A Forrest Gump Look At Healthcare Reform
Dr. George Watson
Monday, April 5, 2010 10:10 am
In the movie, Forrest Gump, Forrest (Tom Hanks) said, “Mama always said, ‘Stupid is as Stupid does.’” How could one better describe the “historic vote” of the House of Representative on March 21, 2010?
Here are my top ten examples:
1. A Speaker of the House who barged ahead with a costly, unpopular plan leading her lemmings over the cliff into the sea of red ink, which will drown all of us in incalculable debt.
2. The former “protector of the unborn” who caved in for a promise of an executive order from the most pro-abortion lawyer/President ever. I can imagine that the “high fives” reported by Robert Gibbs in the White House were accompanied by comments such as, “We got our man, Dupedpak, or Stupidpak, for a promise that isn’t worth the paper it is written on.”
3. The AMA for not listening to their state medical societies—the doctors who actually treat patients every day, but instead followed the lead of their business interests and high-level staff. Given the history of past legislation—for example, the failure to achieve portability in HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), what makes the AMA think they will get their “permanent SGR fix”? The sustainable growth rate (SGR) method means automatic fee cuts to doctors if Medicare spending increases more rapidly than considered acceptable. But perhaps they will get to keep their lucrative monopoly on producing procedure (CPT) codes for Medicare.
4. The AOA (American Osteopathic Association) who continued to sit “at the table” purporting to represent all DOs. They thought they could negotiate and compromise. But physician integrity and autonomy are not things to compromise. And what did they get? The SGR is about to slam Medicare providers with a 21% pay cut April 1, 2010. April Fools!
5. Any doctor, who is already in handcuffs with all the rules and regulations of Medicare, holding out his hand to accept government money (and leg irons) to computerize his office, giving away the confidentiality that his patients entrusted him to protect. He will be shuffling from patient room to room bound up in all the new regulations, quality measures, and he might get to spend five minutes with the patient—with his face in his computer.
6. Tinsel Town, the land of make believe. With the great roles played by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan and Tom Cruise playing the lead in Valkyrie, you would think they might recognize the socialist takeover of our country (Putin did, and said so in February 2009, when he warned Obama and Blair not to go down the failed Marxist path), but they just play the role.
7. The leftist news media who could report all kinds of shady deals—but don’t.
8. The American people who really believe that lawyers and politicians can improve American medicine, when the Medicare program (resisted by the AMA in 1965) is bankrupt. They believe the absurd World Health Organization (WHO) rating of American medicine as 37th – which is based on WHO’s perception that U.S. medicine isn’t “fair,” meaning equally shabby for all. In fact, people of financial means anywhere in the world choose to come to the U.S. for their medical care, as Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland did recently for his mitral valve repair. It might not be fair to the other Canadians waiting for surgeries, but Williams said, “It’s my life and my health.”
9. Anyone who believes that Newt Gingrich is providing unbiased information. He lauds the benefits of health information technology (HIT), but does not disclose his huge financial interests in gathering all of the personal information on every American patient in the system so bureaucrats can make QALY (quality adjusted life year) determinations to see whether you are eligible for treatment.
10. Any doctor who quits medicine and leaves his patients, rather than opting out of Medicare and ALL insurance plans, so he can practice medicine the way he dreamed it would be when he started medical school. The procedure for doing this can be found by searching on “opting out,” as on www.aapsonline.org.