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Franco
08-26-2009, 09:47 PM
Friends:
I have been sitting quietly on the sidelines watching all of this
national debate on healthcare. It is time for me to bring some clarity to
the table and as your friend by explaining many of the problems from the
aspect of a doctor.

First off the government has involved very few of us physicians
in the healthcare debate.While the American Medical Association has come
out in favor of the plan, it is vital to remember that the AMA only
represents 17% of the American physician workforce.

I have taken care of Medicaid patients for 35 years while representing
the only pediatric ophthalmology group left in Atlanta , Georgia that accepts
Medicaid.Why is this. For example, in the past 6 months I have cared for
three young children on Medicaid who had corneal ulcers. This is a
potentially blinding situation because if the cornea perforates from the
infection, almost surely blindness will occur. In all three cases the
antibiotic needed for the eradication of the infection was not on the
approved Medicaid list. Each time I was told to fax Medicaid for the
approval forms which I did. Within 48 hours the form came back tome which
was mailed in immediately via fax and I was told that I would have my
answer in 10 days. Of course by then each child would have been blind in
the eye. Each time the request came back denied. All three times I
personally provided the antibiotic for each patient which was not on the
Medicaid approved list. Get the point-rationing of care.

Over the past 35 years I have cared for over 1000 children born with
congenital cataracts. In older children and 20 in adults the &nbs p;vision is
rehabilitated with an intraocular lens. In newborns we use contact lenses
which are very expensive. It takes Medicaid over one year to approve a
contact lens post cataract surgery. By that time a successful anatomical
operation is wasted as the child will be close to blind from a lack of
focusing for so long a period of time. Again extreme rationing. Solution- I
have a foundation here in Atlanta supported 100% by private funds which
supplies all of these contact lenses for my Medicaid and illegal
immigrants children for free. Again waiting for the government would be
disastrous.

Last week I had a lady bring her child to me.They are Americans but
live in Sweden as the father has a job with a big corporation. The child
had the on set of double vision 3 months ago and has been unable to
function normally because of this. They are people of means but are
waiting 8 months to see the ophthalmologist in Sweden . Then if the child
needed surgery they would be put on a 6 month waiting list. She called me
and I saw her that day. It turned out that the child had accommodative
esotropia (crossing of the eyes treated with glasses that correct for
farsightedness) and responded to glasses within 4 days , no surgery was
needed. Again rationing of care.

Last month I operated on a 70 year old lady with double vision
present for 3 years. She responded quite nicely to her surgery and now is
symptom free. I also operated on a 69 year old judge with vertical
double vision. His surgery went very well and now he is happy as a lark. I
have been told- but of course there is no healthcare bill that has been
passed yet that these 2 people because of their age would have been
denied surgery and just told to wear a patch over one eye to alleviate the
symptoms of double vision. Obviously cheaper than surgery.

I spent two year in the US Navy during the Viet Nam war and was
well treated by the military.There was tremendous rationing of care and we
were told specificially what things the military personnel and their
dependents could have and which things they could not have. While in Viet
Nam , my wife Nancy got sick and got essentially no care at the Naval
Hospital in Oakland , California . She went home and went to her family's
private internist in Beverly Hills . While it was expensive, she received an
immediate work up. Again rationing of care.

For those of you who are over 65, this bill in its present form might
be lethal for you. People in England over 59 cannot receive stents for
their coronary arteries. The government wants to mimic the British plan.
For those of you younger, it will still mean restriction of the care that
you and your children receive.

While 99% of physicians went into medicine because of the love of
medicine and the challenge of helping our fellow man, economics are still
important. My rent goes up 2% each year and the salaries of my employees
goes up 2% each year. Twenty years ago ophthalmologists were paid $1800
for a cataract surgery and today $500. This is a 73% decrease in our
fees. I do not know of many jobs in America that have seen this lowering
of fees. But there is more to the story that just the lower fees. When I came to
Atlanta there was a well known ophthalmologist that charged $2500 for a
cataract surgery as he felt the was the best. He had a terrific reputation
and in fact I had my mother's bilateral cataracts operated on by him with
a wonderful result. She is now 94 and has 20/20 vision in both eyes.
People would pay his $2500 fee. However20 then the government came in and
said that any doctor that does medicare work can not accept more than
the going rate ( now $500) or he or she would be severely fined. This
put an end to his charging $2500. The government said it was illegal to
accept more than the government allowed rate. What I am driving at is
that those of you well off will not be able to go to the head of the line
under this new healthcare plan just because you have money as no physician
will be willing to go against the law to treat you.

