Friday, February 26, 2010

Satire, Do-or-Die - What President Obama is Telling the American People

As a physician, I have been trying to figure out what Obama is trying to tell the American people. After the summit, the President and fellow Democrats seem to be saying. We are going to push ahead with our reform plan even though two-thirds of you oppose it, and even though through your Tea Parties, town hall protects, and your elections of conservatives, you are expressing your deep discontent.

We are not listening, for once we ram our bill through, you will like it, you will love us, and you will vote for us come November. Besides we have too much political capital invested to back off now. We have seen the future, and you are ours.

Think of it this way. You are victims. You are helpless against heartless health care corporations, insurance companies, hospitals, and even your doctor.

You need us to protect you. You need us to take over and do things you cannot do for yourself, especially in opposing those terrible confiscatory insurance companies who insist they must make a profit of 2% to 5% to stay in business, to satisfy stockholders, to pay executive salaries, to meet capital requirements imposed by states, and to do so by denying coverage to the sick among you.

Relax. We, the government will take care of you. You can depend on us. When it comes to your health and your economic security, government money is no object.

We will ward off the forces of consumer-driven health care. They say you should be active, responsible consumers of health care, rather than passive victims of monetary greed. You know better. So do we.

We will make sure you get comprehensive health plans, even though you may prefer bare bones plans for lower premiums. We will mandate coverage for you by making the young and every other individual pays for the old. We will mandate that your employers cover you. We will not pass malpractice reform, for you deserve all you can get from doctors if they make a mistake or forget to order a test or a procedure that in retrospect may have helped you.

If you can’t afford care, we will subsidize your care. We will cover 31 million more of you, even though half of you may have to enter the Medicaid welfare rolls and abandon your present plans. We will regulate everything to make sure you get what we say you should get.

We know your doctors are taking advantage of you by doing unnecessary procedures and tests. So we will set up an agency of government, to implement comparative research effectiveness, so doctors will do only what works for the average person, but not necessarily for you.

Anyway octors are overpaid, so next Monday, March 1, we will cut their Medicare fees by 21%. Nearly 30% of them have vowed to quit seeing Medicare patients if this happens. We'll find somebody else to take of you - a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, an alternative provider, or a foreign trained physician. Maybe you will be able to care for yourself using the Internet at a site.

We will discourage the use of health savings accounts. Employers all over the country are adopting these accounts, because your health care costs them less. Your premiums are less, and nearly a third buying these accounts was previously uninsured. But the accounts have high deductibles, and you will have to pay more of your own money. That is sinful because you should never have to part with your money and to take responsibility for making your own decisions. That’s the government’s job.

With health savings accounts, you might feel obligated to negotiate with your doctor, and he or she will take advantage of you. Only we in Washington know what is good for you, and you do not have the knowledge or our accumulated wisdom to make your own decisions, especially if those decisions require a doctor as a trusted advisor. Doctors cannot be trusted, for they do not have the data to make the right decisions. Only the government has that data, to be gathered through our ubiquitous interoperable electronic medical record system.

Your premiums may be higher under our plan because of taxes imposed on drug, medical device, and health plan companies, and passed through to you. For those of you in unions who have Cadillac plans, do not worry. We have deferred payment until 2018, after I leave office.

And we will make sure your doctor abides by our regulations, even though it makes take him or her an hour or two a day to submit our paperwork. That will mean he or she has less time seeing you, but that will worth it, for the doctor will be following Gov-given rules. Our rules are not made to be broken. They are made to be audited and enforced, for your protection, of course.

Do not concern yourself at the present about the national debt. Our plans may only cost $1 trillion for the next ten years, and we have delayed payment of another $1.5 trillion or two to the next decade. Let your children and grandchildren fret about that. And do not worry about taxes. The rich, those who run small businesses and who invest in innovation, the future, and who hire most Americans, will supply the taxes.

We in Washington care. We know what is good for you. And we know what is bad for you. Any organization that makes a profit – a drug company, a medical device company, a health insurance company, and even a hospital or a doctor – is bad for you.

To make sure you get what is good for you, on occasion, we may have to intervene in your relationship with your doctor, but you can trust us – we care – and the health care marketplace does not. You may think the government is trying to take over health care, and to play with your lives and your money, but that is no so.

We, the government, can be trusted to spend your money wisely. We are masters at spending the money of other people in your best interest – and our best political interest. You are helpless without us. You need our protection. Depend on us, and be dependent on us.

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