Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One doctor's view of healthcare reform

Dr. Marc Siegel takes exception to many of the things said in the debate on healthcare. "If President Obama thinks he's smarting from a rough August, he should try being a doctor. After all, we've taken quite a few shots in this health care debate, including a few from the president himself. When Obama accused physicians of taking out tonsils or performing amputations just for the money, he offended all doctors, not just ear, nose and throat specialists or vascular surgeons.", he begins. "...On the other hand, meet Zane Pollard, a pediatric ophthalmologist in Atlanta who works in a Medicaid clinic and literally saves children's sight or performs surgeries — often without payment. Pollard wrote a letter, published in the American Thinker in August and well-circulated since, that shows what is being done to help the uninsured rather than what is not being done: "I operate on at least two illegal immigrants each month who pay me nothing, and the children's hospital at which I operate charges them nothing also." Pollard notes that such treatment is delivered in "every community in America." Read more from My medical oath requires no government oversight


Chalicechick said...

You mean, someone implied that all members of a profession are selfish jerks only out to make money, and a member of that profession objected to that statement?

Gee, that's the first time I've seen that happen since yesterday.

who isn't exactly a member of the legal profession, but still...

Joel Monka said...

Actually, neither Chuck B nor I accused lawyers of doing it for the money- I said, "It's not like they're getting rich doing it, not in a community organizer office- they act like it's a calling.", and Chuck said, "Just like for hackers or unethical scientists, money is not always the goal. It can be the challenge, or the way they are mentally put together." Mean-spirited as I was in my disappointment, I didn’t say it was greed.

And isn’t there a difference between a nobody like me saying something like that in an obscure blog, and the President of the United States saying it in a nationally televised speech?

Chalicechick said...

One deserves a response to the blog post and one deserves a column in USA Today, but other than that, I don't see much difference.

Certainly doctors do perform unnecessary surgeries sometimes, and it is very expensive when they do. They caught a guy in California who had done $160 million dollars worth.

I'm sure that guy isn't Marc Siegel's friend any more than the lawyers y'all were talking about are mine, but the problem still exists.


Scott said...

The physicians are being left out of the debate, which is odd because they are very sharp knowledgeable insiders. Physicians generally seem to be against socialized medicine.

I read an article recently by a physician who didn't think too highly of HR 3200. More interesting were the comments to the article, which were written mostly by other physicians. It is a good article.

I blogged a summary if you get bored and want something else to read.

The AMA weighed in for HR 3200, but only about 17% of physicians are part of the AMA, and not all of them agree with the AMA's stand on this.

Anyway, I like your blog. I'll be dropping in again soon.

-- Scott

Tim said...

Physician opinion is much more varied on health care reform than this implies. For example, in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, a majority of doctors responding to a survey preferred a public option in health care reform. Harold Pollack at The New Republic provides a useful summary of recent surveys of doctors' opinions on issues related to health care reform. See http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-treatment/listen-your-doctors