I am a pediatric ophthalmologist and trained for 10 years post
college to become a pediatric ophthalmologist ( add two years of my
service in the Navy and that comes to 12 years).A neurosurgeon spends 14
years post college and if he or she has to do the military that would be
16 years. I am not entitled to make what a neurosurgeon makes but the new
plan calls for all physicians to make the same amount of payment. I assure
you that medical students will not go into neurosurgery and we will have a
tremendous shortage of neurosurgeons. Already the top neurosurgeon at my
hospital who is in good health and only 52 years old has just quit because
he can't stand working with the government anymore. Forty-nine percent ;of
children under the age of 16 in the state of Georgia are on medicaid so he
felt he just could not stand working with the beaurocracy anymore.
We are being lied to about the uninsured.They are getting care. I
operate at least 2 illegal immigrants each month who pay me nothing and
the children's hospital at which I operate charges them nothing also.This is
true not only on Atlanta , but of every community in America .

The bottom line is that I urge all of you to contact your congresswomen
and congressmen and senators to defeat this bill. I promise you that you
will not like rationing of your own health.

Furthermore, how can you trust a physician that works under these
conditions knowing that he is controlled by the state. I certainly could not
trust any doctor that would work under these draconian conditions.

One last thing, with this new healthcare plan there will be a
tremendous shortage of physicians. It has been estimated that
approximately 5% of the current physician work force will quit under this
new system. Also it is estimated that another 5% shortage will occur
because of decreased men and women wanting to go into medicine. At the
present time the US government has mandated gender equity in admissions to
medical schools .That means that for the past 15 years that &nb sp;somewhere
between 49 and 51% of each entering class are females. This is true of
private schools also because all private schools receive federal fundings.
The average career of a woman in medicne now is only 8-10 years and the
average work week for a female in medicine is only 3-4 days. I have now
trained 35 fellows in pediatric ophthalmology. Hands down the best was a
female that I trained 4 yea rs ago- she was head and heels above all
others I have trained.She now practices only 3 days a week.

Zane Pollard , MD

Martin
08-26-2009, 09:56 PM
Franco,

It is really good to hear from someone with on hands expirence about this health care fiasco. Thank you for your insite,

Martin

K G
08-26-2009, 10:32 PM
Just in case anyone cares....

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/pollard.asp

kg

JDogger
08-26-2009, 11:46 PM
Just in case anyone cares....

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/pollard.asp

kg

So...KG. Snopes is now to be trusted? Yes, the article was published. But are we to trust the editorial board of a publication such as the "American Thinker" anymore than we trust the editorial board of an other blog, such as say, the "Daily Kos"?

The internet is replete with opinions both true and false.

Truth, with a capital 'T' is absolute, and does not require interpretation. Example; All things living now, will die. Truth. Cut and dry. No arguement.


truth, with a lower case 't' is open to wide interpretation. What is true and not true can vary greatly from one's perspective.

My point is, that things presented on the internet blogs as 'Truth', (capital 'T'), may only be 'truths' (lower case) because they are subjective, and are derived from points of view that may be open to varying interpretation.

JD

JD

dnf777
08-27-2009, 05:06 AM
Ok, so she's really a doctor. So am I. I spent 16 years after college if you include my military service to get board certified in general and colon and rectal surgery, so does that make me MORE qualified that her to comment?

(I think colon and rectal surgery give me more insight than a neurosurgeon as to how people think, considering where many people's heads are!)

I agree with some of what she says, but disagree with others, and it smells of partisan talking points.

Prima non nocerum regards,
dave

K G
08-27-2009, 07:56 AM
So...KG. Snopes is now to be trusted? Yes, the article was published. But are we to trust the editorial board of a publication such as the "American Thinker" anymore than we trust the editorial board of an other blog, such as say, the "Daily Kos"?

Not sure what you mean here. I've found Snopes to be more than marginally reliable, but if you don't, that's fine. I added a qualifying statement, and no one is twisting your arm to make you believe the doctor's treatise.


