The City's Pulse Newsletter
Dangerous Doctor Dilemma


Our oldest son will graduate from medical school in two months. His graduation will be just a milestone, albeit an important one, on a long journey of dedication to his field. Now, after 8 years of college and med school, he will spend the next 5 years in an Ear, Nose and Throat residency program in the Midwest.

Dave called us last night and he is concerned.  He’s worried about the impact the Obama health care bill will have on doctors’ professional freedom and the quality of care in our country.

Dave has spent the last two years in what they call “rotations”, where the students work side-by-side with doctors in various specialties, usually for a month at a time.  He’s been to Detroit for Ear, Nose and Throat, Hawaii for Radiology, is currently in Ohio for Cardiology, after which he will go to Wyoming for his final rotation, Dermatology.  

I tell you this because Dave says that wherever he goes lately, he listens to the doctors talk in the lounge, on their breaks, and he has heard increasing concerns about the fate of health care if the Obama bill is passed.  Now it has.  Yesterday, in the doctors’ lounge, the conversation was tense.  The older doctors were talking seriously about getting out fast; they said they will retire as soon as possible.  The younger docs were quite uneasy and could not understand how or why this bill was passed.  And they all looked at Dave and said, “By the time you get out of residency, Dave, like it or not, you’ll be working for the government.”

Did our Congress ask the medical community about their opinion of this health care bill?  No. The President and congressional leadership did not even ask the dozen or so doctors who are IN the congress, because many of them are from the minority party.  Obama says the bill has the endorsement of the AMA (American Medical Association), but my own doctor told me the AMA has less than 30% of the practicing doctors in its group, and even those were not asked, so they are dropping their memberships rapidly.

Recent polls show that 33% of doctors say they will retire early if this bill is passed.  It takes 11-15 years to educate a new doctor.  The Obama administration claims this health care bill will bring 30 million previously uninsured people into the system.

How does any of this make sense?  You do the math. How will one third fewer doctors care for 30 million more people?  It all adds up to terrible care for everyone.

They have tried this type of system in Massachusetts.  Premiums did not go down, they went up.  And now it takes an average of 42 days to get a doctor’s appointment there.  “Got some stomach pain?  Hold on. We can see you in a month and a half.”

The only sense this health care takeover makes is POLITICAL sense.  The Obama administration just bought 30 million votes with our future money.  This bill was never about the quality of health care or even the cost.  If it had been, they would have acted differently.  They would have listened to the doctors, nurses and other health professionals.  They would have paid attention to the people of this country who said, in poll after poll for the last 6 months, that we don’t want THIS bill.  Yes, we want health care reform, but not this mammoth mess of political paybacks and manipulations. 

The process by which this bill was passed says it all: They pulled out every political gyration in the book, and made up some new ones, completely ignoring their promises for fair, accountable and transparent representation of WE, the People.

So now our quiet, non-political son Dave, and every other doctor, nurse and patient will have to stand up and speak up.  No more time for professional courtesies or arm’s length distance from the political problems.  No more letting Congress handle it.  This affects everyone.  And whether we like it or not, it’s time to take action.

What action can we take? Get involved in something. Choices will be different for us all, but I, for one, will be attending the gathering of the Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho on April 14th, the day before tax day.  It will be indoors at the Greyhound Park events center and will feature Mason Weaver, a phenomenal, nationally recognized, highly rated speaker.  He is a radio host, author, candidate for a California congressional seat and a deeply patriotic man of color.   You can click here for more information on the event and on Mason Weaver: http://www.idahotea.net 

I know I’m tired and you probably are too, but what’s the alternative?  We can’t let our country, and our freedoms, be taken away.  The time to stand is now. Let’s take action to save our country for our children. Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

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Mary Souza is a 22 year resident of CdA, local small business owner and former P&Z Commissioner.   Her opinions are her own.  For a free archive of past columns visit www.marysouzacda.com  Comments can be sent to marysouzacda@gmail.com.  Please visit the local issues web site www.OpenCdA.com for more discussion.

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