Politicians ought to have to take a version of the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. If they had, ObamaCare wouldn’t exist and doctors like a group in San Antonio, Texas, wouldn’t feel compelled to take political stands that might annoy or even enrage their patients — even if the stand being taken is the right one, and for the right reasons.
To paraphrase soon to be former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now that the Democrats have passed ObamaCare, the nation is finding out what’s in it. That knowledge is what’s driving 61% to favor repeal, and it has also driven doctors to speak out. Some, like Dr. Donna Campbell, Dr. Robert Steele, and Dr. Scott DesJarlais, ran or are running for Congress against entrenched Democrat incumbents. Doctors at a health care network in the San Antonio area — HealthTexas Medical Group — have gone on the offensive with an open letter to their patients. The letter is signed by 16 of the group’s physicians, and it lays out a strong case for why ObamaCare is a disaster in the making. The letter begins:
As physicians it is our fundamental responsibility and our solemn duty to be our patients’ advocates. For this reason we believe we must share with you our serious concerns regarding the Healthcare Reform Bill passed by Congress in March 2010. We strongly believe that this Healthcare Reform Bill will have negative effects for the great majority of our patients, particularly for seniors, and that it is bad medicine for our country in general.
I spoke with a HealthTexas media rep on Monday afternoon to verify that the letter is real and to ask how patients have reacted to it. The letter is real, has been around for a couple of months now, and patients have understandably had mixed reactions to it. They’re visiting the doctor for health care, not politics. The thing is, though, ObamaCare has politicized health care to a degree Americans have never seen. And the spokeswoman said that once staff have explained the letter to patients, they understand the doctors’ intent and seem to be fine with the letter. The spokeswoman didn’t indicate any lasting negative effects of loss of business. That, in my and most Americans’ opinion, awaits the full implementation of ObamaCare.