By Patrick Wagner, MD
Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), is a dangerous law which has been imposed on the American people. It is the final blow in a series of laws that have been steadily inflicted on Americans for the past 20 years. These laws have slowly taken away the liberty of all of us, and the irony of it is the means by which this oppression has occurred. It’s called DUMMY DOWN.
Let’s review the recent history of American medicine. Most of you likely remember our traditional means of health care, because it wasn’t too long ago that PRIVATE PRACTICE was our way of getting better when we got sick. We had a special process called the DOCTOR PATIENT RELATIONSHIP that was its foundation. Everything seemed to fall into place. Either the doctor was able to handle the problem in his or her office or was able to utilize the hospital or other referrals to get you better. There was trust and you recognized that you were getting the best health care possible. Although at times costly, you recognized that the payment you or your catastrophic health insurance company was paying was well worth the services you received. Goodwill flowed. Things were PRIVATE.
It was 1992, the year that MANAGED CARE took over, that the DUMMY DOWN process began. In that year, your health insurance companies, who paid claims for your higher cost treatments (example the admission, surgery and 4 or 5 day stay in a hospital), and I might add responsibly, as they were required to do, changed their vocation. Health insurance companies, with the aid of contract law and the federal government, became ADMINISTRATORS of health care. What we as physicians and you as patients didn’t recognize is that this new entity, which was before a simple means of exchange of money for services, bullied their way into a leadership role over you and me. The DUMMY DOWN had begun, and the propaganda used was based in humanitarianism. These administrators craftily pitched decreased cost and increased quality for you, the patient.
How did our federal government assist in all of this? First of all, they allowed it. It was all about crooked big business, lobby and legislators. Most of us have a sense of that nowadays. But a second and crucial aspect of the assistance relates to a law passed in 1989 called the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, with emphasis on physician reimbursement, activated in 1992, that dealt the final blow. In simple terms, this law set a price on a doctor’s head, the fee that Medicare would allow for services rendered to a patient by a physician, without the input of the physician!
This law in conjunction with the legal and binding administrative function of managed care organizations (all of them!) are the agents of socialized medicine. We have been at this for 20 years. In this period of time, between 1992 and 2012, Medicare has continued to cut payment for physicians and hospitals drastically. The managed care organizations (health care providers) have cut payment way deeper than Medicare. Doctors were forced to join hospital staffs, fee for service is gone, private practice is gone, the doctor patient relationship is gone, and DUMMY DOWN is alive and well. These administrators tell doctors what to do and how to do it. They know nothing about the practice of medicine and surgery and what is safest for patients and could care less. NO LIE!