November 11, 2016
It’s difficult to verbalize all the feelings after the election results. We can only fear what is to come. Yes, medical reform will be on the agenda and we will speak to that.
We will continue to advocate for health care reform but it’s obvious that we have to broaden our concern to include reminders of our social contract, the role of ethics (doing what is right) and the dangers of relying on the profit-motive free market to care for our social needs.
Obamacare was flawed from the start. Dr. John Geyman highlighted this in 2010 with his book, “Hijacked :The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform.” The main problem was that the bill was essentially written by industry lobbyists. They did everything they could to make sure that corporate profits were maximized. Now that the Republican party is in control of the federal government those same health care industries, their lobbyists and their dark money supported politicians are preparing to replace Obamacare with something. We know it won’t be with single payer medicine. That will come only when our medical care is totally broken. First we are going to have to witness the failure of medical savings accounts, insurance companies freed from oversight by state insurance commissioners, and some sort of supplements to help pay the insurance companies inflated premiums for low value coverage. The sudden post-election jump in the value of drug company stocks tell us how likely it is that drug prices are going to be brought under control. And of course policies will be based on the false assumption that people will make smarter (cheaper) choices about going to the doctor if they have to pay out of pocket. This assumes, of course, that many people go to the doctor when they don’t need to and that nobody will avoid needed care because of the expense. Strange, after 50 years of family practice I found neither of these concepts to be true. But what do I know? In the past we have theoretically discussed the fallibility of the various alternatives to single payer medicine. Now we are going to have to actually live with another (even worse than Obamacare) option. Watch for an astronomical jump in our medical induced bankruptcy rate and a big increase in the 45,000/year unnecessary death rate.