Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
I have struggled to understand why President Obama is ignoring the will of the people. I have also struggled to understand why the traditional media ignores the important stories.
The media deals with the day’s murders, tragedies and traffic accidents in exhausting details. Important stories are covered and dismissed with meaningless sound bites.
Americans are interested in learning the story beneath the sound bites. This is the reason traditional newspapers are failing. Its old business model doesn’t work any more.
Americans want affordable high quality healthcare available to everyone. Most Americans are charitable and hard working. They want to help the unfortunate. They are sick of entitlements and their wasteful costs. They do not want a system that discourages hard work and responsibility.
President Obama is expanding healthcare entitlements while totally disregarding the fiscal responsibility of the federal and state governments.
He continues to use fuzzy math to blur the resulting increases in deficits.
The entrepreneurial spirit in Americans is the spirit that has made America great. President Obama’s policies are going to destroy this spirit.
This week a reader wrote:
“Hi Dr. Feld
I’m using my soon to be published book to organize America. Do you think your son Brad would be interested in setting up a website that helps “defund” the political parties by coalescing average Americans who are tired of the lies to send a dollar to candidates who are not from the establishment of either party?
Until we can get people organized using the internet to change the people in DC, we lose. It’s all about the money. 1% of America, giving 1 dollar each can send a new face to Congress. We can do it! we must do it!”
I sent the message to Brad. On the surface Brad’s reply is straightforward. No is no! To me it has deeper meaning.
“I'm not really interested in engaging in this. I'm drifting further away from politics every day as I don't think you can easily fix the macro through surgical strikes.”
I have often been asked why, as a retired endocrinologist, I display so much passion for repairing the healthcare system.
During my thirty years in practice I lived through the destruction of our healthcare system. Our government has had its heart in the right place but always seemed to do things to the disadvantage of the two principle stakeholders, patients and physicians. These two stakeholders are the most disorganized and least politically powerful of all the stakeholders involved in the healthcare system.
President Obama either doesn’t have a clue to the problems in the healthcare system or doesn’t care what patients or physicians think. He is either naïve or married to untested theoretical concepts. President Obama is going to destroy our healthcare system and replace it with a bureaucratic system that will make medical care mediocre for all. The federal government cannot afford the cost of his “new healthcare system.”
There is also a big ideological issue. President Obama believes the government needs to do everything for the people. The opposite argument is Americans need to do everything for themselves. The government’s job should be to level the playing field among stakeholders.
Patients and physicians want independence and personal responsibility. President Obama is not listening to the people.
Kris Kristofferson is one of the great popular poets of our time. His song “To Beat The Devil” has been the inspiration for my blog. My goal is to educate the public beyond the typical sound bite.
If you waste your time a-talking to the people who don’t listen
To the things that you are saying who do you think’s going to hear?
And if you should die explaining how the things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing, who d’you think’s goin’ to care?
There were other lonely singers in a world turned deaf and blind who
Were crucified for what they tried to show,
And their voices have been scattered by the swirling winds of time,
‘Cause the truth remains that no-one wants to know!
When no-one stood behind me but my shadow on the floor and lonesome was more
Than a state of mind. You see, the devil haunts a hungry man; if you
Don’t want to join him you’ve got to beat him. I ain’t sayin’ I beat the
Devil, but I drank his beer for nothing, and then I stole his song!
And you still can hear me singing to the people who don’t listen
To the things that I am saying, praying someone’s going to hear;
And I guess I’ll die explaining how the things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing, hoping someone’s goin’ to care.
I was born a lonely singer and I’m bound to die the same
But I’ve got to feed the hunger in my soul;
The reader of my blog I quoted is yearning to use the new media to educate and organize the public to say no to the politicians who seem to do everything they can to screw up things the public is complaining about and has no interest in hearing their complaints or eliminating them.
On the other hand Brad is saying surgical strikes to the political process does not change things in our society. Innovations by entrepreneurs change things. This is the deeper meaning of Brad's comment.
We are going through an electronic revolution. Jeff Bezo with Amazon.com and the Kindle revolutionized the book publishing business. Google revolutionized the information business. Steve Jobs did the same for the communications and information business with the IPhone and the IPad. Netflix is revolutionizing the movie and television business. Think about the power of Twitter and Facebook. Social networking is in its infancy. It continually gets bad press because of its threat to the traditional media and political power.
These innovations are revolutionary. They will empower citizens to be a deterrent to politicians’ power. They will not be able to limit our freedom of choice.
Petty political arguments about decreasing the budget by $3 billion vs. $38 billion dollars are silly. Americans are not stupid. This debate is not newsworthy. Our deficit is over $1 trillion dollars a year. Government spending has not stimulated our economy. It has not increased our standard of living. Both political parties are lost in translation.
Most Americans disagree.
We need leadership that believes in innovation and entrepreneurship. Leaders should understand that prosperity is born inside the head of several hundred million citizens.
he opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.