OMG, here we go again. Sam Stein’s article, Obama and Industry Groups to Propose $2 Trillion in Healthcare Savings (The Huffington Post) reflects mendacity at its best. We’ve been sucker-punched before.
Back in 1992, they called it managed care but the only thing managed was corporate profits, to the peril of patient safety. Family practitioners were told that they could keep whatever money they didn’t spend and our healthcare system flat-lined. They stopped ordering tests; stopped referring patients to specialists; and laughed all the way to the bank. But they’re not laughing now. None of us are.
The decision-making authority of physicians is practically gone, never to be seen again. There is no antivirus software available to remedy this dilemma and physicians have no one to blame but ourselves. No other professional can dissect the human body and not commit bodily harm. We’ve invested more than 10,000 hours of professional training in our careers but are afraid to speak with one unified voice.
We’ve been devalued by accepting the term “provider” and an almost 40 percent reduction in reimbursement for services. We are afraid to speak truth to power. The threat of losing hospital privileges, breaking “antitrust” laws and facing insurance disenrollment is just too much for some of us to bear. However, maintaining professional integrity and fighting for our patients takes COURAGE, even in the eye of a storm.
When President Obama made the clarion call for health care reform, I waited for the shoe to drop. And it did, in the form of a bribe. The insurance companies will reduce their costs over the next ten years and save two trillion dollars? Yeah, right.
In the meantime, I’m diving in my bed and pulling the covers over my head. Don’t wake me until this nightmare is over.