Monday, March 3, 2008

Know any surgeons that are democrats?

The big talking point of the dems is universal healthcare- which sounds great if you know nothing about healthcare. I agree some healthcare reform needs to happen, but the plans presented by both democratic candidates scare me- because what it boils down to is Medicare for all. Which is why few doctors- especially surgeons are democrats.

I work with Orthopaedic Surgeons, and I haven’t met one that is a democrat- why? These surgeons deal with Medicare day in and day out.Medicare is the WORST insurance a patient can have and surprise surprise, it’s provided by the government.

One of my surgeons recently spent 6 hours in surgery on an older man who got attacked by his Rottweiler, this surgeon is a genius, and was able to save both the man’s legs and his arm. Medicare refused to pay him because the surgery was – “too complex”. I read the letter myself. If the surgeon had amputated off both of his legs and his arm, he would have gotten paid. Medicare is designed to deny doctors for services rendered. See the diagram below.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is socialized medicine at it’s finest- where doctors are encouraged financially to give you the minimal amount of service and coverage, in order to get paid. Doctors have to fill out ridiculous amounts of forms and coding to receive payment from Medicare, and Medicare will jump on any reason not to pay a doctor for work done.

The worst part about socialized medicine- the additional taxes you will be paying, all money coming out of your pocket going to the government will largely go to government administration. We’re going to have to create another gluttonous body of regulation which will require your money to function, in order to provide us with the lowest level of service available.

Best example I have- our education system- sub par education with low paid instructors- What about that government managed retirement fund you've got? social security? Bankrupt. Now apply that to your health care.

I’m not the largest fan of John McCain, nor the party of religious bigotry, but come November I’ll vote for the guy who graduated from the bottom of his class and has no idea how to run the economy. Why? Because if it comes down to choosing to perform and intricate surgery on me, or removing my limbs- I'd like the doctor to choose surgery.


bechtold clan said...

so true but so family is socialized medicine is something im familiar with-( my grandfather was a doctor there) along with living in europe for a long while...
its unfortunate that we cant take what works for other countries and leave the bad. Im not saying for instance that my experience with socialized medicine works for all- but there is something to be said about healthcare and benefits from say Sweden- France- the Netherlands. Anyway our healthcare system is terrible and it seems that it will only get worse....Im a bit scared. I say to my hubby- stay at your job- its got the best benefits around..Id rather he made less money and have the benefits we do, then move to a company that doesnt offer what hes got. They are priceless. This child is costing us 15$. And his medical care covers us 100%. Rare in an employer these days.

Salt H2O said...

$15 for a baby! That's great! Looking at the tax rates of the netherlands- 60% of their income goes to taxes. I'll take a pay cut and have great insurance before I give up 60% of my income.

There are many that need help with healthcare costs, legitimately- and we need to find a way to help- but socialized medicine isn't the answer. There are far too many in this country who forgo health insurance to drive new cars and have entertainment technology - then when crisis strikes they expect someone else to pay for their health needs. This attitude of entitlement is growing wearisome.

Taylor said...

Socialized or universal healthcare gives me such a headache. Ive argued long hours about it, because it scares me so much. Yes, our healthcare system is pretty screwed up, but we shouldnt just settle for what everyone else is doing as the answer to all our problems. There is a reason America is different than the rest of the world. We dont just follow the crowd. We can figure out a much more efficient and practical way to fix everything. We've got some of the greatest minds for stuff like this. Lets not just take the easy route and give up even more of our hard-earned money to the government.

Ben & Kimberly McEvoy said...

I am really interested in how many dr's are republicans verses dems. My dad was a dr and a republican. I'll tell you I have a very negative view of insurance, hospitals, and health care in general. Insurance companies- business men make our medical decisions, not dr's that went to medical school. Hospitals force certain routes of care, and push out the small dr's offices. I really could rant a long steamy while.

Kory you seem to have hit the nail on the dot. Democrats have no idea how wrong they are, I wonder how many medicaid or Mcare recipients are in favor of socialized medicine? Do they realize being in the system that it sucks and want privatized something that would work better. Or do they just want someone to foot the bill for them. and they do not care how?

ThomCarter said...

A couple of thoughts from someone who works in healthcare public policy and advocacy.

Medicaid is much worse than Medicare; but it is the same basic point.

Also, the general election is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, not September.

Salt H2O said...

Taylor- I'm with you- I challenge anyone to name an effectively managed government social program.

Kim- You see it on a local level here in Utah with IHC, a bunch of administrators making important clinical decisions for doctors, in the name of cutting corners and boosting revenue. The thoughts of this on a national scale scare me.

