Thursday, September 02, 2010


Click arrow above to watch Dr. Hal Scherz's "video for doctors" above from Docs4PatientCare.  See his editorial in yesterday's WSJ here, about this "Waiting Room Letter for Physicians and Patients," here's an excerpt:

"ObamaCare will bring major cost increases, rising insurance premiums, higher taxes, a decline in new medical techniques, a fall-off in the development of miracle drugs as well as rationing by government panels and by bureaucrats like passionate rationing advocate Donald Berwick that will force delays of months or sometimes years for hospitalization or surgery."


At 9/02/2010 10:02 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

It's about time doctors start speaking up and speaking out.

At 9/02/2010 10:15 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Excellent. First step ObamaCare, second step AMA.

At 9/02/2010 11:42 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

That's when I start having a very good chat about the mistake they made in siding with them. Thankfully none of mine have decided to place this notice and have no plans to do so.

The bill is bad enough, no sense in trying to amplify it.

At 9/02/2010 12:10 PM, Blogger Michael Hoff said...

Excellent. You don't play nice with people that are trying to destroy you. I wish insurance execs would do the same thing, instead of trying to "work with the government." Newsflash: the government hates you.

At 9/02/2010 9:00 PM, Blogger HaynesBE said...

Doc4PatientCare is a grass roots group of doctors and their allies committed to preserving the freedom for doctors and patients to make private medical decisions. They are not insensitive to rising health care costs or to the problem of those who are priced out of insurance or needed medical care. They just don't view central planning and government bureaucracy as the solution. Check out their website--and help financially if you can. These are honest, hard working independent docs spending their precious free time fighting for our health care freedom.

B.E.Haynes, MD

At 9/02/2010 9:57 PM, Blogger Michael Cottle said...

There are two means to control healthcare spending; free market and government controlled. Both ration care based on ability to pay. Unfortunately in the US, we have neither and costs spiral out of control. I do not think we will ever have the conviction for a true free market approach where people are denied care based on ability to pay. Will any of us sign up for this responsibility? So, the choice is clear and evidence from other countries speaks volumes.

At 9/03/2010 6:11 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Where were these guys six months ago. The AMA supported Obama Care. The medical profession has been in favor of statist solutions for over a hundred years. Now, when when the inevitable outcome of their past policies is about to occur and they're going to become the equivalent of government paid bureaucrats, they decide they need to take action.

At 9/03/2010 9:27 AM, Blogger Sean said...


Well said.

At 9/03/2010 12:05 PM, Blogger HaynesBE said...

D4PC (and lots of unorganized doctors) fought hard against the passage of the bill...but they are just now getting noticed by the media.

Michael--people will die and suffer under government-run health care too. It will be different set of people, those chosen by government bureaucrats, instead of the result of hard luck and the private free decision of individuals.

(Also, are you aware that it is illegal for doctors to provide free or discounted care to those enrolled in Medicare?)

At 9/03/2010 2:38 PM, Blogger Tom said...

It is time for physicians and others to grow a spine and fight tyrannical government. Long past time. We are no longer America. We must take back control of Congress, and zero-fund the socialist bureaucracy, smother it in the cradle. Or maybe abort it.

At 9/03/2010 4:07 PM, Blogger Michael Cottle said...

HaynesBE: Agreed but our costs will be much lower and growing at a lower rate. Also, other countries do have evidence of better outcomes at a lower cost than the United States. So, we will likely be better off.

At 9/03/2010 4:38 PM, Blogger HaynesBE said...

The claims of better outcomes are primarily based on the report from the WHO which are controversial at best, and more likely, simply false.

See "Trouble in the Ranks:How the WHO unfairly evaluates national health care systems." by Glenn Whitman, Assoc. Prof Econ, CSU and critiques of the WHO Report 2000 by Philip Musgrove, the editor in chief for that report)under Health Care System Rankings" in the New Eng J Med, April 2010. (Both available on the web.)

In outcome meansere for cancer treatment, the US clearly excels. When motor vehicle accidents and homicides are removed from the life expectancy stats, we are comparable to other developed countries. International measures of infant mortality compare apples and oranges and are meaningless--and because we count extreme premature births as live births, it also drags down our life expectancy figures.

Most, if not all, countries with lower health care costs have them because the government sets a spending cap. Less money spent also means less health care received. Spending less on health care may be an appropriate goal--(esp. for the 80% of us who are healthy) but should be a private decision, not one imposed by government.

The biggest driver of health care costs in the US is the fact the the consumer of healthcare goods and services does not directly pay for them--so demand is artificially elevated. If you only had to pay 12 cents out of every dollar spent for groceries, you'd "buy" more total groceries and as well more steak!

At 9/03/2010 10:39 PM, Blogger Michael Cottle said...

HaynesBE: That is the rub about healthcare isn't it. I agree with the idea that an individual based system would be better. Unfortunately, no one has presented a way of doing this. Well other than letting grandma die in the street which I hope no one will accept.

Regarding comparative countries, their costs are still half the US even if the outcomes are more approximate to the US. Imagine if US could cut healthcare by 25%. That is $250B reduction in federal government spending and far more to state, local and individuals.

At 9/03/2010 11:18 PM, Blogger HaynesBE said...

Michael--Thank you for your thoughtful and polite discussion.

One thought is to first do whatever we can to lower costs through the free market to increase accessibility by increasing affordability. Things like allowing purchase of insurance across state lines, elimination of expensive insurance benefit mandates, tax equity for insurance and health care spending (instead of giving preference to employer-provided insurance), getting reasonable tort reform, eliminating caps on HSA, and a myriad of other things--including greater consumer financial responsibility for predictable medical expenditures (i.e., return to a true insurance model for health care )and greater price transparency. We also need to increase competition by allowing more freedom of practice for midlevel practitioner--who are quite capable of handling many problems, and can do it at a lower cost.

First do no harm is a good guide not just for physicians but also for government intrusion into private market transactions.

While the adjustments in the market are occurring, we would need to continue welfare subsidies, but with a gradual, predictable reduction.

I think in the end, the number of people who truly cannot afford a reasonable minimum of health care would be an order of magnitude smaller than what we are faced with today. The reforms which were recently enacted reinforce and augment the cost-increasing mistakes of the past.


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