Hey Medical School students, Residents and Fellows, guess what Obama has said that you are needed. The government knows better than doctors what is best for patients. Yep, he admitted yesterday when he spoke to the Republicans that Democrats snuck in provisions that would not allow people to keep their insurance, even if the wanted to and for the government to come between patient and doctor. So, if the government knows better than doctors what a patient needs, then why do doctors need to spend years studying to become doctors. Do you want your Congressman to decide whether you need to have surgery to remove a brain tumor or would you rather have an experienced Neurosurgeon make that decision? I know it wouldn’t actually be your Congressman making the decision, but would you want anyone in government to make a decision that should be between you and your doctor?
There’s been a remarkable amount of coverage of President Obama’s appearance at the House Republican retreat today, but I haven’t seen anyone focus on the President’s rather stunning admission about the Democrats’ health care legislation (Video):
The last thing I will say, though — let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we’ve presented — and there’s some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your — if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. [emphasis added]
If we take this statement at face value, President Obama is admitting the the health care bills passed by either the House or Senate (or both) contained provisions which were “snuck in” – presumably by Democratic members and perhaps on behalf of certain lobbyists – that would have in fact prevented people from keeping their current insurance and/or choosing the doctor they want.
This was one of the core debates on health care throughout last year: Would President Obama and the Democrats’ legislation allow government to come between citizens and their choice of doctors and insurers? Obama promised it wouldn’t. Republicans said it would, and this was one of the aspects of the legislation that led them to characterize it as a government takeover of health care – the same characterization that Obama chastized the GOP for today.
So it’s a bit of shock to find out now – from the President himself, no less – that one or both of the bills that passed Congress late last year (the House passed its version in late November, the Senate on Christmas Eve Day) contained language that would have violated this pledge.
Oh, wait, I guess doctors will be needed to treat those who are exempted from the healtcare reform bill. You know, the Congress, Barack Obama, Unions, and probably a few other groups as well.