George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
OUR HEALTH CARE FUTURE, ACCORDING TO GS
Although I have been
an observer of this scene since the
mid-1960’s, when Medicare was first passed, and although I have been
and speaking on this subject since the mid-1970’s, the following are
observations and predictions prompted by the comments of candidates
and Courtney given at this weeks combined County Medical Association
As Charlie Chan would
say: “Velly Intellesting”.
- The only thing that the candidates agreed on
wholeheartedly was: “The Health Care System is broken”. Really? A
convenient “straw man” to knock down, discard and build anew.
- Although physicians have been the target and
favorite piñata of MCO’s, the American Hospital Association and
our government, the clear attitude of the policy-makers now is that
physicians are NOT part of the solution; they are part of the problem!
- As we have seen yet again during the last
two years, physicians – “organized” or dis-organized – have no clout. Only their patient – public have clout.
- Patients will only mobilize when they feel
their own pain.
- That pain will come during the next few
years, as Obamacare becomes fully effective, in the form of lower
access, higher cost and lower quality.
- Then, patients will demand “change” and will
seek out quality care from the smaller number of then-available
physicians still able and willing to provide that care…whether in an
institutional setting, in private managed care practice, or in private
- And there will be many more such patients,
older, sicker, more informed and motivated.
- Meanwhile, there will be several years of
hard times for physicians, totally unaccustomed to such a situation –
unless they are old enough to remember the Great Depression.
- During this painful period, physicians must
survive as best they can, thinking and working “out of the box”. Two points: a) nothing helps better than an
enhanced income stream, however legally obtained; b) the first rule of
- Within five years there will be plenty of
needy and appreciative patients…too many, in fact.
But that is a problem that we as physicians have been
trained to solve.
So, in the
words of Abe Lincoln: WHEN YOU THINK
YOU’VE REACHED THE END OF YOUR ROPE…TIE A KNOT AND HANG ON”
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