Welcome to HC-Reform
50 years ago I opened my medical practice. Over these 50 years I have delivered babies, tended to families, and cared for those who died. Over these 50 years I have seen the coming of Medicare and the rising power of the medical insurance and the pharmaceutical industries.. I have seen the mergers and acquisitions of hospitals and the ever more costly hospital wars. I have watched the skyrocketing cost of medical care and the ascendency of the profit motive in the practice of medicine. I have followed the politics which have led us to the ill-fated Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). And I am observing the demise of personal and comprehensive medical care as the primary care specialties fade away.
I am frightened and saddened by the state in which I find my beloved profession. A large percentage of our population cannot afford medical care either because of un-insurance or inadequate insurance. Many who can afford it still can’t find good medical care while being handed over from specialist to specialist with no one looking after the whole person, or caring about the whole person. In this rich country of ours we are spending almost twice as much for medical care as the next most expensive country in the world. And we have a lower life expectancy, higher maternity and infant mortality rates and lag behind the rest of the industrialized world in many measurements of health care.
With all of our wealth and power do we have to live with the shame that we do not even take care of our own people? Is there any excuse?
I hope that in my remaining years I will be able to witness the transformation of our medical care system into one that provides good medical care for every single person. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) can’t do that. We need to reach beyond politics and selfishness. We need to do the right thing. We need to create a Single Payer system, an Improved, Expanded, Medicare For All.
David M. Gimlett, M.D.