Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Latest Assinine Comment on Healthcare from the Leader of the Free World

President Obama, at a Town Hall Meeting on August 11:

"All I'm saying is let's take the example of something like diabetes, one of --- a disease that's skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it's not treated as effectively as it could be. Right now if we paid a family -- if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 -- immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money."
Oh my Freakin Freakin Lord Amightee. Did the President of the United States of America just imply that American doctors would rather amputate their patient's leg than prevent the disease that called for the amputation for the money? Did he actually just say that?

Here're just a few of the many, many things that are wrong with this statement:
  1. Are you freakin kidding me?
  2. The doctor who counsels the patient (general practitioner, internist, or endocrinologist) is not the same doctor who cuts off the leg (surgeon).
  3. According to the American College of Surgeons, "Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service." So Mr. President, not $50,000, not $40,000, not even $30,000. Around a thousand. Yeah, that's big bucks.
  4. How is this an argument for government-run health care?
Does President Obama consult with anyone before he spouts pure, offensive, wrong, crap like this?

And where, exactly, is the outrage?


Anonymous said...

The point is that the current incentive structure make it difficult for INDIVIDUALS to make the right decision. In the current recession many people ( have admitted to neglecting medical treatment to cut costs. The problem is that short-term gains achieved by neglecting medical care too often create long-term costs that burden the entire system (doctors, insurance companies, individuals who miss work, emergency rooms, etc.).

Now, if that is changed and people can cheaply see primary care doctors, the upfront costs for those checkups would be considerably lower than later emergency procedures and accompanying complications. Can you say: regular dental cleanings and check-ups?

WebGirl said...

I have to tell you, I don't understand people who neglect medical conditions simply because of cost. If you are truly living in poverty, there is already a gov't plan called Medicaid. For those who don't qualify for Medicaid, there are institutions called free clinics in the United States. You don't need money to get health care in this country. You may need money to get BETTER health care, but something tells me that people who neglect these conditions in their early stages simply don't want to deal with them psychologically. I certainly think that is the case when it comes to going to the dentist.

And what on earth makes you (or Obama) think that health care will be cheaper when the gov't takes it over? If getting on a gov't based plan increases the demand for health care, guess what happens to the costs involved? That's simple supply and demand.

But let's say, for the point of argument, that you are correct. This isn't what Obama said. What he said was basically terribly insulting to the American medical profession. I can see by stretching the possible meaning that you could possibly interpret it this way, but why should I need an interpreter every time the President opens his mouth about health care? For someone who is supposed to be so articulate, he seems to put both feet in his mouth each time he tries to talk about this issue. This comment was beyond idiotic.