Ask yourself whether any campaign ad you see this cycle will pack as much punch as seeing this letter in your doctor’s waiting room:
To My Patients,
Section 1311 of the new health care legislation gives the US Secretary of Health and Human Services and her appointees the power to establish care guidelines that your doctor must abide by or face penalties and fines. In making doctors answerable in the federal bureaucracy, this bill effectively makes them government employees and means that you and your doctor are no longer in charge of your health care decisions.
This new law politicizes medicine and in my opinion destroys the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship that makes the American health care system the best in the world.
In addition to also badly exacerbating the current doctor short age,the law will bring major cost increases, rising insurance premiums, higher taxes, a decline in new medical techniques, a fall-off in the development of miracle drugs as well as rationing by government panels and bureaucrats like passionate rationing advocate Donald Berwick forcing delays of months or sometimes years for hospitalization or surgery. Finally, studies show the legislation will adversely affect the elderly, the poor and rural residents.
Despite countless protests by doctors and overwhelming public opposition — up to 60% of Americans opposed this bill — the current party incontrol of Congress pushed this bill through with legal bribes and Chicago style threats and is determined now to resist any “repeal and replace” efforts.
This doctor’s office is non-partisan — always has been, always will be. But the fact is that every Republican voted against this bad bill while the Democratic Party leadership and the White House completely dismissed the will of the people in ruthlessly pushing through this legislation.
In the face of voter anger, some Democratic candidates are now trying to make a cosmetic retreat, calling for minor modifications or pretending they are opposed to government-run medicine. Once the election is over, however, they will vote with their party bosses against repealing this bill. Please remember when you vote this November that unless the Democratic party receives a strong negative message about this power grab our health care system will never be fixed and the doctor-patient relationship will be ruined forever.
I will be glad to discuss this with you at the end of our consultation.
Now, turn your head and cough.
Hal Scherz, a pediatric urological surgeon at Georgia Urology and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, who serves on the faculty of Emory University Medical School and is president and co-founder of Docs4PatientCare, discusses the letter here.