Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: College of Surgeons Criticizes Obama’s Ignorance About Surgical Costs

I wondered the other day whether President Obama knows what he is talking about when it comes to health care, pointing to, as his latest ignorant utterance, the claim that surgeons make up to $50,000 for amputating a foot.  Now, the American College of Surgeons has weighed in as well, none too pleased. From its press release:

The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.

Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.

Hmmm. That’s a lo-o-ong way from $30,000-50,000. The college also castigated the president for claiming that doctors r unnecessary tonsiectomies for the money, also mentioned here at SHS:

Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon’s decision to remove a child’s tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what’s right for the patient.

Demonizing physicians, insurance companies, town hallers, etc., isn’t the way to convince the public to swallow Obamacare. And with our president apparentlyclueless about important details, no wonder this plan is losing public support.