Sunday, June 13, 2010

ObamaCare side effects: Physicians leaving medicine

My long time friend and technology guru, Alf Sauve', has graciously acquiesced to my request for personal testimony on ObamaCare:

On June 16, 2009 President Obama stated, "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period."(1) A promise he repeated on numerous occasions. And he has also has stated, "Nobody is talking about getting between you and your doctor."(2) What he didn't say was that Obamacare was so onerous that some doctors would be abandoning their profession. How many you ask? I'm not a researcher. I don't have access to the necessary data to even take a swag at it. But imagine my surprise when my personal physician (and friend) for the last 10 years announced he would be leaving his practice because of Obamacare. And he did exactly that. Oh retired, you say? No, he had been in his practice for about 10 years and was in his early 40's. Made a killing in the market, you say? No, again. He has an undergraduate degree in engineering and will be moving to a different community and joining the building trades. This really hurts. Medical care is so much more than charts and lab results. While there are extensive notes and computerized records about all my visits, exams and treatments, my doctor "knew" me. He knew, maybe even "felt" things about me that the replacement physician will never really know or understand. My new physician is certainly knowledgeable and competent, but it will take years to build up the knowledge of my body and the level of care that I had with my old doc. So I wonder how many more are like him? How many either have the assets to retire on or another profession to fall back on? What scares me even more is how many will feel trapped in a profession they no longer like. What kind of quality care will they give? And how many potential medical professionals will seek other lines of work now to avoid being part of Obama's socialized medical plan. Or to reverse the question, what type of personality will now want to become a physician? Do I want that person taking care of me? So yes, I could keep my physician, except Obamacare has come between me and my doctor. Welcome to the brave new world.

(1) Speech to AMA June 15, 2009

(2) Huffington Post

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