Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Uncle Sam, MD by Dr. Fred Shessel

Uncle Sam, MD
By Dr. Fred Shessel
December 23, 2009

As a doctor, I know that the most important thing in quality healthcare is my relationship to you, the patient. You are a unique individual, not disease entity. I must tailor my diagnosis and treatment to your particular needs rather than simply assign you to a disease category. Because none of you are exactly alike, there is an art as well as a science to medicine.

Tragically, the so-called healthcare reform legislation currently before Congress will make it impossible for me to do my best for you. Both the House and the Senate Bills will firmly insert a Washington bureaucrat between you and me. The House legislation creates a National Health Care Board whose mandate is to reduce your care to a cost-benefit analysis. It also establishes a Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research that is designed to slow the development of new medications and technologies in order to reduce costs. The Senate Bill gives sweeping powers to the Secretary of HHS to delineate the appropriate treatment for any given diagnosis. In all of these cases, non-doctors who have no relationship to you at all will determine your care.

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