Doctors in a Health Care Dictatorship

I read a comment online about Jack Cassell, M.D. — the Florida urologist telling patients who support Obama to go away. The comment said, in essence, that doctors should not “force” their political opinions on their patients. Now wait a minute. Who’s doing the forcing here? Doctors are having socialized medicine forced on them. It doesn’t matter if they support it or not — they’re getting it, either way. Patients who don’t want socialized medicine are getting it, too. Two-thirds of the country opposed Obama’s plan, but Congress passed it anyway — through the budget reconciliation process, not through the normal voting process. (Imagine if, say, a Republican President authorized spending for the Iraq war this way). Why is it right for government to impose socialized medicine on the majority of citizens who don’t want it, while doctors cannot even state their views to their patients about the coercion taking place? Dr. Cassell spoke his mind and as a consequence his Congressman called him “racist” and sent the state licensing board after him. This is how life is under a dictatorship. Is this where America is heading?

I’m a health provider myself, and remember the days of managed care, back in the 1990s, when advocates of liberal socialism condemned insurance companies for arbitrarily imposing cuts in services and restrictions on treatment. Under Obama’s plan, once in place, the government will be doing essentially all of this. We’re going to have one gigantic HMO rather than a cluster of competing ones in which some patients could even opt out. There is no opting out of an activity when government holds a monopoly on it. Why is it immoral when competing, private insurance companies try to cut costs while it’s moral and laudable when the federal government does so? Why is third-party interference in medical care the end of the world in a free market, while it’s the height of sophistication when Obama’s government nationalizes all things medical? Which system will get the blame — capitalism or socialism — when nationalized health care makes our dysfunctional situation much worse, a few years from now? Socialism will be a bigger disaster in the United States than elsewhere, precisely because America once had the best health care in the world … and therefore had the most to lose.