If Congress and the President really mean it when they say they want the new national health insurance to “compete” with private sector plans–and that doctors should be free to practice as they see fit–then medical professionals should consider opting OUT of the national plan. After all, isn’t that what “free to practice” means? If the majority of doctors refuse to participate in the new plan, then it won’t be of much good to patients–OR to the politicians who are hungry to claim credit for passing it. If voters want to force doctors to take part in these plans–in effect, to be drafted into “service,” –then they should be required to openly take responsibility for what they’re doing. By their refusal to participate, doctors are the only ones who can make this happen. They should not hesitate to ask their patients, “Do you want the government to draft me into service; forcing me to provide health care on the government’s terms, not mine?” I’ll bet the answer will be an overwhelming “No!” But as long as patients vote for politicians who impose this legislation on the very doctors and surgeons to whom they trust their health and well-being, they should be aware that is exactly what they are doing. Of course, if our President actually means it when he says he doesn’t want “government-controlled” health care, and that free choice and competition should remain in place, then none of this will even be an issue–will it? It will be interesting to see if he means what he says.