Robert E. Laird, executive director of Divine Mercy Care and practice administrator at the Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, Va., comments to NRO on tonight’s presidential press conference:
1. I was disappointed that all of the questions were merely an extension of his opening statement. There were no hard questions. It appears that they were all previously screened.
2. The independent panel of physicians who will become the decision-brokers of the government health-care plan are not independent but reflect the administration’s policies on abortion and conscience protection unless Congress explicitly excludes it from the legislation. A fair press
conference would have picked up on that question and followed up on that aspect of it.
3. I run a 6-physician ob-gyn practice. Because we provide charity care (33% of our new mothers do not have commercial health insurance), we do not limit the number of Medicaid patients that we take. Medicaid reimbursement rates for our physicians caring for a mother throughout her pregnancy and then delivering the baby are at least 25% lower than the median of the other insurance rates. With medical malpractice rates continuing to be out of control, physicians cannot survive on those payments and will leave the profession.