Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Do You Think About This?

Doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere for health care

MOUNT DORA — A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."

"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."

The sign reads: "If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."

So, what are your thoughts?

Obviously many of us are frustrated and angry over the health care bill shoved down our throats. Is this ethical for the doctor to do this?

Where is the line between his 1st amendment rights and his duty to care as a health care provider?

In a lot of states we have a conscience clause (something Obama has proposed taking away) that allows health care providers to refuse participate in procedures we find morally objectionable. The obvious example is abortion. So, is this covered under that?


LL said...

It was once a free country.

Much less so these days.

He didn't say that he wouldn't treat fools. Simply that they may be better served by another physician.

Leslie said...

I see a potential lawsuit claiming racism. But the doctor has every right to post HIS opinion in HIS clinic. He isn't refusing treatment to anyone. He is merely pointing out the foolishness of the health care bill and anyone who supports it. It is on the patient's own will if he or she turns away from this office.

What many people fail to consider is how this bill truly affects doctors.

Katie said...

Leslie's right, Alan Grayson was on CNN the other day trying to claim it was racism.

He's not actually turning anyone away. And short of life or death situations, I don't think doctors should be forced to take patients, anyway.

I do think it's funny how bent out of shape liberals are getting over it.

Mustang said...

I suppose the people who condemn this doctor … whose practice is just down the street from where I live, assess his behavior based on moral imperative. The question they ask is, “Has the physician behaved ethically?”

Is it unethical to expect people to hold others accountable for their decisions? How is this behavior immoral? I suggest the doctor has not behaved unethically at all —no more than a lifeguard, having sounded a shark warning, refuses to enter shark-infested waters to rescue an idiot who failed to heed that warning.

If I need an urologist, I will definitely call upon this fine physician.

Chuck said...

LL, agreed. Doctors do not give up their right to free speech

Leslie, he is ultimately giving them a choice. He has said himself he will not refuse to treat anyone

Katie, it's racism because he is a conservative. That is the new racism.

Mustang, Grayson is an idiot, I'm sorry your stuck with him (I assume he is your Rep, he appears to represent the Docs district). I do feel your pain though, my Senators are Carl Levin and his idiot side kick Debbie Stabenow. Is anyone putting up a legitimate challenge to him, he's one SOB I'd like to see go.

BTW, I do hope you never need a urologist ;)

Miss T.C. Shore said...

i don't know if I've mentioned, but my father is a Doctor. That's one reason I'm passionate about this issue. He relayed the following to me:

His practice has about a 20 percent profit margin. Which means that if he generates one million dollars in a given year, he makes about $200,000. Out of that, he has some expenses, including almost $50,000 a year to pay the loan on the purchase of the practice, that are not considered practice expenses, but rather, personal expenses.

Right now, Medicaid patients are not profit-generating. That is, Medicaid reimbursements just about cover operating costs, leaving no room for profit. In October, Medicare is scheduled to cut his reimbursements by 20% of their current levels, meaning that his profit margin for those patients goes away.

He is seriously considering no longer seeing patients who have "government funded health care" of any kind, even though he says there are ways to "work the system" legally, so that those patients can generate a small profit for the practice. His reasoning is that it is not worth it to comply with all the insurance billing regulations and record compliance regulations to generate little or no profit.

I wonder how many other doctors are going to take this route. Then, of course, you have doctors who see MOSTLY Medicare and Medicaid patients. Those practitioners are probably the ones who have indicated that they will leave practice altogether when the whole of ObamaKare goes into effect.

The long and short of it is, that I don't think we've even BEGUN to see the backlash from providers.

Gramma 2 Many said...

I say this Dr. is acting on his convictions. Need more people who do.
There are Drs. who do not accept medicade patients, why does one have to accept Democrat patients?

MK said...

No problem, he didn't cross any line, he said he'd still treat them. I know liberal racists and bigots will probably demand that he apologize and send money to the democratic party, but i don't see it that way.

I see it as 'choice'. If you don't like the doctors views, just go elsewhere. After all just ask any liberal and they'll assure you that obamacare brings more doctors, the same place that the tooth fairy comes from, so they should be happy.

Chuck said...

TC, nice to know about your father. Doctors are not the only ones that will jump ship. Pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, etc will abandon patients. I wonder if we will see a push eventually to outlaw the practice of not seeing someone based on income. Emergency rooms and labor and delivery units are already under this rule. It wouldn't be much of a leap to include others. What this would eventually do is drive people away from practice or out of business

Gramma, I agree. We need to get away from the sense of entitlement

MK, yeah and Obama is going to fix the economy too

Evilmomlady said...

Can the government tell a stay-at-home mom with a degree that she must work in her field for the good of the collective? Essentially, this is what Obamacare is going to do to the healthcare industry. What about those doctors that say that they will not accept new Medicare/Medicaid patients because they will not be paid for the work that they perform by the government? Are they too acting in an unethical manner?

It's still a free country for a little while longer and people who disagree with his point of view would be better served by someone who is not holding a grudge against the person who agrees with the takeover of his/her livelihood without his/her consent.

I think it would probably be a bigger ethical issue if the doctor begrudgingly treated someone and let his judgment be clouded by anger.

Chuck said...

Evil Mom, very good point. Let's piss off the people who have our lives in their hands.