soon in either federal legislative body.

That is a real shame, because any health care reform that is government run will destroy our country’s world class system.

Let The Pandering Begin
Ted Rall, voice of reason?