Do No Harm
Thirty-three years ago I raised my right hand at Northwestern University Medical School with one hundred of my classmates and took an Oath, The Hippocratic Oath. This Oath has been taken by every practicing physician and surgeon since 400 B.C.. It is an Oath that has guided my life both inside and outside of the operating room and clinic, everyday, 24/7. There are many aspects to The Oath, but the component I would like to address is the portion that states …..” Do No Harm.”
Over the past thirty-three years, I have dedicated my efforts to uphold The Oath and to ultimately make the health care delivery system more available, more affordable and more quality oriented for EVERY American. My efforts have been as a physician and Orthopaedic surgeon, a clinical researcher, a Prevention specialist, a health care policy analyst, an author, an analyst in the media, an advisor to Federal and State Legislatures and several Presidential Administrations.
Unfortunately, I believe the passage of Obama Care will negate my efforts and those of many other dedicated front-line health care delivery professionals. This is NOT a political statement, it is a statement based on fact and cold hard analysis.
The heart, soul and core of Obama Care is based on what I have fought against in the insurance and HMO industries ….. the rationing and denying of care. It is the most unethical and inhumane means of cutting costs. I witnessed a similar approach in Canada where I completed my Fellowship training. The waits were long, and there were significant issues regarding access to quality care. Obama Care is based on the rationing and denying of care, from its inception with The Federal Coordinating Council of Comparative Effectiveness Research Council (a rationing board)created in The Stimulus Bill, to the creation of an entire multi-billion dollar center created for this same rationing board in The Health Care Bill. I believe with the implementation of Obama Care “Affordable Care” Act, the health care delivery system will implode, making health care less available and less affordable. Quality oriented care will be non-existent. In a word Obama Care is….. HARM.
Many states have come to the rescue of their citizens by blocking several key components of Obama HarmCare. Many states have blocked Health Care Exchanges and the Expansion of Medicaid in order to Prevent Harm to their citizens. Why block exchanges? The Federal Government Accountability Office studied exchanges and concluded; : “ This program is highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse and the misappropriation of funds including embezzlement, using plan funds to finance union activities and improperly charging for expenses not incurred.” Enough said.
Now, why oppose Medicaid Expansion? As a health care provider who has accepted Medicaid,( Federal Insurance for the poor and indigent) I can attest to the fact that the system is ineffective and harms patients and providers alike. Patients are provided rationed care, that leads to health care outcomes in Medicaid patients that are far worse than patients who have NO insurance at all, according to four peer reviewed medical studies. The system handcuffs providers by limiting what medications, tests and treatments can be delivered. From a payment standpoint, Medicaid reimbursement does not even cover the cost of overhead. Providers end up subsidizing the government. A provider would not be able to sustain the losses if all patients were on Medicaid.
Unfortunately, Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder has gone out of his way to support Obama HarmCare, Health Care Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion. In fact, he has created a one man Ground Hog Day Movie in the state. Every time Obama HarmCare is stopped in the state legislature, Snyder finds a way to get a political ally, who “owes” him, to introduce yet another piece of legislation to bring Harm to the people of Michigan.
Snyder’s latest move is to re-re-reintroduce, yet again, The Expansion of Medicaid. It was rejected by the legislature in the past, and then re-introduced only to have The Senate decide not to re-vote on it again. Now the Governor wants to have it put before a hand picked committee, so it can be then pushed back before The Senate for a re-vote. This has all occurred after Snyder threw the biggest hissy fit in political history last week when The Senate decided to Prevent Harm and not vote AGAIN on Medicaid Expansion. At that time Snyder accused The Senate of wanting to go “on vacation” and “not doing their duty” – to re-vote on an issue that had already been decided. He already was a loser and the people a winner. Speaking as a Dad, it reminds me of when I would say “No” to our daughters when they were three years old and did not want to understand the meaning of that basic word…. No !
Every Sunday from 3-5 pm eastern, I host a radio show, Operation Freedom, based at WAAM Talk 1600’s Studios in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have invited Rick Snyder to join me and “discuss” his intent to inflict Harm on the citizens of Michigan via his support of Obama Care, Health Care Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion. I have invited him on the show on Sunday, July 14 from 4:30-5 pm, three days before his hand picked committee meets to re-re-reconsider Medicaid expansion. It is a discussion that needs to happen. It is a long overdue public dissection of the facts, that needs to occur in order to Prevent Harm! I anxiously await his response to my invitation to join me in the operating room of Freedom.
David H. Janda M.D.is a practicing orthopaedic Surgeon, Founder & Director The Institute For Preventative Sports Medicine, Author of The Awakening of a Surgeon and Host of Operation Freedom, a radio talk show based at WAAM Talk 1600 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. www.davejanda.com