The internet is replete with opinions both true and false.

Interesting...how does one have a "false" opinion?


Truth, with a capital 'T' is absolute, and does not require interpretation. Example; All things living now, will die. Truth. Cut and dry. No arguement.

Thank you, Captain Obvious.....


truth, with a lower case 't' is open to wide interpretation. What is true and not true can vary greatly from one's perspective.

I learned a loooong time ago that if you want to police form and syntax on internet postings, you will be frustrated at every turn. My suggestion? Give folks the benefit of the doubt occasionally...it may be difficult at times, but you'll spend less time frustrated....unless, of course, you enjoy being frustrated. If that's the case, knock yourself out...;-)


My point is, that things presented on the internet blogs as 'Truth', (capital 'T'), may only be 'truths' (lower case) because they are subjective, and are derived from points of view that may be open to varying interpretation.

I'd like to nominate you as "Chief of the Blog Po Po" so that we can all sleep better knowing that the world of "Truth/truth" and its interpretation is in good hands? Can I get a second on that? All in favor? Great! Done!

I feel better already regards, :razz:

kg

code3retrievers
08-27-2009, 08:17 AM
I spent 16 years after college if you include my military service to get board certified in general and colon and rectal surgery,
dave

I now see where you get your perspective!

road kill
08-27-2009, 08:19 AM
Just so everyone here knows;

Snopes only counts when it blames Bush!!:shock:

Gerry Clinchy
08-27-2009, 08:43 AM
When Clinton was attempting to pass his health care reform, my doctor mentioned the issue of doctors not being able to accept more than the govt wanted to pay ... even for those who could afford to pay more.

My doctor said back then that many would leave the medical profession if all health care had that limitation. When I asked what they would do, he said, because so many of the doctors truly do want to practice medicine, they would simply go to another country to do so ... even if it meant taking periodic trips to third world countries and just to do charitable services. Wouldn't it be ironic if Americans would start traveling to some other country without restrictions on medical care, in order to get care they couldn't get in the U.S.?

$500 for cataract surgery seems low. I paid $150+ for a doctor office visit to drain some water on the knee. And cataract surgery for only $350 more? You doctors, is this accurate?

Has anyone compiled statistics on how many Canadians come to the U.S. for health care treatments? Would be interesting to see.

Obviously, large numbers of Mexicans prefer immigrating to the U.S. rather than staying at home. If wages & employment opportunity there are so low as to make them leave, I have to believe that medical care is not real better than the wages or job opportunity.

Franco
08-27-2009, 08:44 AM
OK, , here one straight from yahoo.

Are you sure you want the gooberment running Healtrh Care?
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stimulus-checks-not-boosting-apf-2542694170.html?x=0&.v=2

dnf777
08-27-2009, 09:37 AM
I now see where you get your perspective!

I see a broad range of diseases, some minor, some lethal. I treat people with and without insurance or ability to pay. I have family conferences regarding end of life care and dying wishes. So yes, I do have a perspective on much of the ballyhoo that has been propogated by the pro-insurance company protestors. If a lawyer sits down with a family to do estate planning and wills, he gets paid handsomely. I sit down for longer periods of time, discuss MUCH more personal and heart-wrenching issues, not to mention the complexities, and am NOT expected to be compensated for my time. It's just a freebee. The new health bill included reimbursement for that time, and I appreciated that. But it was labeled as "death panels", and was removed. Thankyou.

Uncle Bill
08-27-2009, 09:47 AM
So...KG. Snopes is now to be trusted? Yes, the article was published. But are we to trust the editorial board of a publication such as the "American Thinker" anymore than we trust the editorial board of an other blog, such as say, the "Daily Kos"?

The internet is replete with opinions both true and false.

Truth, with a capital 'T' is absolute, and does not require interpretation. Example; All things living now, will die. Truth. Cut and dry. No arguement.


truth, with a lower case 't' is open to wide interpretation. What is true and not true can vary greatly from one's perspective.

My point is, that things presented on the internet blogs as 'Truth', (capital 'T'), may only be 'truths' (lower case) because they are subjective, and are derived from points of view that may be open to varying interpretation.

