Elections Have Consequences

There are two clear paths for the future of medicine in the upcoming election.  One side favors the government’s thumb on our heads.  In the article “Democrats Never Learn the Lessons of Big Government Medicine (https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/17/democrats-never-learn-the-lessons-of-big-government-medicine/), author Dave Mohel points out that the Democrats have been on this mission for over thirty years:

When President Bill Clinton appointed his wife as healthcare reform czar, it marked the end both of figurehead first ladies and of bipartisan cooperation on medical policy. Democrats have learned little in the ensuing decades. From Obamacare being pushed through virtually without debate—remember “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it”?—to 2020 

Democratic presidential candidates arguing among themselves about who has the most untenable big-government solution for Medicare, progressives keep finding ways to get in their own way.

The imposition of government-run medicine for all will be an unmitigated disaster for our health care system.  It will lead to long waits, less access to care, and an acceleration of the “burnout” for physicians.  Talk about it with your patients and colleagues.  Elections have consequences.

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(The opinions expressed in this piece are those of Dr. Podnos. Feel free to leave your comments is you disagree).

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Steven Podnos MD, CFP

Steven Podnos MD CFP attended the University of Florida College of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UT Southwestern in Dallas Texas. He moved back to Florida with his physician wife (ENT) and raised a family while practicing Pulm/CC medicine for over twenty years. During that time, he also started and ran a Hospitalist program for several years. In 2002, Steve began a slow transition towards having a Fiduciary Fee Only Financial planning practice-at first just for friends and family. As the practice grew, he transitioned out of full time medical practice to full time financial planning. Dr. Podnos joined the US Air Force Reserve in 2008 as a critical care physician and flight surgeon. He deployed twice to Landstuhl Army Hospital in Germany as an intensivist during the Afghanistan war in 2009 and 2010, and as a critical care air transport (CCATT) physician in Okinawa in July 2018. His firm, Wealth Care LLC now serves approximately 100 physician families nationwide and another fifty non physician families with both financial planning and wealth management. He is a staunch advocate of independent medical practice, believing that the corporatization of medicine and Electronic Medical Records are both harmful to physicians. 

  4 comments for “Elections Have Consequences

  1. Gary Pearce MD
    March 2, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I am an ophthalmologist. Medicare has always put food on my table. Now my worst nightmare is the Medicare Advantage plans. They sign up patients unknowingly, actually tricking the patients with free seminars/dinners. I had a mentally handicapped man last week waiting on line at Walgreen’s for his anti-psychotics. The UnitedHealthcare rep approached him (at the drugstore!!) and asked him if he wanted to save money on his meds. So he signed on the dotted line. And gave away his Medicare. So when he came to me later, he was out of network as an HMO participant and his father, who has POA, had to pay his bill. The father was so mad he had it out with the Walgreen’s manager. Medicare Advantage is worse than Medicare!

  2. Pat
    March 1, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Now, let’s be honest – the choice is actually between “sooner” or “later.”

    The same physicians terrified of single-payer don’t have the clarity or honesty to call for radical reform and phase-out of Medicare. Medicare For All??? We can’t even afford it for the shuffleboard set. This awful program has wormed its way into influencing every aspect of medicine, from copycat pay scales, to idiotic coding, to standards, measures, and enforcements that contribute nothing to patient care, all adopted by the not-quite-private health insurance corporations in hospital and out-patient settings.

    Medicare as is is more responsible than any other federal activity for driving up the national deficit and debt, imperiling our long-term economic future so as not to discomfit granny and gramp’s leisure years. All of the idiocies touted by Bernie et al are already on full, unworkable display in the retiree crowd where we have had years of cost overruns, cost containment attempts, shortages (real and artificial), and rationing, all with exploding expenditures and a built-in constituency based on a greedy conflict of interest.

    Everything feared in BernieCare is coming to pass at a slower rate right now. So opposing single-payer while continuing to support Medicare has all the nobility and honesty of hoping the tiger eats your slower friend first.

  3. JRDO
    March 1, 2020 at 11:06 am

    What’s better within the transportation system, a Tesla roadster or a diesel freight train?
    The answer depends on what you are measuring.

    Similarly, trying to say what is better in healthcare depends on what you are measuring.
    You want profits including those for physicians?
    We currently have it: https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/2019-international-compensation-report-6011814#1
    You want cost effective care for patients with access for all?
    We currently don’t do well compared to countries with more government involvement:
    http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/best-healthcare-in-the-world/

    Yes, elections have consequences and democracy is messy.
    IF healthcare is your only concern, you can vote for the party that prioritizes profits for the relative few (including physicians) or you can vote for the party that is concerned about delivering cost effective healthcare to all of those who need it.

  4. Frank Savoretti, JD, MD
    March 1, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Of course you are absolutely correct! But many of our colleagues just don’t get it because they are already employed physicians as opposed to those few of us still Self-Employed. They already take orders from Administrators who manage to earn two to ten times what they pay their physicians. “Forgive them for they know not what they do!” You are a little off in your analysis: Harry Truman tried to get Universal Government Run Health Care in the last half of the 1940’s after Clement Atlee’s Socialists started the National Health Service in 1945 Great Britain. Truman thought that was a great vote buyer system and won re-election in 1948. The Leftists have been lusting after it ever since: more money to buy more votes. It seems to be working.

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