I have listened to Congressman Boehner’s and Senator Graham’s recent commentary on Fox News regarding ObamaCare. They said that they want to repeal ObamaCare before it becomes entrenched, before it really gets implemented. I agree. It is a noxious legislation that was forced onto the American people; it should be repealed completely; and efforts at true healthcare reform should start fresh.
However, do Congressman Boehner, Senator Graham, or any of the Republican politicians in Congress over the last several decades recognize their role in creating the angry substrate upon which this bill had its birth?
This substrate is: 1. Mega healthcare business empires including insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals, and others, which are operated for max dollar profit as a primary goal and good health care, open to everyone, as a secondary goal with little concern over whether the latter is actually achieved.
2. That the operation of these business empires is bankrupting the American people and our country.
3. That politicians are in league with these business empires and thus, they have acted in accord with their financial interests and not in accord with the well being of the individual American.
4. That politicians have left in place the concept of Entitlement populations in our healthcare system, which raises not only our taxes to support their public funding but also increases our insurance premiums and deductibles via the purported cost shift mechanism.
5. That health care is not open to everyone, not based on clinical need but rather ability to pay, and not free at the point of delivery. The latter concept then causes the funding of our health care system to become an obstruction to accessing it as opposed to a mechanism for guaranteeing its existence.
6. That insurance companies; managed care; and medical, pseudo-righteous, businesses and groups are interfering with the practice of medicine like the government payers do in formally ‘socialized’ systems and therefore, that our system is, in effect, socialized; the control simply comes from another source.
So, while you Republicans are delivering all of this rhetoric about repealing ObamaCare and listening to the American people, understand that wonderful healthcare reform will not ensue until you understand what the medicine of medicine is; distinguish it from the business of medicine; stop paying dues to the business of medicine, i.e., the corporations, which financed your campaigns; start your healthcare reform efforts with an understanding that whatever you create must have the medicine of medicine as its primary goal for everyone and that healthcare businesses exist to support that goal with their own profit being placed in a secondary position; and finally, that your own political re-election has no place at all in deliberations about healthcare reform. You must yourselves tear asunder the nexus between healthcare business empires and Congress. If you accomplish this, there is a good chance that commonsense healthcare reform will follow and that we will not see in 2012 the reverse of what happened November 2nd 2010.
R. Garth Kirkwood, MD