JD

JD


Just gotta love an admonition about Truth/truth coming from a Clintonista.

Hellsbells, Hugh, your greatest leader had problems with two-lettered words, like: is.


I second the suggestion...knock yourself out.


UB

ErinsEdge
08-27-2009, 09:58 AM
I worked in healthcare (registered medical technologist) for 35 years. I saw waste, CYO tests, really bad medical decisions in the ER, and failure of reimbursement for 2 years of Medicare billing because of billing glitches to the govt. IMHO, without tort reform none of the waste and CYO testing will stop, and the increased paperwork and headache of reimbursement or non-payment will put healthcare providers into the red and they can only figure out so many ways to try and generate a profit while they are pounding their workers into the ground by being over-worked because they cut down on employees and give them so many hats to wear. Then they get less qualified employees who are fast tracked into positions and the remaining health care workers have to spend their time picking up after them and correcting their mistakes while teaching. Get burnt out-yes, I did, big time. I walked away from the stress that was finally affecting my health. Most of us had stomach problems, migraines, aggravation of existing conditions or new problems generated by stress, and going to work was going into a war zone. The most responsible people were leaving in droves. I may be broke, but I feel better, and everytime I think about going back I get nightmares, and this is not an exhaggeration. I can't even imagine what would happen with Obamacare. I hope I can stick with my self employed health insurance premiums and not have to wait for essential care like they do in Sweden, Finland, Canada, the UK and everywhere else that has socialized medicine where only the independently wealthy can go somewhere else to get fixed.

JDogger
08-27-2009, 10:14 AM
Yeah, I got off topic last night. Back to healthcare reform.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A

It's on the internet so it's true.

There is a new group on Facebook that is meant to poke fun at the hypocrisy of the conservative argument that a public option for health care is socialism. The group is called 1 Million Strong Against our SOCIALIST Fire Departments. Here's the groups stated premise:

For too long now, fire departments across the United States have been socialist organizations, resulting in taxes on the American people.

FACT: Most Americans never use the socialized services of the fire department. The Obama administration has been very clear about keeping the status quo when it comes to taxpayer-funded fire departments.

It is time to open the fire department up to private industry. We have the best fire departments in the world in the US, but that doesn't mean that anyone (even non-US citizens) should be able to dial up and have fires put out, etc. There are private companies (Halliburtion, Etc.) who could step in tomorrow and take over every fire department in America and charge the consumer directly.

This is AMERICA. NO FREE FIRE SAFETY.

"Better DEAD than fire truck RED."


Awesome right? I started thinking more about this premise. If Hannity and Beck continuously tout that government is essentially the root of all evil, then why are they not against the privatization of fire departments, libraries, police departments, the entire school system, the national weather service, the national parks system, the national highway system, or the Food and Drug Administration. According to their logic, fire protection is not explicitly in the Constitution, therefore it should be left to private business. Liberals maintain that health care is a right. Conservatives maintain it is a privilege. Well, is fire protection a right?

Prior to the 20th century, many of the fire departments in major metropolitan areas were managed by "fire brigades". Independent organizations that were paid through insurance companies if the owner of that property could afford fire coverage (fire coverage in the since of actual firefighters, not fire coverage to insure stuff that may be lost in a fire). Shortly after the Civil War many of the major cities like Boston and New York began to make their fire departments government run, insuring everyone in the city was covered by its services. This is essentially socialism. An entire industry run by the government. Plus, most people today will never have to use the services of a fire department, which according to conservatives taxing people for services like fire departments is equivalent to theft. What's the reason we can't have good, affordable health care for all Americans? Because conservatives are terrified of one stupid word: Socialism. They are more concerned with a notion that most of them do not clearly understand, rather than what is really important; health care reform. I think that word keeps them up at night, it's like a some ghost that haunts their dreams... socialism, socialism.

Who cares if it is "socialism" (Which it isn't because that would require the government owning the hospitals, paying the doctors, making the medicines, etc. All of which no one is proposing). This should be about fixing the system, not trivial bogeyman words that are not even applicable to the situation. So, the next time someone tells you the the new public option is socialism, ask them how they feel about firemen.

WaterDogRem
08-27-2009, 01:49 PM
Last time I checked Fire & Police Departments were funded by local governments not the Federal.