“Government is in the process of duplicating everything that managed care did for the last 15 years that was reviled by everybody and which we fought very hard to overcome.” So spoke Dr. David Fields, obstetrician and gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. He is one of the doctors health-care activist Betsy McCaughey quotes today in the Wall Street Journal. Here are a few chilling quotes to frighten you—just in time for Halloween:
Dr. Richard Amerling, nephrologist, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York: “The example that you give of valve surgery in an 85-year-old is just not going to happen under [White House health care adviser] Ezekiel Emanuel. He’s going to just say that that’s a nonstarter. That person has outlived their useful years, no matter how long they could live beyond that.”
Dr. Borer: “What we’re hearing from the president’s medical advisers is that what we have is good enough and we really shouldn’t be wanting or expecting any more.”
Dr. Seymour Cohen, oncologist, named to “America’s Top Doctors”: “When we went to medical school, people used to die at 66, 67 and 68. Medicare paid for two or three years. Social Security paid for two or three years. We’re the bad guys. We’re responsible for keeping people alive to 85. So we’re now going to try to change health care because people are living too long. It just doesn’t make very good sense to me.”…
Dr. Joel Kassimir, dermatologist, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York: “We’re now being told by physicians advising the president that we take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously.”
Dr. Tracy Pfeifer, plastic surgeon, president, New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons: “When physicians graduate from medical school we take an oath, the Hippocratic Oath, to do no harm to our patients. It’s a very important philosophy to us and we uphold it and hold it very dear to our hearts. Plato, another philosopher, used to say things like ‘Those with a poor physical constitution should be allowed to die. The weak and the ill-constituted shall perish.’ These government programs that are being proposed I think are very scary in the sense that physicians could be induced to violate the Hippocratic Oath.
“There’s a limit to how much of a financial penalty each individual practitioner is going to be able to bear. . . . If the patient is sitting in the examination room with us and they’re wondering, ‘Is the doctor not ordering a test for me because he’s going to get penalized if he does it?’ This is a major, major problem for patients and physicians alike.”