“Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce.”
We are well aware of the "Taxmageddon" monster rearing its ugly head the first of next year as the "Bush tax cuts for the rich" expire and we all will see our taxes increase. But those are not the only taxes planned for us by the federal government vampires. Included are the ObamaCare taxes that will allegedly be put into a vault and spent only on ObamaCare 'healthcare' for We The People when it supposedly kicks into full gear in a couple years. About those funds ... Two words: Social Security.
Well, now several democrats are voicing objection to one of the ObamaCare taxes slated for medical devices and have sent a letter to cowboy poet Sen. Harry Reid pressuring him for a delay...
Eighteen Democratic U.S. Senators and senators-elect sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week calling for a “delay in the implementation” of the medical device tax in Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The provision was an integral part of the version of the Obamacare law, which was passed in the Senate under Reid’s stewardship in 2009. It is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.
An effort to repeal the provision failed in Congress in June. At the time, Reid characterized the proposed repeal as a Republican attack on Obamacare.
“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. … With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax — causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses,” according to the letter. “We urge you to support delaying enactment of this provision in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Whatever... Obama impressed upon the voters that only he and the omnipotent and benevolent democrats were capable of watching over our crippled, autistic, Down Syndrome citizens. Yet, these Congressional democrats are concerned, not for the cost of medical devices rising for such special needs patients, but for the medical device companies within their districts having to down-size their employees in order to meet the crushing demands of ObamaCare that will not look good on the unemployment numbers, campaign donations, and the next election cycle. Not-so-much what it will mean to the special needs children/community who will be directly hit by these new taxes. Hey, "middle class" this all directly involves you.
I heard my regional morning talk show hosts reading a recent commentary by Dr. Keith Smith, an Oklahoma City medical director, who was relating a story I fear will become this nation's story in the not too distant future under ObamaCare:
After the election, the victors are exulting that ObamaCare is here to stay, and that the “best is yet to come” as their glorious plans to “fundamentally transform America” can proceed.
In their intellectual arrogance, the power-seekers have left a key variable out of their calculations: human behavior. Their predictions, for example, of increased revenue from increased taxation, are based on “static analysis.” They assume that people will not change their behavior, as when they think they are being robbed.
They assume that doctors will keep working, just as they always have, even though they may complain. But people need to see how this assumption has worked out before.
One of the finest surgeons I’ve ever worked with was an Argentinian hand surgeon. Before coming to the United States, he was waiting tables. The government of Argentina’s version of Obamacare made waiting tables more attractive to him than practicing medicine. The government miscalculated, never considering that a talented surgeon would make what Austrian economists call a comparison of doing surgery to “the next best alternative use” of resources. This surgeon was better able to feed himself and his family by waiting tables. He simply resorted to the next best use of his time and labor.
The consideration of the next best alternative use of an individual’s time and resources is innate, something that each and every one of us does without even thinking. The belief that American physicians won’t do this is naive and arrogant. It may represent one of the greatest miscalculations in the bloody history of central planning. And what will “medicine” look like if the “providers” work begrudgingly, under terms that they see as detrimental to their own interests and their patients?
Physicians in this country will always be physicians. However, they might not be practicing medicine. The tyrants who would point a gun at a doctor to extract some “right” to health care assume that the doctors will show up for this work camp the next day, again and again, instead of seeking work conditions that are more advantageous. The current shortage of physicians will look like a surplus in a short time, if price controls and bureaucratic risk outweigh the benefit of medical practice.
As the nation drifts toward socialist redistribution and totalitarianism, economic miscalculations will proliferate as government economists assume that, this time, the laws of economics can somehow be suspended.
Already there are many examples.
A few years ago, Walmart opened its first stores in Canada. Not long afterward, they met the iron fist of the unions and their demands. The workers belonging to these unions miscalculated. Walmart simply shut down these stores, eliminating these folks’ jobs. I suppose it never occurred to them that Walmart would react in this way.
More recently, Hostess workers miscalculated, never imagining that the company would simply close. Hostess was exercising one of our few remaining rights, that of refusing to operate a company on terms that are not mutually beneficial.
