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Thread: A Doctor's Percription

  1. #1
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Default A Doctor's Percription

    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
    "Well, when I went off to college, the guys I used to hang with were pumping gas and voting Democrat. Today they're still pumping gas and voting Democrat. Guess the Democrats didn't do much for them." Charles Barkley

  2. #2
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    Franco,

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

    Martin

  3. #3
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Just in case anyone cares....

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

    kg
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JDogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K G View Post
    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
    One cannot reason someone out of something they were not reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift

  5. #5
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    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
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  6. #6
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDogger View Post
    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,

    kg
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    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!

  8. #8
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Just so everyone here knows;

    Snopes only counts when it blames Bush!!
    Stan b & Elvis

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Gerry Clinchy; 08-27-2009 at 09:07 AM.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    OK, , here one straight from yahoo.

    Are you sure you want the gooberment running Healtrh Care?
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stimul....html?x=0&.v=2
    "Well, when I went off to college, the guys I used to hang with were pumping gas and voting Democrat. Today they're still pumping gas and voting Democrat. Guess the Democrats didn't do much for them." Charles Barkley

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