I am convinced that President Obama is ignorant–not generally, but about how medicine is actually practiced. Recall when he defamed pediatricians by claiming that some perform unnecessary tonsillectomies for the money, apparently unaware that a child’s primary care doc would not be the actual surgeon in such cases. Then, there was the “red pill versus blue pill” nonsense.
Well, now he’s done it again. The other day, the president issued a rambling 17 minute non answer to a woman in a crowd questioning the wisdom of Obamacare and claiming that we are over taxed. That would usually be beyond our scope here. But part of his answer reveals that he still doesn’t know how medicine is practiced in the real world. From the transcript:
And it turns out that a lot of times, you know, if you go to the doctor, you get one test, then you go referred to a specialist, you get another test. Then maybe you go to a third person, the surgeon, you get a third test. It’s all the same test, but you’re paying three times. So what we’re trying to say is, we’ll pay you for the first test, and then e-mail the test to everybody.(LAUGHTER)(APPLAUSE)Right? Or…(APPLAUSE)… or have all three doctors in the room when the test is being taken. But — but that’s an example of the kinds of things that save money and will start reducing costs over the long term. So what we’ve done is we’ve embedded in how Medicare reimburses, how Medicaid reimburses — all these ideas to actually reduce the costs of care.
What? Doctors routinely share test information today. And even if the same test was performed repeatedly, POTUS’s hypothetical scenario would not necessarily be useless redundancy–which would not be paid for by health insurance in any event–but would take place over weeks or months to ensure that each doctor in the chain of diagnosis and treatment has up-to-date information to best care for the patient. Moreover, follow up tests are often not be the same, but may be increasingly sophisticated to better identify the problem. And why would you want all three doctors in the same room for the test, particularly if the first test was what identified the need for further inquiry? Does he think doctors are clairvoyant and know that a test will be required by three physicians practicing different specialties?
Utterly nonsensical. President Obama still doesn’t know what he is talking about when it comes to actual medical practice.