Readers of my blog may know that I rarely get political. But when there is something powerfully and obviously wrong with an area of personal interest to me, I have to comment.
Of course you know that I am a practicing gastroenterologist for over thirty years now.
Of course I want everyone to have health insurance. There are many, many patients who I have treated over the years who have had none–and I received no compensation for that care. That's OK because it is part of the profession. We treat people when we are on service regardless of their financial and insurance situation.
What is outrageous about Obamacare [and I voted for him after much soul-searching] is the obvious refusal to address the malpractice crisis in this country. Despite what the New York TImes or other liberal media outlets write, PHYSICIANS PRACTICE DEFENSIVE MEDICINE OUT OF FEAR OF MALPRACTICE LITIGATION!! Can I make those letter any bigger?
There is a subtle but dangerous campaign of "misinformation" that the liberal media puts out there claiming to demonstrate how small a percentage of medical decisions are made based on defensive medicine. Utter nonsense!! It is a cover to defend the refusal to address medical malpractice and the reason is clear. Obama has been heavily funded by the trial lawyers lobby.
Charles Krauthammer and others have also publicly addressed this fact.
It is horribly disingenuous of the media to pretend that such defensive medicine is mot a MAJOR source of health care expenditures.
But don't take my word for it. Please ask your own physicians–they will be glad to tell you how physicians practice in the real world. We are conditioned to order extra tests, call more consultants, perform more procedures because of the fear of being sued for not doing these tests [on the rare chance we might miss something] and doing them IMMEDIATELY because of fear of being sued for 'delay in diagnosis'.
The costs of defensive medicine alone could provide enough money to give everyone insurance.
Like I've written about before—take it out of the courts, give these cases to panels of experts who can expeditiously and fairly adjudicate them–limit the 'pain and suffering' rewards and lets move on. If anyone believes that physicians purposefully commit negligence–take away their license and throw them behind bars. Honest mistakes and oversights occur because we are human and therefore fallible.
Obama should at least be honest enough to explain why he does not want to address this issue. His supporters –the trial lawyers–would be very upset.