New Yorkers elected a mayor they thought cared about them even more than they cared about themselves, as evidenced by his recent push to ban large sodas. Their health and well-being was his primary concern, right? Their miscalculation was apparent recently when he refused the help of non-union power workers in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, revealing his true priorities.
When Medicare began, the price paid for physician and hospital services was whatever the physician or hospital wanted to charge. Predictably, more service was provided. In the early 1990s, the central planners tried to correct their earlier error with the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale, cutting physician fees drastically. They miscalculated again. First, they thought that they were able to come up with a rational price from their abstract formulas, and second, they set it too low, below the market-clearing price, so that physicians are increasingly reluctant to see Medicare patients.
With ObamaCare, there is little evidence that the government officials and bureaucrats who created the current disaster have learned anything. They still hold the fatal conceit that they can dictate human behavior from on high without causing misery, mayhem, and death.
Here is Dr. Peter Weiss who recently wrote for PJM: "A Physician’s New Reality: Patients Ask Me to Break the Law - Ironically, but expectedly, the ones who do this now are likely to have supported Obamacare."
I have now posted a notice in my office and each exam room stating exactly what Obamacare will cover for those yearly visits. Remember Obama promised this as a free exam — no co-pay, no deductible, no charge. That’s fine and dandy if you are healthy and have no complaints. However, we are obligated by law to code specifically for the reason of the visit. An annual exam is one specific code; you can not mix this with another code, say, for rectal bleeding. This annual visit covers the exam and “discussion about the status of previously diagnosed stable conditions.” That’s the exact wording under that code — insurance will not cover any new ailment under that code.
If you are here for that annual exam, you will not be covered if you want to discuss any new ailment or unstable condition. I cannot bait and switch to another code — that’s illegal. We, the physicians, are audited all the time and can lose our license for insurance fraud.
You, the patient, will then have to make a decision.
Do you want your “free” yearly exam, or do you want to pay for a visit which is coded for a particular, new problem? You can have my “free” exam if you only discuss what Obamacare wants me to discuss.
This happened to me personally, as a patient, when I went for my physical. It is the law. If you are complaining of a new problem, then you have to reschedule, since Obamacare is very clear as to what is covered and what is not. Obamacare — intentionally — makes it as difficult to be seen and taken care of as possible.
Patients can be very tricky. I have had patients make an “annual” exam, only to want to discuss and be treated for another ailment. I can’t do it.
The reason/purpose of a yearly physical is to evaluate any changes in the patient's physical/medical condition that the patient has noticed/become aware of. This would be the very first inquiry the doctor would/should make upon entering the exam room and formally greeting the trusting patient. However, with that now removed under ObamaCare, it becomes a frivolous, meaningless annual visit just for the sake of claiming the government-run system is distributing proper and attentive healthcare for the patient. ObamaCare was crafted as a bulls eye with evil, outrageously wealthy physicians in mind.
Since then more has been 'slipped into' ObamaCare via unelected HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, just ask the Catholic Bishops. ObamaCare is a fluid law that the HHS Secretary has full power over for taxes, regulations, restrictions, and mandates ... and eventually rationing. Our rights be damned.
Which brings to mind, as has a lot of what has transpired over the last several years of government intrusions, thoughts from the ever prescient Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and character Dr. Hendricks, a brain surgeon...
“I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’ That a man’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards—never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness at which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind—yet what is it they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in the operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”
Yes, I do know what it takes, good Doctor, as I personally watch my daughter going through it ... Which is why ObamaCare also ingested this nation's student loans in its all consuming bowels in order to snare fledgling new doctors coming out of medical school with up to a quarter of a million dollars in student loans into the government-run healthcare system as indentured medical servants for a set number of years to forgive their loans while on a government paycheck that offers no chance for professional growth, incentive, or advancement. But it really is not about the actual quality of healthcare for patients, or the hard-earned relationship between doctors and their patients. It is about the government's control and its bottomline.
And so, here we are nearing mid-December. May I remind you of some sage advice I posted about a month ago: Time to Take This Seriously and Protect Yourself While You are Still in Control