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Physician Frustration With President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan and the AMA Endorsement : Part 2


Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The Texas Medical Association is not buying President Obama’s rhetoric. It has broken ranks with the AMA. It is representing the voice of physicians in Texas.

“The Texas Medical Association — the nation’s largest state medical society — is among more than a dozen state associations breaking ranks with the American Medical Association’s endorsement of the healthcare overhaul proposal in the U.S. House.”

TMA President Dr. William Fleming said:

"There are about 17 state societies that have backed off, who have not jumped on the bandwagon with the AMA.”

The TMA saw through President Obama’s charade very quickly. Nothing in the bill will Repair the Healthcare System. It will result in an increase in taxes for all including middle class and lower class Americans while decreasing access to care. None of the major problems with the healthcare system are addressed in HR 3200. The delivery of medical care will become less efficient, more expensive and require further increase in taxes.

Dr. William Fleming goes on to say

“Among the problems with the healthcare reform bill are failure to fix Medicare funding formulas, the "long-term consequences" of the government’s plan to offer a public insurance option and a prohibition on physician ownership of healthcare facilities. His note about the bill also cites a failure to include caps for medical liability, which the Texas Legislature approved in 2003.”

I am proud of the TMA and the 17 other state associations which had task forces that actually read and studied the bill. I think the AMA read the government published summary of the bill. Its summary sounds pretty good but has little to do with what is contained in the details and implications of the actual HR 3200.


TMA believes that the public option included in the House bill "would do more harm than good," and that members remain "gravely concerned" that the option would eventually dominate the system.”

I plan to discuss the folly of the public option shortly and present a viable and less costly alternative. HR 3200 is in reality an attempt to provide the politicians and the government with more control over our lives and our freedoms.

President Obama’s healthcare plan is not focused on the correct reforms. His plan is also creating more distrust of politicians and politics among independent voters who hoped he would be centrist and create the necessary reform to maintain freedom of choice and eliminate non value added services.

Independent voters now feel President’s Obama is a spend and tax Democrat who is creating a larger bureaucracy (110,000 new government healthcare administrative jobs) which will impinge on freedom of choice, ration care and create wasteful inefficiency and increase taxes.

"TMA is very concerned that if we don’t get important reforms for our patients on the front end, then things are going to happen so fast they’re never going to happen."

I am totally in favor of universal coverage. It can be done more efficiently and with less government expenditure than what is proposed. The increase in government expenditure will lead to much higher taxation to support an inefficient government system.

"The physicians of the Texas Medical Association believe our health care system is broken and needs reform," Fleming said in a statement. "However, we cannot support the current House proposal. While it addresses some of health care’s ailments, it leaves gaping wounds and does not serve Texas patients well."

No one wants a system with less access to medical care while being subject to higher taxation for everyone including people making less than $250,000 a year.

Mr. Obama promised never to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year to avoid being labeled a tax-and-spend liberal.

However, he has raised taxes indirectly on people making less than $250,000 already.

On Feb. 4, Mr. Obama signed a $33 billion cigarette tax increase, which fell disproportionately on lower- and middle-income individuals.

“The “cap and trade” energy bill, approved by the House on June 26, is a tax on anyone who owns a light switch, uses a car key, or has bought anything manufactured, shipped or sold in the U.S.”

The House version of Mr. Obama’s health-care has four taxes that will largely be paid by people making less than $250,000 a year.

“There’s $8.2 billion in taxes for using health savings accounts and other tax-free medical savings vehicles to purchase over-the-counter drugs.”

“There’s an 8% tax on employers who don’t offer insurance: The Congressional Budget Office says workers in those businesses would pay the $163 billion cost via lost wages.”

“There’s a 2.5% “Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage” in the House bill that applies to people who either don’t have insurance or whose policies the government deems inadequate.”

“Finally, there’s a $2 billion “Comparative Effectiveness Research Tax” on all private and “public option” insurance policies.”

“If a version of President Obama healthcare reform bill is passed, the President will break his tax pledge even further. He will also be adding trillions to the deficit, dismantling the best elements of our present health-care system and slashing Medicare coverage by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

No one is interested in a system that has obvious unintended consequences and is destined to bankrupt the nation. Everyone must pay attention to what is being proposed. and write to your senators and congressional representatives.

I would suggest the following note.

“We do not want the government to control our lives and increase our taxes. We want affordable, universal healthcare coverage that does not limit access to care. We want control over our healthcare dollars.

You can reach you Congressional Representative with the links below.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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