Jimmy Carter is Right by Pat Conrad MD

For the first time ever, I have to say <deep breath> …Jimmy Carter is right.  Whew, never thought that would happen.

Former Pres. Carter predicts that the U.S. will eventually have a single-payer healthcare system.  He has pushed for this socialist dream for years, and it is happening doubtless to his great glee.  I don’t like it, for reasons detailed over several year on this site:  it is antithetical to the doctor-patient relationship, is dehumanizing, is anti-freedom, guarantees gross cost overruns leading to rationing, encourages patient abuse, and will not work in anyway proclaimed by the compassion merchants.  But it’s coming.  Why is Carter right?

  1. Since 1965, Medicare and Medicaid have skewed the healthcare market, causing insane upward inflationary spirals and adding hundreds of billions in unnecessary, strangling administrative overhead to hospitals and doctors that benefit no one (except giving jobs to parasitic government employees and their quasi-government collaborators).
  2. Doctors and hospitals are almost totally ensnared in the growing government healthcare trap and unable to extract themselves from what they see as a vital revenue stream.  Those who provide it now see participation in government health care as mandatory to their economic survival, and too often camouflage their interests in rhetoric that wrings hands over the poor and elderly, conveniently ignoring the punishment to those who pay the bills and the threat to our economic survival.
  3. Patients and the lay public are increasingly, willfully ignorant regarding the issue, replacing any critical examination with groundless feelings that an almighty “someone” must step in to care for everyone.  Polls, and electoral trends show that patients prefer security to freedom of choice and action, a “Bobby McGee” approach to public policy that ignores the lessons of the past century.
  4. Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceuticals will do whatever they can to maximize their short-term profits while hoping for the best in the long-term.  They are part of a crony-corporatist infrastructure so large and so corrupt that no one can envision undoing it, even as it drive prices upward and drive all of us faster toward total government control.
  5. Our elected officials on both sides of the aisle are bought and paid for by these crony-corporate interests, and too cowardly to tell voters outright that they do not have a right to federally provided care.  Add to that the seemingly universal ego predilection of elected officials to “do good” beyond the bounds of their office, and you have no energy whatsoever for real reform that might reverse this slide.

By demanding a false security that they are not willing to pay for, voters invite others to make decisions for them.  The Dems love the way things are (going); the GOP is all mouth and no stomach for reform; Big Insurance, Big Pharmaceuticals, and Big Medicine are all actively fighting against real reform, and funding their politicians to block it.

The real resistance will be the partisans of Direct Primary Care, and every effort must be made to expand it and prepare for the assaults against it which will grow the closer we get to realizing Carter’s dream.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  9 comments for “Jimmy Carter is Right by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Bridget Reidy
    August 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    All the supposed disadvantages of single payer at the beginning of the article are true with any third party payment. That is why patients have flocked to DPC, and it is also the reason why some will still flock to it under single payer. Looking at the ideas of the people in charge of designing payment schemes for either government or insurance paid health care, there will always be doctors fleeing it and patients willing to pay to flee it as well, just as we still have private schools despite universal publicly funded education. The US will never demand that people not be able to spend their own money on alternative health care or independent allopaths. They will continue to allow doctors to work outside the system as long as they don’t do both, as they do now. If they design a good system few will be inclined to exit it. Don’t count on that.

  2. politovski
    July 31, 2017 at 12:16 am

    i am having trouble with the part of how universal health care is antithetical to the doctor-patient relationship. if we took the Hippocratic oath, to do no harm, and we know that for every million people without access to health care will die just because of this, is then advocating for anything else not harming our patients? don’t get me wrong, i think that our government is perhaps too incompetent and corrupt to run a McDonalds, let alone administer health care, but perhaps we need to be advocating for governmental reform as well (as Jerry Hoffman would say)….

    • politovski
      July 31, 2017 at 12:34 am

      sorry, 1000 deaths per 1,000,000 without access. bugger….

    • Pat
      July 31, 2017 at 1:37 am

      The doctor-patient relationship is between two individuals. The Hippocratic Oath only describes proper physician conduct toward his patients. It does not obligate physicians to treat everyone, or anyone. Saying that we “do harm” by not doing something is the sort of rhetoric I’ve heard from hospital CEO’s trying to bully docs with an oath they themselves never took.

      • politovski
        August 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm

        i would agree that nonphysicians using this as a weapon against us is wrong. however there is a section from the hippocratic oath that is troubling, and says nothing of being only between two people:
        “…I will prevent disease whenever I can but I will always look for a path to a cure for all diseases.”
        it seems to me that 28,000 preventable deaths every year are preventable. and, perhaps having equitable care for our patients would be step towards curing them all.

  3. July 29, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Raw truth.

  4. Steve O'
    July 29, 2017 at 11:01 am

    This is why I fear an assault on DPC, as it is the equivalent of the “underground economy” that kept Soviet citizens fed and supplied during their end of days.
    The “official” US medical system is almost indistinguishable from an organ of Soviet government. The citizenry fear unregulated services that are not part of the State oversight and delivery systems. It something’s not branded – which means “approved” – market consumers will not accept it. Whether it is the Mayo brand, the Harvard brand or the Wal-Mart brand, it doesn’t matter. It’s part of a large “quality monolith.”
    The people have changed. with DPC, who is overseeing what the doctor does, approves standard treatments, and punishes the doctor for nonstandard treatment? The idea that the customer is left to do all this is simply unacceptable to the Authority.
    Eventually, DPC will perhaps become a “grey market” service, with kickbacks to officials to “overlook” the provision of actual care to patients. It will be a balance between “it is unapproved,” and “it keeps people alive.” It will always be portrayed as an instrument of greed for doctors to pay only themselves, and the official NHS-style machine will be portrayed as fair and citizen-supportive; even if it kills the patients.
    Insanity like this can only come from the tolerance of the people themselves. America has shifted over the last 100 years, the last 50 years, the last 20 years to tolerate this sort of structure. Universal mediocrity is universally fair.

    • Pat
      August 2, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Exactly Steve, dead on.

    • August 2, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Well said. I am going to quote this on the Dr. Tommy Show today.

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