Thanks Thom,
Any other thoughts you have on this topic? I expect you have much more to say.

I got my 'embers' mixed up.

Ben & Kimberly McEvoy said...

ditto!A national IHC, I say Singapore here we come.

Cameron said...

We all know that insurance providers pay substantially less than the stated price on our hospital bills. Well, Medicare pays the least. Which in turn makes hospitals raise prices to recoup the lost revenue. As more and more boomers have gotten to medicare age, medical costs have gotten higher and higher. I see a very strong correlation there.

adam said...

I think there are pros and cons to both ways. Yes, I liked "Sicko", but I don't think Socialized care is necessarily a good answer. Not that what we have now is any good either... Japan (which has socialized medicine) definitely has good and bad aspects. For all the plusses, they still have lower quality care, less time with the doctors, and rich people going to the black market to get better doctors...

I don't see how Obama's plan correlates with the ever fearful "socialized" medicine, however. Please fill me in, with some more links, if possible. : )

Ben & Kimberly McEvoy said...

Kory, amen to the point made on luxury items. I really would not be surprised if more flat screen tvs are purchased by people who "cant" afford insurance and live on medicaid than people who can. I lived in the south and saw more money put into mind numbing entertainment in the poorest areas. Many people that lived in trailers did not dare go with out nice big satelite dishes back in the days before direct tv. Who wants to live to have the govt bail them out?

Della Hill said...

Here's my soapbox:
It wouldn't matter if we came up with a fabulous healthcare plan.
As long as insurance companies and health care companies have lobbyists working Washington over, no law will get passed that is actually in the interest of the common man.
Laws are not made for us anymore. They are made for big businesses and rich interests.
As far as health care plans boasted about on the campaign trail, they are like almost everything on the campaign, they are only there to look good and attract votes, not to actually be functional.
Am I too cynical?
BTW, I'm self employed and I pay for my own health insurance. I expect I'll keep doing that for a long time.

Salt H2O said...

Adam if you go to Obama's link you'll read:
Employer Contribution: Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small employers that meet certain revenue thresholds will be exempt.

Now employers may choose to provide private insurance in order to entice employees- but more likely if it's cheaper to pay into the government healthcare program than to provide healthcare- they're going to opt for the government program.

Reading Obama's policy sounds fine and dandy-it's missing one essential feature- how are we going to pay for this?

Salt H2O said...


It's interesting to see how doctors have to negotiate with insurance carriers as to what percentage of the bill they'll pay-most insurance carriers try to match medicare. The whole insurance system is a joke for all parties- except for the insurance company.

I think you're right about the boomer corrilation.

Salt H2O said...


You don't sound cynical- it sounds right. I think much could happen in the healthcare arena with a democrat congress and president.

Paying for private insurance is awful. My dad is self employeed, and cheap- my mom of course insisted we have insurance so we got the bottom of the barrel. I remember going into the dentist office, spitting into a styrofoam cup because they didn't have sinks in the rooms, and hearing a hispanic woman moaning loudly and then crying 'ayuda me! ayuda me!"

We practically ran right out of that office.

adam said...

"how are we going to pay for this?"

Taxes, to be sure. : ) Hopefully from the extreme upper class...

That's not what bugs me most about the system though. What really drives me crazy is there is no emphasis on prevention in this country, other than NCLB perhaps, which isn't working. How about some insurance covering counseling for people who may not have a mental illness? In the long run, prevention costs less than what we're doing now, although it would be tough at first.

chloe elizabeth said...

If only prevention would work.

Amen, Kory! Great post. And, I'm sorry, but I'm really not for taxing anyone more and if I had my way, tax would work like tithing in the LDS church. No deductions. No exemptions. Just a flat rate. The end. Kill the IRS (well, most of them), and get rid of all the bureaucracy. Oh, in a perfect world!

And don't even get me started on how much our non-tax paying friends are costing us. No health insurance, no medicare. Good times.

Steve said...


I'm not going to be as long winded as usual, haha, but neither Clinton or Obama are (at this time) advocating "socialized" or "universal" healthcare. Both are basically going to go after those aren't getting it currently, either privately or from their employer, and depending on the candidate going to offer credits, incentives, and/or penalties. So in other words, your healthcare isn't going to change at all.

Salt H2O said...

Steve, Steve, Steve..

Since you weren't long winded, I will be- we could have a nice conversation picking apart both candidate's 'plans'- I put plans in quotes because it's really just promises.

