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Ms Sebelius Keep Your Hands Off of My Patients

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

It’s time for Kathleen Sebelius to go home.

After taking a whopping one sixth of the national budget to implement a program that: no one understood, was passed in secret, was poorly written (we think, but who, aside from Greta Van Susteran has actually read the thing?), deceptive in premise (“we must do this because the poor in America have no care”; odd, I’ve seen thousands over the years), and obscenely wasteful (the few first hundred million couldn’t even get the program’s website to work correctly), it’s time for her to be honorable. Go home.

The great irony here is that if Ms. Sebelius were working for any company other than the American government, she would have been fired the day the first citizen tried to log on to sign up for health insurance and couldn’t.
Can you imagine an executive working for Bill Gates, taking one sixth of the Microsoft budget, creating a program that couldn’t even perform for one day, and staying with the company—even if she pleaded with Mr. Gates, “I’m so sorry to have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on a program that won’t work, sir, but can I have another shot at it?”

This would be ludicrous. Bill Gates would have her fired in a nanosecond. Why? Because he has skin in the game. He has to run a company that actually works.

The problem for us taxpayers and Ms. Sebelius is that we don’t perceive that we have skin in the game. No one really does (we think), so let her stay as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services  and try again. This is disgraceful. And it is the very reason that Obamacare simply won’t work.

Since no one is accountable for anything, it doesn’t matter who tries to create a health care program (even if they have no medical background, which most don’t) that is supposed to run like a finely tuned business (do any of the creators even have business backgrounds?). But they have freedom to do whatever they feel is important for the rest of us because no one really owns Obamacare. It is simply another gigantic program that is supposed to do great things for all people.

In my last post, I pointed out how insurance companies with little or no understanding of medical care have squeezed physicians to the point where many are bailing. If you have trained to practice a profession and then had outsiders who know nothing of your business come and tell you “how to do things better,” you understand the stupidity, wastefulness, and frustration of it all. I point out what insurance companies have done for one reason: these behaviors will be intensified and amplified tenfold if Obamacare takes hold. I promise. Physicians will either quit or go to concierge medicine and you, the patients will suffer.

Ms. Sebelius and her ilk want you to believe that this is all about servicing the poor better. I have taken care of thousands of poor patients over more than thirty years. They have Medicaid. And I can tell you why those who don’t have Medicaid don’t have it. It’s intimidating to sign up for. And of course, if the working poor make too much money, they get dinged. Many refuse to report their under-the-table work, so that they can eat and have Medicaid.

But for the poor who don’t have it, there are clinics in every major city in America who will care for the poor. Every major medical center with medical students and residents runs clinics for the poor. And these folks get some of the best care available in the U.S.

No, Ms. Sebelius wants you to believe that this is about the poor, but it isn’t.  Otherwise, why would a bill that no one has read be passed so expeditiously if they really cared about what the plan says about healthcare for the poor? The reason for the push is clear: there is a philosophical agenda at hand here.

By regulating doctors first, then insurance companies with their great list of “how to do things better,” they will drive us out of business. Then, they will get what they want: universal health care coverage. The government will have full say over what we do, how we do it, when we do it, and how you should be cared for.

This is a sad day. If we end up with a single payer system, medical school applications will plummet. Who wants to train for eight years after college to learn a profession and then be told by someone who knows nothing about that profession, how to do it “better”? Not many folks I know. The only way to prevent that is to keep Ms. Sebelius out of our exam rooms. Especially since she is off to such a shameful start.

Many of you disagree and I can’t convince you of the very real nightmare that Obamacare will be for your children. But maybe if I write again in five years, and you visit my site, I’ll try very hard not to say, “I told you so.”



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