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I'm Just Sayin' - What's to become of the medical profession?

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat) recently was quoted by the Washington Examiner saying Obamacare is "so complicated and if it isn't done right the first time, it will just simply get worse." Montana Senator Max Baucus (Democrat) h...

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat) recently was quoted by the Washington Examiner saying Obamacare is "so complicated and if it isn't done right the first time, it will just simply get worse." Montana Senator Max Baucus (Democrat) has been quoted as saying Obamacare is heading "toward a train wreck."

Both of these senators were major contributors into the formulation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legislation. Maybe they and their cohorts should have read the bill before it was voted on and passed. Or better yet, gotten some input from various parties such as doctors (input from the AMA doesn't count since only 17 percent of doctors are members) rather than how it was done, crafting this thing behind closed doors and then giving very little time for it to be analyzed or debated.

As more and more comes out about the Affordable Care Act, we are learning of all the unintended consequences, the skyrocketing costs, and the burdens being placed on the economy with this legislation. Lost in the debate is something that is even more disconcerting. There seems to be a projected shortage of doctors in coming years.

We are seeing evidence of physicians deciding they will probably just retire early or get out of the profession entirely. Their other option is to become part of a larger hospital or clinic and thus lose much of their input and control for patient-centered care. Their costs are going up and their revenue is going down due to the government dictating what they can charge for Medicaid and Medicare patients. Often this does not even cover their costs. For years, doctors have barely covered their costs for these patients but have treated Medicare and Medicaid patients as a "part of the business." Reduced revenue and higher costs result in a business model doomed to fail.

Another burden on the health care system will be adding 30 million people to mandated care and not adding the personnel and facilities to accommodate the demands of more recipients. One would think that this would draw more medical students into the profession.

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So, let me get this straight. To be a physician in the Obamacare system, you would need to spend $100,000 to $200,000 on your education, internship and residency, and then the government is going to tell you how much you can charge and earn. This does not seem like an attractive career model for aspiring young adults.

That being said, what's to become of the doctors who no longer want to deal with the system?

Here is my suggestion: We need more doctors making policy as legislators. There are currently only 20 in the U.S. Congress.

Doctors would be very good lawmakers and legislators. Maybe we could have a government that would be focused on the citizens; much the way doctors are focused on patients. Another benefit would be their decision making; as it is based on research, details, diagnostics and logic.

Most physicians have good business fundamentals, and we could get away from spending more than we take in.

Whenever I have read or heard something by doctors in Congress such as Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma or Representative Tom Price of Georgia, their ideas and comments are always about what is good for the country and not some particular ideology. We need more of this.

If the government is going to control 20 percent of the economy (health care), maybe we should have people in Washington who know what they are doing about health care issues. I'm just sayin'.

    DuWayne Paul of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist for the Echo Press.

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