“To Our Patients”: Say No To Obama Care!


“To Our Patients”: Say No To Obama Care

Three prominent orthopedic surgeons in South Bend In. have published  their views in the South Bend tribune’s 3/20/10 edition. I have never read a more succinct and complete enumeration of the flaws of Obama care. It will be a long post, but I hope you will read and remember what follows in its entirety.

The following is a full length quote of Fred Ferlic, M.D., Robert Clemency, M. D., and Michael Kelbel, M.D.

We have spoken to many of the orthopedic surgeons in district II and we believe they would all agree with the following general statements:

1) All persons living in the United States should have the opportunity for excellent healthcare.

2) preexisting illnesses should not be an exclusion for obtaining excellent healthcare.

The undersigned orthopedic surgeons agree that healthcare reform is a necessity and the present status quo is unacceptable. However, we believe it must he done with a step by step bipartisan effort to ensure everyone excellent healthcare and decreased healthcare costs. We object to the current 2600 page Healthcare Bill for the following reasons:

1) It creates a government directed program that is financially irresponsible with no idea how to pay for this bill:

A. Medicare has trillions of unfunded liability. Even Warren Buffet, an Obama supporter, states that the current Senate Bill is unacceptable       because it is not cost- effective.

B. Medicaid is growing at 21% each year. The 10-10–6 is disingenuous (10 years of tax increases and 10 years of Medicaid cuts—$500 billion-to pay for six years of spending). Actual ten years of cost is $ 2.3 trillion and the government wants to expand the program dramatically.

2) The Healthcare Bill will create a system of substandard care–all the undersigned have worked at a government hospital (VA), and all agree to:

A. There is rationing of joint replacement and orthopedic service.

B. Directed by a huge inefficient costly bureaucracy.

C. Care directed in a less than cost effective fashion compared to private hospitals and physicians.

3) The Healthcare Bill provides no substantial medical legal reform. The present system of frivolous lawsuits results in:

A. Ever increasing physician premiums that pass the cost onto the patient

B) Ordering unnecessary tests–the Massachusetts Medical society estimates that 25% of tests and procedures are ordered for no medical  reason and are strictly legal.

C) Distrust in the doctor/patient relationship.

4) The Obama Bill has no provision in the 2600 page bill for patient responsibility: i.e., epidemic obesity with the secondary type II diabetic complications, illegitimacy with disastrous medical/social repercussions, tobacco abuse, urban violence (gunshots in 2009 accounted for 36 deaths in England-Wales; in the United States gunshot deaths 18,000), etc. Multiple social problems that the government fails to address are thrown in to the medical treatment basket.

5) There are $500 billion in new taxes when unemployment is above 10% nationally.

6) Insurance reform:

A. Does not allow for aggressive interstate insurance competition to reduce healthcare costs. (i.e. lower premiums)

B. There is no formula to reduce exorbitantly high compensation packages for the highest level insurance company executives-total compensation in 2009 for the CEO of Aetna was $30 million, total compensation of  CEO of Well Point/ Blue Cross $18 million.

7) The Healthcare Bill provides no co-pay provisions for the patient. We Believe every patient should have at least a minimal monetary investment in their health care. Totally free care invites utilization abuse. For those persons either mentally or physically incapable of investing in their healthcare allow physicians to write off indigent care as bad debt, or give them a tax credit providing care to the uninsured. Such a move would solve a large part of the country’s healthcare needs and would be very cost-effective.

8) The bill has Medicare cutbacks of $500 billion not to keep medicare solvent, but the shift costs to non-Medicare programs. Part of Mayo Clinic in Arizona no longer takes Medicare patients because of the poor reimbursement and inability to give adequate care.

9) 118 new government boards with ever expanding bureaucracies to coordinate the healthcare mandates.

10) The bill has unethical deal making-Nebraska Medicaid, Louisiana Purchase, the “Doc Fix”, Florida Medicare shame, etc. Most physicians oppose the current 2600 page bill. Only 25% fo doctors belong to the AMA which gave a lukewarm endorsement of the bill, but 75%  of doctors do not belong to the AMA and do not agree with Obama Care. With ever increasing deficits this is not the time to adopt a poorly planned 2600 page bill. Healthcare accounts for about 16% of the American economy with its concomitant large employee base. If you agree with the undersigned please contact our current representative Joe Donelly at 574-288-2780. Please let him know your opinion. This is your constitutional right and privilege.

Fred Ferlic, M.D.      Robert Clemency, M.D.         Michael Kelbel, M.D.

If you agree with these outstanding physicians (Dr. Ferlic replaced one of  my hips  with marvelous results) please protest to your Representatives.

My wonderful wife, Sally, will need heart surgery within a few years. In her 70’s will she be allowed this surgery, or will some board of bureaucrats deem it to be an inefficient use of this Nation’s medical resources?  Will you and your loved ones be at the risk of Governmental control of  your personal health options?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   3/20/10

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