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  • Forget Doctors' Support for the Health Care Bill

    Earlier this month, President Obama held a press conference at the White House with white coated physicians in his push for a government overhaul of the nation’s health care system. Though the presence of physicians in support of the Democrats’ plans for health care “reform” created the illusion that the medical profession is in strong support of the legislation, it remained just that—an illusion. Recent reports show that the health care legislation does not have the broad support among physicians.

    A poll by The Medicus Firm posted in the New England Journal of Medicine‘s CareerCenter shows that, on virtually every count, physicians understand and don’t like the congressional legislation. 62.7 percent of physicians feel that health reform is needed but should be implemented in a more targeted, gradual way; just the opposite of the sweeping overhaul embodied in the massive congressional legislation. Indeed, 46.3 percent of primary care physicians feel that “the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.”

    On March 10th, 15 state and national medical specialty organizations representing 85,000 physicians across the nation wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner voicing their opposition to the Senate bill (H.R. 3590), which the House is expected to vote on later this week. Liberals in and out of Congress, meanwhile, have been insisting that their legislative handiwork has enjoyed the support of the ten largest doctor organizations in the country.

    Physician opposition is understandable. Heritage economist Robert Book describes how, against the better interests of physicians and their patients, Americans may end up with government-run health care even without the public option

    Both the Senate and House bills give unprecedented levels of control to federal bureaucrats to pre-empt patient choice and block competitive innovation. The House bill would create a new federal office — a “Health Choices Commissioner” — to make health choices for the entire nation, specifying precisely what services health plans must cover, may cover, and (perhaps) must not cover. The Senate bill would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to define precisely the services that health plans must cover.

    Doctors are clearly opposed to congressional health legislation. There is a better way. If Congress were to pursue patient-centered health care reform, doctors could rest assured that their patients, their practices, and their profession remained in good hands—their own.

    Vivek Rajasekhar currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to Forget Doctors' Support for the Health Care Bill

    1. William Lulias, St. says:

      Democrats don't care about medical opinion. One by one those Democrats opposed to the bill will fold like a cheap suit just like that vegetarian Kucinich. Suppose if he ate some meat he would have stood up to the impostor we have acting as President. Worse, I believe they want their illegal procedure challenged in court.

    2. Zack says:

      Comments are subject to approval and moderation but only if it fits the way we want it to fit. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish unless you provide facts disputing conservative ideals. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism but you can call the President a socialist and a radical liberal that is trying to destroy our country, show your birth certificate, etc. While we may not always agree on policy (which we never do because we are right and liberals are wrong), we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone’s intention visiting this site because this website always offers information backed by fact and not opinion. ahem… Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated unless of course you are calling the president and democrats evil anti-american socialists. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, but not the rights of same-sex marriage or a true seperation of church and state, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards that basically just include being conservative and christian and preferrably anglo-sa….Thanks for joining the one- sided conversation!

    3. raymond says:

      This poll was not published by the NEJM and it is not a scientific poll. A survey that actually was scientific and published in the NEJM is here:


    4. Billie says:

      Since the government's definitions are different then common knowledge, what is their detailed definition of "reform?"

      This isn't "reform," it is take-over. They've NEVER been focused on the free market industries, They've been conniving to succeed their agenda. This is a planned take–over.

      The job of the American government is to govern. Not open insurance business. Not put our lives under compromise. This is our health. As this government stops at nothing in opposition of the dignity and integrity, THE STRENGTH of this country, how can ANYONE TRUST THEM WITH OUR LIVES???


    5. Billie says:

      Of course no doctor who cares about his patients would want the interference of government.

      The TWO doctors standing by Obama probably work for the government now…they'll get a raise if this goes through.

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    10. Dennis Social Circle says:

      It was all smoke and mirrows. The dems and obama are wrong in the way they are doing this. VOTE IN LARGE NUMBERS TO BRING THIS BS TO A HALT.

    11. Normca says:

      One blogger is in the wrong room again today. What happened; did MSLSD kick him out ? Some people like to criticize others for what they themselves do or want to do. Oh; that is the meaning of a Liberal.

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    13. Wm; Ky says:

      As a physician I already see many problems in medicine now I believe are secondary to the excessive intrusion of the state and federal government. I am seeking avenues for a livelihood outside of medicine. "Cover my ass" medicine has turned me into a WalMart greeter and "cosmetics" salesman. But I truly feel the healthcare debate is smoke. The real intention here seems to be the destruction of America. I have never witnessed opinions so polar. There is no "middle ground". I do not want a Socialist form of Government regardless of which political faction is held responsible. I fear another Civil War is in the making (and not by accident). My opinion.

