Monday, 12 April 2010

One Doctor's Stand Against ObamaCare

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Ralph ReilandJack Cassell is too much for some people. He’s the Florida doctor who told his patients to go elsewhere for treatment if they voted for Obama. The message posted on his office door: “If you voted for Obama, seek urological care elsewhere. Changes to your health begin right now, not in four years.”

It didn’t take long for Dr. Cassell’s Congressman, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) to say that he smelled racism.
 
“Well, in fact, where he lives, in Mount Dora, which is in my district, many, many of the Democrats who live in Mount Dora happen to be African-Americans,” explained Grayson. “So, by saying that he will not treat somebody who supported Obama, he’s saying that he’s not going to treat a large number of African-Americans in this country.”
 
Dr. Cassell told Fox News that the real purpose of his door posting was educational, not racist, and that he wasn’t literally turning down patients.
 
"I came across the timeline for implementation of Obamacare and I got a little discouraged when I got to next year and found that most of the ancillary services and nursing homes and diagnostic imaging, all these things start to fade away, and I felt that my patients really need to know about this, and the more I thought about it, the angrier I got until I finally felt like I'm going to put a little splash page on my front door and just get people thinking a little bit,” Cassell explained.
 
“I think there's a real, real problem that's going on here in this country and unfortunately Obamacare fatally compromises my ability, or any doctor's ability, to uphold the Hippocratic Oath," he continued. "I mean, I can't believe that more people aren't standing up. I think all the doctors in the United States need to take a stand on this, because pretty soon it's going to be too late."
 
Cassell particularly objects to the $500 billion in Medicare cuts in the health reform bill, charging that the cuts would effectively put a stop to hospice services and end of life care. "Not only do they want you to die at a younger age,” he said, “they want you to die a slow and painful death as well.”
 
Meanwhile, Rep. Grayson, trying to dig up a victim in order to challenge Dr. Cassell’s medical license and/or empty the doctor’s bank account, is reportedly looking for an Obama voter who encountered Dr. Cassell’s notice on the door and then took flight, thereby being deprived of medical care.
 
Taking a more positive view of Cassell, Investor’s Business Daily, in an editorial entitled “Dr. Galt,” describes Dr. Cassell’s actions as “a noble one-man fight against the soft tyranny of the federal takeover of the health care sector.”
 
“Galt” is the fictional hero in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, the individualist who organizes a strike by the most productive members of society against the organized looters, the socialists, the redistributionists, a strike against the stifling bureaucracies and inept governments, against the idea that man must sacrifice himself to the collective, that others are somehow entitled to the product of his mind, somehow owed the product of his labor.
 
In “Dr. Galt,” Investor’s Business Daily contends that Cassell understands that we’re on the path to where “Washington will eventually treat him and others doctors as vassals of the state,” that America’s doctors “will no longer be the owners of their minds and their labor.”

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

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