I am an avid reader of The Corner and subscribe to National Review. Many of the doctors I know are opposed to Obamacare, and I live in Ann Arbor, so that’s saying a lot. You can’t practice medicine without realizing how bad things are in the Medicare system already; and it makes no sense to extend that kind of insanity to everyone. If Medicare can be fixed, then Congress should do that first. The problem is that it likely can’t be fixed–not without pouring far more tax money into its already bloated coffers anyway.
I have been a practicing psychiatrist for 30 years and am completely opposed to government run health plans. I have seen how much suffering these plans are causing and the poor quality of care they always produce in the end, no matter how idealistic the initial goals. I have watched as time after time new medications that could have a dramatic effect on a particular patient’s quality of life are denied to that patient–supposedly because the medication isn’t any better than those already on the market and are just an attempt by a drug company to increase its profits; but really because the government is penny-wise and pound-foolish. The ritualistic demonization of pharmaceutical companies is, I believe a psychological counter that has been developed by bureaucrats to justify withholding new medications from patients.
I have also watched as the doctor-patient relationship has been torn apart and shredded by government intervention (at the federal, state and local levels); and that, too, has resulted (in my view) in a deterioration of patient care and a lack of personal investment in their own care by many patients. I would support any plan that takes the government and health care insurers out from between doctors and patients; and which also gives the responsibility of cost containment back to the two groups which are most dedicated to quality care and finding the right medical solution for each individual patient–i.e., the patient and the doctor.