Posts Tagged ‘rationing care’

Why Won’t Obama Invite The Doctors Who Will Resign If His Health Agenda Passes?

October 12, 2009

Michelle Malkin had the best title for the propaganda event that saw white-coated doctors milling around on the White House lawn: “Spin Doctors for Obamacare.”  She said:

Creators Syndicate – Lights, camera, agitprop! The curtains opened on yet another artfully staged performance of Obamacare Theater this week. One hundred and fifty doctors took their places on the plush lawn outside the West Wing — many acting like “Twilight” groupies with cameras instead of credible medical professionals. The president approved the scenery: “I am thrilled to have all of you here today, and you look very spiffy in your coats.”

White House wardrobe assistants guaranteed the “spiffy.” As the New York Post’s Charles Hurt reported, the physicians “were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.”  President Obama’s aides hastily handed out costumes to those who came in suits or dresses before the doc-and-pony show began.

But while Halloween came early to the Potomac, these partisan single-payer activists in White House-supplied clothing aren’t fooling anyone.

Obama’s spin doctors belong to a group called Doctors for America (DFA), which reportedly supplied the white lab coats.  The White House event was organized in conjunction with DFA and Organizing for America, Obama’s campaign outfit.

OFA and DFA are behind a massive new Obamacare ad campaign, letter-writing campaign and doctor-recruitment campaign. The supposedly “grassroots” nonprofit DFA is a spin-off of Doctors for Obama, a 2008 campaign arm that aggressively pushed the Democrats’ government health care takeover. DFA claims to have thousands of members with a “variety of backgrounds.” But there’s little diversity in their views on socialized medicine (98 percent want a taxpayer-funded public insurance option) — or in their political contributions.

And she went on to document what a bunch of political hacks the “Doctors for Obama” and various “spin doctor” groups mentioned above had been for Obama and the Democrats.

Gateway Pundit revealed the typical Obama White House hypocrisy of this event:

What the media won’t tell you is that the doctors were former members of the “Doctors for Obama” organization.

150 doctors including supporters from Doctors for America, the former Doctors for Obama organization, assembled on the White House lawn today for a Astroturfed show with the president.

The operational word is “Astroturf.”  As angry as the Democrats have been about “Astroturfing,” they sure have done a lot of it.  We’ve had the children of high level Obama supporters planted to ask planted questions at Astroturf health care town halls to go with the busloads of union thugs being sent even across state lines to attend town halls.  We’ve had Astroturf former Obama delegates fraudulently pretending to be doctors at town hall events.  And now we have real, but still Astroturf doctors being brought in for Astroturf photo-ops – complete with Astroturf white coats.

The truly dishonest thing was when Barack Obama deceitfully misrepresented these doctors to claim that they somehow represented the medical mainstream.  Obama said:

“When you cut through all the noise and all the distractions that are out there, I think what’s most telling is that some of the people who are most supportive of reform are the very medical professionals who know the health-care system best,” the president said.

But when you actually realize what is happening, you find that this scripted – and even costumed – White House event is an all too typical example of the “noise” and “distractions” coming from the very guy who is complaining about the “noise and distractions.”

My question to Obama is, “WHAT ABOUT THESE FOLKS?

45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul

By TERRY JONES, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY Posted 09/15/2009
Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.

The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors’ own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.

It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration’s claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.

The IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted by mail the past two weeks, with 1,376 practicing physicians chosen randomly throughout the country taking part. Responses are still coming in, and doctors’ positions on related topics — including the impact of an overhaul on senior care, medical school applications and drug development — will be covered later in this series.

Major findings included:

Two-thirds, or 65%, of doctors say they oppose the proposed government expansion plan. This contradicts the administration’s claims that doctors are part of an “unprecedented coalition” supporting a medical overhaul.

It also differs with findings of a poll released Monday by National Public Radio that suggests a “majority of physicians want public and private insurance options,” and clashes with media reports such as Tuesday’s front-page story in the Los Angeles Times with the headline “Doctors Go For Obama’s Reform.”

Nowhere in the Times story does it say doctors as a whole back the overhaul. It says only that the AMA — the “association representing the nation’s physicians” and what “many still regard as the country’s premier lobbying force” — is “lobbying and advertising to win public support for President Obama’s sweeping plan.”

