nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Doctor Says If You Support ObamaCare You Should Find Another Doctor

A urologist in the Orlando area posts a sign on his door asking patients to seek care elsewhere if they like the new health care reform.

The doctor makes it clear he's not turning anyone away, just that he is against the new law:  if you want someone to take care of you who supports the law, you should look elsewhere.  Thanks to Hot Air for passing on the story.

You can read the article here.  There's a poll online asking visitors to vote on whether the doctors is right, and whether he should be bringing his political opinion to his office.

Interestingly, 10% of people think it's out of line for a doctor to exercise his/her right to free speech.  I wouldn't have thought that many people would be confused about the First Amendment.

As of this posting about 85% of the voters agree with him, and say "press on."

By coincidence, my spouse had an appointment yesterday, and her doctor had a sign on the door that said "we are no longer taking any Medicare."

I sense from colleagues and my own doctors that there's a fair amount of anger out there about our new HC law, but I can't gauge just how widespread it is yet.



Jess said...

Well, hang on.

There's a difference between the doctor telling patients that if they want to see someone who supports the HC law he's not their guy, and the doctor telling patients that if they support the reforms to seek care elsewhere.

Telling them that if they're looking for a supporter of the law* to look elsewhere is no different than telling them if they would rather see a female, or Muslim, or black doctor they need to find someone else.

*Do patients really choose their doctors based on their political beliefs? Do most doctors make their political beliefs known to their patients? Isn't healthcare meant to be about the patients?

And of course he's allowed his opinion, just like the rest of us. But his personal opinion should have no bearing on his professional decisions about which sick people to treat. I would hesitate to see any doctor who brought his personal beliefs (regardless of what they are) into the clinic. Legally allowed or not, it's incredibly unprofessional.

His sign says "if you voted for Obama" - that was a great majority of the country. Maybe it's time he got out of medicine and into politics.

Are you sure you wouldn't feel differently if this sign appeared a few years ago and said 'If you support the war in Iraq seek care elsewhere'?

Doc D said...

In this country, doctors can opt out of seeing Medicare or Medicaid patients, or accepting any new patient. They decide each year whether they will accept govt patients. The falling reimbursement rates are motivating more and more to decline participation. In TX, only about 19% see Medicaid, and about 40% see Medicare. I expect these to continue to fall as Congress toys with lower payment rates each year, but never fixes them.

As you may have read in a previous post, what the government now pays doesn't cover expenses. You're right, healthcare is about the patients, but not under those conditions.

What you CAN'T do here is abandon a patient you already have without helping to get someone else to pick them up. I almost never did this...maybe twice in 35 years...with somebody I just couldn't work with. Doctors have the same right to reject patients as patients have to reject doctors. Medicine is a two-way contract. Mostly it's patients who vote with their feet, not doctors.

Are doctors employees of the govt in NZ, like in GB? That would be anathema here. GB is considering canceling all hip replacements because the govt is out of money, and their doctors have little say in it. In this country if the govt tried to do that, doctors can just say stick it, and do what's best for the patient.

Also, on the election, had 3.5% voted otherwise we would have had a tie. A landslide in this country is ~60%; Obama got ~53%. But, admittedly, compared to Bush v Gore, it was a clear decision. Current polls indicate many have had second thoughts (43% approval). Approval of health care reform also continues to fall, despite almost 50 speeches from the President. At passage, most disapproved of the bill, and now disapproval is around 2 to 1. These things can change a lot, so it's best not to read too much into them--most presidents sink low in the 2nd year.

It's going to take a number of years for all this to shake out: keep the good, fix the bad.

Jess said...

Yes, doctors are Government employees here. I don't have any idea who pays for tests and x-rays and other things like that. I'm presuming it's all paid for by the Govt.

GB seems to be a mess if you're sick.

If every doctor refused to see Medicaid/Medicare, what would happen? I'm studying Gandhi at the moment and I'm looking for opportunities to lead a Satyagraha movement....

Doc D said...

I had to look up Satyagraha. Sounds like Duragraha entails less suffering. :-)

The govt will have to fix the payment rates or write a law forcing docs to see patients. I think the latter is not possible, but Congress has postponed doing the first for over 10 yrs, as it continues to get worse.

Meanwhile public approval of the new law continues to fall as new problems emerge from reading the ~3000 pages.

All of this could have been avoided.

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