Monday, October 17, 2011

A Visit with a Socialist Physician

October 17, 2011 - I visited a private doctor today in his office. He was an endocrine specialist. His medical skills, interactive manner, and thoroughness impressed me.

Towards the visit’s end, I asked, “What do you think about the current state of health reform?”

He replied emphatically,“ I am a socialist!”

I asked: “What does that mean?”

He answered without hesitating, I’m paraphrasing. But this is the gist of what he had to say.

I believe everyone ought to receive government-sponsored basic care at no cost at the point of care.

I believe general taxation ought to wholly support the system.

I believe government ought to pay for medical education and post-graduate training of all physicians.

I believe government ought to set all physician fees.

I believe government ought to end malpractice insurance.

I believe private insurance companies , Medicare, and Medicaid ought to be eliminated.

I believe drug companies and all firms in the health care product chain ought to be heavily regulated, and government ought to set their prices.

I believe the profit motive has no place in health care transactions.

I believe government ought to employ all doctors and place them on salaries.

I believe if you want more care than government offers, you ought to pay for it.

I said, “Are you going to vote for Obama?”

He retorted, “Are you kidding?”

He was all for one , and one for all, but believed some are more equal than others when it comes to paying for non-government care.

I thought of sending him a copy of my book, The Health Reform Maze. I I decided not to. The book says health care is too complicated for simple solutions, and doctors must give incentives to doctors and patients for the best care, and patients must be given freedom to choose between public and private care.

Socialized medicine is great in the abstract. It takes profits out of medicine. Except without profits, no one can carry out their mission.


Anonymous said...

I have been the guest and visited Scandinavia, England, Canada, and all I witnessed were the most prominent physicians trying to figure out how to get rid of such systems. The really great doctors up and left to the U.S. where there was good reason to practice there. It was one of the most depressing things I have witnessed, "real socialist physicians" already a part of such systems wanting to somehow escape.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

Thank you for your thoughts. Those physciaans who have fled socialists are often the most adamant in defending the U.S. approach to health care.

Max said...

Did you ask him if he wanted to share with you his BMW ?

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