“Culling the Herd”
Good evening. I am Dr. Chris Casscells, a practicing orthopaedic surgeon in Wilmington. My father, Dr. Ward Casscells founded the practice here in 1949, and his mentor, my Godfather, Dr. Alfred R. Shands founded the AI DuPont Institute for Children. Health care is my life and my calling, and that calling is coming to an end. We doctors are the victims of our own success. We have kept too many of you alive too long, and you are costing the government too much to live.
The driving force behind “reform” is escalating Medicare costs and to a lesser extent, for profit insurance rates. Private Health Insurance, introduced during the FDR wage freeze during World War 2, and Medicare, introduced in the sixties, created an inflationary decoupling of cost and benefit, and eliminated the free market and our system of charity hospitals, where young doctors trained. Health care costs are now concentrated to the last few months of life. Since too many people have lived too long, and are expected to cost a lot before passing, they are the low-hanging fruit to fix the bankrupt Medicare system. They need to die sooner. Current legislation as passed is front loaded to eliminate care for seniors which will shorten life span.
In the first two years, there are 2 major Medicare cutbacks to large hospitals, one major cutback to home health care services, cutbacks to extended care and rehab facilities and nursing homes, and one cutback to psychiatric hospitals. As of March 31st, unless Congress acts immediately, there is a 21% cut in Medicare fees to doctors. If you spend less money on seniors, their life span will shorten. If you pay hospitals less, they will spend less on your care, fewer nurses, cheaper medicines, and earlier discharges. You get the picture. As we speak, the Wall Street Journal projected this week a shortage of 150,000 doctors in the country within the next few years. This does not account for the approximately 1/3 of doctors now practicing who are planning to retire because of this legislation according to the New England Journal of Medicine last month. Most doctors I know are going to immediately restrict access to their practice. Personally, we have cut employees and expenses. There will be limited access to care. It’s called rationing by inaccessibility. Fewer services, more patients, get in line for a long wait. If you don’t like your insurance company denying coverage for services, know that Medicare denies more care than anyone. This is only the beginning.
This outcome is profitable for the government. It is called “Culling the Herd”. Make no mistake; this legislation does not fix health care. It intends to fix the insolvent government’s bankrupt insurance products, Medicare and Medicaid, but probably won’t do that either. It does raise taxes on everyone who pays taxes, currently 53% of the citizen population. It will not increase access to actual health care for anyone. It will ration delivery of health care, first to Medicare and Medicaid recipients, then in 8 years to everyone. It needs to be repealed and fixed incrementally by people who actually know what they are doing and actually care about people. So, who do you trust your health to – your Congress? Your IRS agent? Your lawyer? The “healthcare provider” who works for the government clinic? Or your doctor? It’s up to you.
Tax Day Tea Party 2010, Health Care Reform Comments by Dr. Chris Casscells
April 19, 2010 by charliecopeland