Friday, 03 September 2010

Doctors Prescribe ObamaCare Repeal

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doctor and patientEveryone is familiar with the routine when visiting a doctor’s office: The doctor or his assistant checks the patient’s vital signs, then discusses any symptoms the patient is experiencing and examines him in relation to those symptoms. If the patient is anything less than healthy, the doctor prescribes a course of treatment.

Now, however, some patients will be getting a new kind of prescription from their doctors — one urging them to preserve their own health by helping to repeal ObamaCare. A group of physicians known as Docs4PatientCare, founded specifically to oppose the recently enacted healthcare legislation, has created a “Dear Patient” letter for doctors to post in their waiting rooms. The letter explains why the law is so bad and encourages the reader to vote against those politicians who cast their lot with President Obama.

Dr. Hal Scherz, the Atlanta surgeon who started the group, recently wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he both described the contents of the letter and cautioned voters about a ruse that Democrats are using to avoid electoral defeat without actually repealing ObamaCare.

Scherz began:

Facing a nationwide backlash, Democratic congressional candidates have a new message for voters: We know you don’t like ObamaCare, so we’ll fix it.

This was the line offered by Democrat Mark Critz, who won a special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district after expressing opposition to the law and promising to mend it — but not to repeal it. As a doctor I know something about unexpected recoveries, and this latest attempt to rescue ObamaCare from repeal needs to be taken seriously.

For Democrats who voted for ObamaCare, this tactic is an escape route, a chance to distance themselves from the president with a vague promise to fix health-care reform in the next Congress.

As Scherz and the Docs4PatientCare letter point out, however, once these same politicians are safely ensconced in Congress for another two or six years, it is unlikely that they will follow through on their promises to “fix” ObamaCare. Even if they did, these fixes would amount to putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

The letter itself pulls no punches, beginning as follows:

Section 1311 of the new health care legislation gives the US Secretary of Health and Human Services and her appointees the power to establish care-guidelines that your doctor must abide by or face penalties and fines. In making doctors answerable in the federal bureaucracy this bill effectively makes them government employees and means that you and your doctor are no longer in charge of your health care decisions.

This new law politicizes medicine and in my opinion destroys the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship that makes the American health care system the best in the world.

The members of Docs4PatientCare are not the only physicians who believe that one of the greatest dangers ObamaCare poses to Americans is its interference in the doctor-patient relationship. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), an obstetrician, expressed similar sentiments in a July interview with The New American. Asked if he believed the legislation would come between doctors and patients, Paul said:

I think there’s no doubt about that because doctors will be required to make phone calls, and decisions will be made by not other M.D.’s but they will be made by people who are pushing a pencil. They’re looking at the bottom line because medicine’ll be more expensive, they’ll have to talk to the rationers. And there will be rationing of care, and it won’t be rationing of care by doctors and patients making decisions as to what kind of treatment they’ll have. It’ll be by those people in Washington, the bureaucrats who are looking at a bottom line and not understanding the situation.

Rationing is, in fact, the next topic raised in the letter. After explaining the increase in medical costs and decrease in quality care that ObamaCare will bring, the letter reminds readers of Obama’s recess-appointed head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “passionate rationing advocate Donald Berwick.” Berwick, of course, has stated that he is literally in love with the British National Health Service and has said that “the decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

The letter goes on to describe how unpopular ObamaCare has always been and how it was rammed through Congress “with legal bribes and Chicago-style threats” despite its unpopularity. It then urges the patient: “Please remember when you vote this November that unless the Democratic party receives a strong negative message about this power grab our health care system will never be fixed and the doctor patient relationship will be ruined forever.”

The more doctors who download and post this letter, the better. Patients need to be aware of just how dangerous ObamaCare is and what they can do about it. Repealing ObamaCare is the first and most important step in a lengthy course of treatment, all aimed at reducing government intervention into healthcare, that is needed to restore America’s ailing healthcare system to full vitality.

ObamaCare