Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Overlooking the Doctors

Within the health care debate, the people most affected are also the people rarely discussed: doctors.

We talk about poor people who cannot afford health care, while ignoring that Medicaid doesn't fully cover the doctor's expenses of providing that health care.

We talk about "greedy" insurance companies, while ignoring the full staff which every doctor needs to get payment from those insurance companies, because patients don't want to have to deal with their own insurance company. That staff also has to fight government bureaucrats over Medicare claims.

We talk about universal medical records, without a thought as to who will actually be entering the data required to maintain this system.

We talk about providing world class health care to everyone, without considering who will actually be providing this treatment.

Any health care debate that doesn't mention the needs and expenses of the doctors is a pointless discussion.

Consider: How would you feel if the government decided to change the way you do your job, without ever consulting you? And by the way, the government will also be deciding how much money you will earn for what you do. Plus you'll be reporting on everything you do, and if a government bureaucrat doesn't approve of your action, you won't be paid for it. Does that sound like a good plan to you?

Whatever you may think of doctors, they are still the 800 pound gorilla in this debate. If they don't like your plan, they can walk, and there isn't a thing you can do about it. Without the doctors on board, there is not a single health care plan that will work.

This is where the whole "right to health care" argument falls apart. If you assume there is a right to health care, you are also indirectly assuming a right to the labor of another human being, specifically a doctor. Claiming a right to another human being's labor is slavery.

Are you willing to bring back slavery to assure your "right to health care"? Good luck selling the medical community on that one.

UPDATE: After writing this post, I came across a better version of it at, written by Dr. Maria Martins. A teaser for your consideration:
Medical care is not a right. Medical care is a service provided by doctors and others to individuals who want to purchase it. A patient presents to the doctor with a request for care. The fact that the patient has a serious condition — even a life threatening one — does not entitle him, as his right, to the services of the doctor. To claim that he does means that doctors and others who provide these services have no rights, or that society can deliberately ignore these rights for the "greater good."

...What is a right? The concept of a right defines freedom to act within the boundaries of the rights of others. It is contradictory to claim that a person has a right to a good or service that requires, for its fulfillment, the violation of someone else's rights. If the exercise of a patient's so-called "right" to healthcare imposes obligations on taxpayers to pay for it and healthcare practitioners to provide it, then it is not a right, but an attempt to enslave one part of the population for the benefit of another part.
Please read the whole article (link here).

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