Chair & Co-Founder, Doctor Patient Medical Association
(Washington) – As the amateur media psychiatrists fall over themselves to get in the head of Judge Roberts’, what do actual doctors think of the Supreme Court ruling on the "Affordable Care Act?"
In a word – angry.
"The federal government needs to get the HELL out of the practice of medicine," writes an internist from Washington State. "Here’s the bottom line: you cannot give away free medical care. Until they stop entitlements, this whole system is doomed, unfair, and chaotic."
"It bothers me several to many times every day. Why the hell did I invest 34 years to be a very low level 99%er?" bemoans an orthopedist from New York.
And more from a family practitioner in Texas: "I own a 4 physician F[amily P[ractice] group. I will be out of business when Obamacare is fully implemented…"
"If the Government continues legislating more pressures on doctors, medicine in the US will come to a halt. There will be a two tier system: those that can pay for private medical care & everybody else (in the socialized system,)" warns another.
"My husband, a physician, will be an early retiree, as will many of his contemporaries," writes Kathleen on our Facebook page this week.
A husband and wife from Wisconsin- both physicians – write that they will not let their teenagers become doctors.
There is even a burgeoning consulting area to teach doctors how to leave patients behind and become highly paid pharmaceutical executives, motivational speakers and expert witness (oh great, more lawsuits). Brochures for expensive workshops feature trainers like a former ER doctor who is now a "Master Sherpa Coach."
One resident tells us that he likes clinical medicine – actually treating patients – too much to quit, but thinks about taking his education and skills overseas. "I’m beside myself about the bureaucracy involved in practice in the US and actively assessing my options for a post residency career abroad," says Kyle Varner.
Long-established doctors are thinking the same thing. "Some days I just want to run to Africa or Mexico and just take care of sick people, and not have to explain myself to a dozen bureaucrats who don’t even know what I am doing," says a family practitioner in Colorado.
The real question for us as patients is, what will doctors do with all of that anger and frustration? Will they just throw up their hands and walk away or will they drink the kool-aid and become the compliant "providers" that government and insurance companies want them to be?
Or are these just idle threats to get our attention? This week it’s not looking good.
Will doctors stage a massive uprising or walk-outs and strikes like in the U.K , Germany and other nationalized health care countries have seen?
Not likely. Doctors here rarely do anything en masse, which is good for us as patients.
But when 8 out of 10 doctors are thinking about quitting, this law has triggered a disaster in slow motion as PPACA’s thousands of regulations, taxes and controls are implemented in the next ten years.
Some of the doctors tell us they are ready to fight, like this podiatrist from Florida: "The doctors need to stand up and fight with a united front instead of taking these changes lying down. With the direction we are going, we will have the worst medical system in the world."
But they can’t do it alone. Unless patients and doctors start partnering up to repel the government control and government-protected corporate control, doctors will be left to fight on their own. And they haven’t been very successful so far slaying the AMA dragon and its big bucks.
And unless we start figuring out ways to deliver actual medical care, we’ll have millions of people knocking at the doors of empty office buildings with a now-worthless piece of paper that says they are "insured" when PPACA takes full effect.
And like Elvis, the doctors will have left the building.
The Doctor Patient Medical Assn. is a non-partisan group working for freedom in medicine for doctors AND patients. Our goal is increased choice and access to medical care. You may reach Kathryn at Kathryn@DoctorsandPatients.org.