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.
From the above opening paragraph, the letter goes on to spell out seven ways in which ObamaCare is a mess that will hurt seniors, raise costs, and possibly lead to a state income tax in Texas. Texas is one of just nine states that presently do not have a state income tax. Imposing such a tax would be a nuclear grenade tossed into the HQ of whichever party happens to be in power at the time. And thanks to Republican dominance in the state, guess which party that is.
Thus, not only would the Democrats have imposed a terrible health care takeover on Texans against our will (the Lone Star State was pretty much locked out of the closed-door meetings in which the bill was crafted). It would have indirectly imposed a state income tax on us too, and in a way that would boomerang on the very Republicans who fought ObamaCare and have fought repeated Democratic schemes to foist an income tax on the state. Never ever let it be said that the Democrats of today care a whit about good governance. They don’t. They care about increasing government power into every corner of American life. Period.
The doctors’ letter goes on to predict that ObamaCare will lead to doctor shortages, an overwhelmed health care system, and increased federal spending. These are all points that have been made time and time again against ObamaCare, even before it was passed.
The letter concludes with a direct call to action to vote against three local Democratic congressmen: Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23 – remember him?), Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20). All three of them voted for ObamaCare; that’s why the good doctors at HealthTexas feel compelled to call them out.