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Annals of Medicine: the problem is not just ObamaCare

September 9th, 2013 - 6:11 am

Millions of Americans — doctors and employers as well as us ordinary “consumers” — are living in trepidation of the onset of ObamaCare. Many doctors are retiring early, many employers are scrambling to devise ways of of opting out of the system, and individuals are writing their Congressmen and worry about the future of their medical care.

These are not irrational actions. ObamaCare will make health care more cumbersome, more expensive, and guarantee a lower standard of medical care. It’s the Democrat way: take something that works, inject a huge amount of government regulation and control, stand back and admire the resulting monstrosity and christen it “progress.”

As long as enough money can be funneled into the process, there will be people who will applaud the result — alternating the clapping of their hands with the extension of that same appendage to latch on the some of the circulating lucre.

Bad though ObamaCare is, however  — and for anyone who needs a refresher course, let me recommend my friend Sally Pipes’s Broadside on the subject, The Cure for Obamacare — it is well to remember that ObamaCare is not the only thing wrong with American medicine.  Alas, it was possible to shove ObamaCare down the throats of the American people only because the delivery of medical care in this country had already been so heavily bureaucratized. The ordeal recounted by a friend illustrates the problem.

This friend, who is himself an eminent physician, had a battery of medical problems this past year.  Among other things, he had knee replacement surgery. He also developed a melanoma, a particularly dangerous form of skin cancer, on the back of one of his legs. He had the cancer removed, and, though he took a nasty fall at one point,  all seemed well.

But then he developed a severe pain in his groin. Had the melanoma returned or spread? Five doctors and as many MRIs later, the answer seemed to be No. No cancer. Yet the pain persisted. It ruined his summer vacation.  Finally, he went to a pain clinic and had a nerve block injection. That provided some relief, but it soon wore off.  What to do?

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"Alas, it was possible to shove ObamaCare down the throats of the American people only because the delivery of medical care in this country had already been so heavily bureaucratized."

That's the inescapable consequence of any government intervention into a customer-vendor relationship. It started with the Flexner Report and the licensing of physicians. It got a blast of fuel from the IRS's ruling that employer-paid medical insurance was tax-exempt. It got far worse with Medicare and Medicaid. Sensible persons would have realized long ago that we were heading in the wrong direction...but in the halls of power, sensible persons have been outnumbered by the greedy and vicious for quite a long time now.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hippopotamus gets in the bathtub
Water everywhere
Hippo declares emergency and nationalizes all the towels...

(like the Hydra, every fix creates two new problems)
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good for your friend, but you know, 30-40 million people in the US don't have the option of visiting a family doctor.

Instapundit linked a story today about how Obamacare affecting free clinics. Where people have to win a lottery to get health care (since there is more demand than supply), if they lose, they have to go home and just cope with their physical injuries/problems.

Obamacare isn't the solution, but neither is the status quo. We pay twice as much for health care than any other country in the world, yet we have worse results and millions of people suffering.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
So I guess all those thousands people I did emergency surgery on for 40 years were imaginary ? I was never paid so I guess they were. You simply don't know what you are talking about.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Both of your premises are simply wrong and the result of MSM lies.
Walk into any community hospital ER and you will be treated. If you just have a cold, you may have to wait awhile.
ANY clinic will first and foremost perform triage.
Comparative cost data has been so misreported as to be believable by the incredibly naive only. Here in DC even the most ardent supporters (and bureaucratic winners) of O'care don't buy those numbers. Hell , the invented them.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand why neither the patient/doctor nor his doctor/son suspected, either. Surely that's a not very rare symptom in the not terribly young, especially who have been through other procedures that stress the body. So yes, your story certainly illustrates something about the current state of medicine, but I shudder to think just what.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
My mother died of messinteric ischemia (sp.) 6 weeks after the emergency room PA diagnosed it after talking to her, but the MRI ruled it out so she was sent home.
She had emergency surgery 4 weeks later in another hospital. Long story short, the PA diagnosed it correctly by just observation. This is similar to the dr.'s story.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am an emergency physician and I speak from experience when I say that I don't know any physician, in the actual practice of treating human beings and making a living, who thinks this will work. But no one wanted to listen to practicing physicians; they preferred leftist medical pundits and select academics who would praise the legislation. Here is a link to a column I wrote on some of the problems: http://girlsjustwannahaveguns.com/2013/09/obamacare-is-law-how-we-are-expected-to-deal-with-it/

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let me first stipulate that no matter how bad you think Obamacare is, and will be FAR worse.
Putting that to one side, if you don't like your doctor, even just because he makes you wait to long in his office, CHANGE HIM!
It took me many years to get my little cadre of physicians together, but they are ALL fantastic. First I had to acknowledge a truth: most doctors, like auto mechanics, suck. When that doctor sucks at anything regarding his practice, flee as if Visigoths were chasing you!
Under our current medical system, I am often seen by world experts in their fields. What strings did I have to pull to get an appointment? Simple. I had to call their office and make one. I paid them the usual copay I'd pay even a crappy doctor. All these men listen and spend time diagnosing carefully. I've been to many hacks in my day. I just never go back.
So that you will better appreciate that I might know a thing or two about this, my first wife had breast cancer when she was 25. It recurred when she was 40, she died two years later.
I have suffered from gout since I was 23. I have had a hip replaced. I have had a kidney transplant. When they dig me up a thousand years hence, most of me will still be there, as it is made from titanium and plastic.
Don't ever believe that a crowded doctor's office is a good sign. If he respects you so little that he makes you wait too long, drop him.
Obamacare is not about medicine. It is about getting more money into the system, which the government will then waste on stupid bureaucrats.
Just like everything else.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have no idea. It was worse than your story indicates, and is going to go down hill from there.
Ya' know, medicine, ain't all that old. The late 20th century was when health care blossomed. But mostly they were selling pain relief while the body did the work.
ta
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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