Gong Hay Fat Choy! [Happy New Year!] The Chinese Year of the Sheep is upon us. Sheep are known for trying to make people happy and being loyal followers. Too many of our elected "leaders" have lived their careers in the Year of the Sheep.
Physicians Should Value Their Patients and Insurance Companies and Government Should Value Physicians
Physicians must reconnect with the reason they became doctors and declare that they are not tools of insurance companies or the government. Patients need to tell their doctors and politicians that they are individuals, and deserve to be treated that way.
Today's political debates are extremely polarized and emotional. One person's charming, clever, and assertive is another's manipulative, cunning, and ruthless.
Pol Pot led the communist Khmer Rouge who overthrew the sitting Khmer Republic and renamed the country "Democratic Kampuchea." Within hours of victory in 1975, armed soldiers began herding the two million residents out of Phnom Penh. Pol Pot assured them they could return.
What do TSA groping, NSA data-mining, and mercury-laced fluorescent light bulbs have to do with keeping your doctor? They are the products of seductively entitled but flawed laws. As Daniel Webster said, "good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority."
Trust in our government was a mere 19 percent in 2013 according to Pew Research Center. Not surprisingly, 56 per cent of Americans think it is not the government's responsibility to provide a healthcare system.
When I signed in for my yearly mammogram the receptionist announced with a wry smile, "No co-pay this time, it's free!" We both knew that it really wasn't free.
In Law and Order re-runs after some tragedy has occurred, prior to grilling the victim's family the police officer quickly states the obligatory phrase, "I'm sorry for your loss." It is sterile, meaningless, and as heartfelt as the streaming digital "Thank you" at the automated gas pump.
The Affordable Care Act is like the television show Storage Wars, where unclaimed items in storage lockers are auctioned off after a quick peek through the door. People bid top dollar and hope for the best. Some find a goldmine, but the unseasoned bidders usually receive a Pandora's Box.
When President Obama hawks the wonders of the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I'm reminded of those "As Seen on TV" products.
A friend went in for his Medicare free "wellness visit," compliments of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He assumed it was like a doctor's annual check-up. After all, when he took his dog to the vet for a wellness visit, little Sparky was examined and tested for worms.
My long-time self-paying patient opined that the end of fee-for-service payments (payment for what you get) was imminent. I lightheartedly asked her how physicians would be paid. Would they be housed in military barracks and given vouchers for necessaries?
Black history in American has certainly had its ups and downs. It's troubling when, for political theater, those who should know better fail to emphasize the inspirational stories that highlight the strengths of blacks and the humanity of whites. While it is undeniable that cruelty and suffering are part of this country's history, at some point it is counterproductive to paint blacks as weak victims of the white man's callousness.
Despite the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, many of us were too busy seeing patients to hear President Obama's second inaugural address. It was less painful to read the transcript.