The AMA, in fact, represents approximately 18% of physicians and has been hit with a number of defections by members opposed to the AMA’s support of Democrats’ proposed health care overhaul.

Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind.

More than 800,000 doctors were practicing in 2006, the government says. Projecting the poll’s finding onto that population, 360,000 doctors would consider quitting.

More than seven in 10 doctors, or 71% — the most lopsided response in the poll — answered “no” when asked if they believed “the government can cover 47 million more people and that it will cost less money and the quality of care will be better.”

This response is consistent with critics who complain that the administration and congressional Democrats have yet to explain how, even with the current number of physicians and nurses, they can cover more people and lower the cost at the same time.

The only way, the critics contend, is by rationing care — giving it to some and denying it to others. That cuts against another claim by plan supporters — that care would be better.

IBD/TIPP’s finding that many doctors could leave the business suggests that such rationing could be more severe than even critics believe.  Rationing is one of the drawbacks associated with government plans in countries such as Canada and the U.K. Stories about growing waiting lists for badly needed care, horror stories of care gone wrong, babies born on sidewalks, and even people dying as a result of care delayed or denied are rife.

In this country, the number of doctors is already lagging population growth.

From 2003 to 2006, the number of active physicians in the U.S. grew by just 0.8% a year, adding a total of 25,700 doctors.

Recent population growth has been 1% a year. Patients, in short, are already being added faster than physicians, creating a medical bottleneck.

The great concern is that, with increased mandates, lower pay and less freedom to practice, doctors could abandon medicine in droves, as the IBD/TIPP Poll suggests. Under the proposed medical overhaul, an additional 47 million people would have to be cared for — an 18% increase in patient loads, without an equivalent increase in doctors. The actual effect could be somewhat less because a significant share of the uninsured already get care.

Even so, the government vows to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from health care spending to pay for reform, which would encourage a flight from the profession.

The U.S. today has just 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population — below the median of 3.1 for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the official club of wealthy nations.

Adding millions of patients to physicians’ caseloads would threaten to overwhelm the system. Medical gatekeepers would have to deny care to large numbers of people. That means care would have to be rationed.

“It’s like giving everyone free bus passes, but there are only two buses,” Dr. Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told the Associated Press. [Link added].

Hope for a surge in new doctors may be misplaced. A recent study from the Association of American Medical Colleges found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980.

The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025. Unless corrected, that would make some sort of medical rationing or long waiting lists almost mandatory.

[Snip]

Other states with government-run or mandated health insurance systems, including Maine, Tennessee and Hawaii, have been forced to cut back services and coverage.

This experience has been repeated in other countries where a form of nationalized care is common. In particular, many nationalized health systems seem to have trouble finding enough doctors to meet demand.

In Britain, a lack of practicing physicians means the country has had to import thousands of foreign doctors to care for patients in the National Health Service.

“A third of (British) primary care trusts are flying in (general practitioners) from as far away as Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland” because of a doctor shortage, a recent story in the British Daily Mail noted.

British doctors, demoralized by long hours and burdensome rules, simply refuse to see patients at nights and weekends.

Likewise, Canadian physicians who have to deal with the stringent rules and income limits imposed by that country’s national health plan have emigrated in droves to other countries, including the U.S.

ObamaCare is all about rationing.

Doctors will begin retiring in droves because government-funded healthcare already has them operating at a loss.  On average, Medicare only pays 93% of the COST of providing care.  Doctors and hospitals subsidize Medicare patients at a loss by counting on private insurance-covered patients to allow them to operate at an overall profit.  If you expand government-covered patients, and reduce the role of private insurance, medical practice will simply become unprofitable.  Hence the mass retirements as physicians stop swimming against the tide of government red-tape and low-balling and just quit.

Why doesn’t Obama invite these doctors to the White House.  They can even give them white coats when they get there, to look more “doctorly” like they did with the pro-ObamaCare doctors.

If Obama had the best interests for the nation in his heart, he would want to hear from these doctors.  Instead, he’s doing everything in his power to shut such professionals out of the debate while he tries to ram his ideological and partisan agenda through.

ObamaCare will cost this country hundreds of billions – and over time trillions – of dollars at a time when we can least afford it, even as its imposition results in thousands of doctors choosing to retire at a time when we can least afford it.

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