    14. Norma in Nebraska says:

      And, of course, you are ASSUMING that those standing with the President really are doctors! Wonder if they own those “white coats” or they had to borrow them from the White House coat closet!!!

      Many doctors out there that work for the Government, receive their paychecks from OUR tax dollars, receive retirement separate from the rest of Americans, receive “cadillac” health care plans only offered to Federal employees, receive additional benefits without thinking a thing about it, were probably more than willing to have their picture on TV with the President!

    15. Jeanne Stotler,Woodbridge, Va says:

      As a nurse I KNOW that most Dr’s do not want the gov’t. interfering more than they already do, with patieent care. Only about 15% of MD’s belong to AMA. most just join their state Medical assoc. and about half of the ones practicing medicine today and some that are Residents are talking about quitting, I heard one Resident saying he could not pay his student loans under this, and doctors are not going to work for nothing. Then we have patients who want their doctors not the gov’t. treating them. We will see people die because the gov’t. feels the cost is not prevelent, their will be premies denied care, elderly who will be denied medications, hip replcements, cardiac valve surgery, and stents. Pleas tell your congress Person, this is not the answer to what ails us. Thenvote nov. 2010

    16. Lloyd Scallan - New Orleans area says:

      Why is this not a surprise? Obama used humans with white coats (that he gave them). We don’t even know if these props were doctors. But we do know the overwhelming majorty of doctors (and not the NEJM) are against Obamacare because they know what a disaster it will be for medical care in this country.

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    18. Richard Schultz says:

      I’m writing to express my support the upcoming healthcare bill. I know there is a political position which maintains that healthcare is a function of the economy and people are responsible for taking care of themselves. If this is a valid point of view I suggest that it can only be true in context of equal opportunity for education and in a full employment environment. Since this is not the case I suggest that we must act to ensure we fulfill our constitutional responsibility to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to maintain their most primary right; to life.
      It would seem that we are at another crossroad in our society’s history. We are coming out of a period of dwindling opportunity for most. A period of growing breaks going to those who facilitate the breaks, including the ability to see to our own health. I see less and less people going to the doctor, insurance trying to limit their responsibilities while maximizing operational parameters. Fewer people are focusing on preventative care, more are waiting will conditions become more severs, debilitating. If we continue it’s easy to imagine a cycle in which more people become sick, families can’t manage their healthcare bills, until there are more and more tragic healthcare stories each week.
      At that point we will be back here again discussing the same issues. The only difference is that then we will be trying to answer inquiries into how we could be this smart and powerful a country and still fail such a large segment of our fellow Americans.

    19. Mark Ryan, Richmond says:

      As a practicing, real-life doctor (Virginia license #0101231612, in case you care–since many comments here question whether people who support reform can be "real" doctors), I would like to express my strong support for this bill.

      I have spent my career to date working in under-served communities, and have faced the issue of uninsured Americans throughout. On a daily basis I have had to find care for individuals who cannot afford to purchase insurance, who do not qualify for assistance, or who cannot get insurance because of preexisting commitments.

      I would like to be able to care for patients, period. I would like for patients to be able to be seen and to be cared for without having to worry about bankruptcy. I would like for businesses and individuals to have meaningful access to insurance.

      I would have liked a bill with a public option, but this wasn't in the cards this time around. I think, after this bill is successful, that it might be an option later. In the meantime, addressing insurance company misbehavior goes a long way to fixingT things.

      Without reform this year, it is likely that reform will not be up for action again for many years. This bill must be passed, and must be passed now.

      Mark Ryan, MD (<–yes, a real MD. Not government-employed)

    20. Mark Tomsho MD says:

      It is now November 08 and the elections have brought a change in the House and a shift in the Senate. Republicans are vowing to try to repeal the Health Care Act. When someone tells you they "hate it" or it is "socialism", ask them EXACTLY why they say this. What parts of the act do they disagree with and just how will it effect them or cause the problems they claim? I have found few physicians that can really tell me specifically what is wrong with the act. When I point out the positives I receive blank stares or denials of the benefits or repetition of sound bite rhetoric.

      I also work in an under-served area and I believe the benefits, especially to the poor, children, and under-insured outweigh the problems. As those problems and difficulties with the practical implementation of the act come to light we can modify sections. That is common with all large legislation. There will be costs associated but they do not appear crippling to business though there may be some medium to small businesses which may have significant hardship. This should be addressed through amendments as the act is implemented. I believe health care should be a right in our country and this bill is a major step toward that end. Let us not just bicker and fight and throw it out because one party devised and passed the legislation. Find the areas which need to be modified, make cogent arguments, then use the system to effect the changes. In 10-15 years we should have a system which covers all, works well, and does not bankrupt the country (despite claims to the contrary, the GAO states the Act will save significant money in the long term).

      Mark Tomsho MD

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

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