Have you read the plans? Granted, Hillary's plan is less socialistic than Obama's- but both spell disaster.

Hillary says she can give the country healthcare with out any additional bureaucracy.

I love the 'lower premiums and higher quality' but leaves out the how- oh wait that's in point 5. in that it will come from lowered spending due to "quality and modernization" I sell modernization to clinics- 1/2 a million dollars for one orthoclinic doesn't save us much money. Unless the government modernizes with sub-par technology, and then it will cost us even more.

The Promote Shared Responsibilty portion is a crock too. Laughable. Sure this is going to happen with no additional bureaucracy.

In the end if the government is going to provide insurance for the uninsured, what entices any employeer to offer insurance?

I also see on her webpage she has a plan to eradicate Breast Cancer and a whole shlew of other promises and plans that require a huge break in science.

There are so many promises and such lack of the how it's scary. You can't give 47 million american's healthcare and have it not cost you a dime.

After all issues I've seen with Medicare- especially after seeing the government not wanting to pay a surgeon after he saved a man's limbs instead of removing them- the last thing I want (or want to pay for) is government healthcare.

haddocks7 said...

I can't believe I just read all of this! Got to get to bed. Love reading your stuff Kory! keep it up girl! Love ya, Julie

J-Man said...

No, this is republican and corporate Medicare at its finest.

Get a clue people.

Steve said...

Ok, it's fine to pick apart her or even Obama's plan, something we all should do with all the candidates. And I agree, none of them have perfect plans. But to answer your question about why employer's offer healthcare, it's done to keep or lure employees and it's not done usually b/c the cost is too high for small businesses unless they purchase a group system (has a proper name, but it escapes me right now.)

I commend them for at least trying. McCain will do nothing other than bomb other countries since he is destined to be a one term President and he knows it. He'll do "what is right" b/c he doesn't plan on being re-elected.

BTW, you ALREADY are paying for people without insurance. This is a way for the society as a whole to shoulder the burden (something civilized societies do, such as the EU and Japan) instead of local municipalities having to close local hospitals b/c a larger percentage of uninsured may drain the local coffers of the hospitals and governments.

I'm not being facetious when I ask this, but as an 'insider', what do you see as a solution?!?!?

Ideally, we'd focus a lot more on preventative care, but I don't see that happening in the current for-profit system, b/c guess what, it's less profitable for insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, probably even many doctors and hospitals, and lobbyists.

Jolly said...

I have a confession to make. I voted for Hillary in Ohio. ;-) And I liked it. It was part of my strategy: vote for the dem who I think McCain has the best chance of winning, but, BONUS, I also got to vote for a woman for president! Awesome!

Come November, I'm voting conservative. Healthcare is one of the major reasons why. Kory, you make a strong argument--I'm glad you're arguing on my side. ;-)

Robin said...

I finally got a blog just I could comment on your page.

It makes me feel so good to read your blogs and see that I agree with you. I recently has the opportunity to take my Father in law to the VA for some medical assistance. It was not a good experience. Depressing environment (old and dirty looking), long lines, confusion, and our problem wasn't solved, we have to go back.

I am afraid that is what National Health Care would be like.

Salt H2O said...

Jewels! Hurray! As the wife of an anestesiologist I'm sure you have an opinion, or at least Chip has BIG opinion on this as well.

Jolly- I love your logic! It's interesting, since I've seen how the media has fallen in love with Obama, and people I despise are his big supporters- I like him less, a lot less. I use to think he's honest, and he probably is- but his lack of experience has become more and more apparent.

Robin- The story about your father in law is sad- the Vets should be getting top of the line treatment. And you're right, that is what national healthcare would be like.

Salt H2O said...

Steve, you inspired my latest post that I don't think any one will read except you...and maybe my brother.

Jeri10 said...

Why don't you throw your hat in the ring? I'd vote for you.

Steve said...

I guess this more or less disproves this post. :)

Salt H2O said...


Interesting article. 2,000 doctors in Indianna. I wonder how many of them have to do free work on illegal immigrants.

I don't buy it. I'll rely on my first hand knowlege before an ambiguous study in Indianna.

I'm for health care reform, and if our Universal Health Care program looks like Massachusettes- fine by me. But living in a state where health care is completely monopolized (intermountain health care) I can see first hand the damages that can be done when administrators are making decisions for doctors.

It's an interesting conversation.

Carmen said...

Hope you don't mind, but I thought this was awesome enough that I linked to it on my blog. I'm really worried about the prospect of the future in this area...because once a government program is started it never goes away, it might get expanded and drain more, but it never goes away.