Monday, July 2, 2012

A Doctor's View of ObamaCare

American Thinker posted a must-read article over the weekend, featuring an interview with a surgeon frustrated about ObamaCare and its looming impacts on the medical profession:

American Thinker | A Surgeon Cuts to the Heart of the ObamaCare Nightmare
I've worked in a government-run socialized medical care system, and I saw the waste and inefficiency.
The longer people worked in that system, the less work they wanted to do, because the more you wanted to do, the more they dumped on you.  So after a while you stop doing it, because they're not paying you to do more...
You might start out wanting to do it, but after a while, you just run out of energy, because there's no incentive.  You'd have to be a superhuman being to continue to work in that system and not be worn down by it.
Because nobody wanted to work, it would take an hour to turn over the surgical room.  In my private practice now, it takes ten minutes.
And I saw tremendous waste: closets of stuff that never got used.  Nobody cared.
Capitalism has completely transformed my sub-specialty.  When I was in training, a common procedure that I do now took 40 minutes, and people needed a month of recovery.  Now it takes 10 minutes, and people can go back to work almost immediately.
And all these improvements were driven by the financial incentive.  Capitalism has had a tremendously positive effect on patient care and outcome in my specialty.
But when I go to meetings now, I see that there's very little innovation going on.  Everything's being impacted by ObamaCare, which, among other things, raises taxes on medical devices.
You know, doctors are people, and we're being hammered on all sides here.
It's the paperwork; it's insurance; it's transitioning to electronic medical records, so the government can get their mitts into your practice.  It's lawsuits; it's rising overhead and decreasing compensation; it's stress upon stress upon stress.
And a lot of doctors are going to say, 'Forget it.  I don't want to do this anymore.'
Read the whole article here.


  1. Nice article and possibly a sentiment of many doctors. But then again what type of job will they "quit " medicine to take and make even close to the same income of a cardiologist or surgeon? Lawyer? Politician? News commentator? Engineer? Teacher? Stockbroker? These are the same arguments made when Medicare was passed by the congress and Johnson signed the bill. Getting rid of all government run healthcare may be the thing to do, but the argument that doctors will just quit if obamcare is implemented doesn't get it.

    1. The risk isn't really that many doctors will quit in the middle of their careers, but that promising students will decide hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt isn't worth it, and experienced doctors will retire five or ten years earlier. Many doctors I know develop some side investment projects after awhile, so they could make their income that way.

      Also, one problem we are already seeing with government-managed care is the number of doctors who won't take Medicare/Medicaid patients because the reimbursement rates are so low that they can't make enough to run their offices, much less start to pay back their student loans or ever hope to expand their practices.

      Basic economics: artificial price controls create scarcity. Want lower prices? Encourage competition and transparency.

  2. I've talked with several doctors and everyone of them are po'd with the government interfering with their business! Also everyone of them said they will quit their practices. Scary huh?


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