Free Markets, Free People

Who Is Spreading “Fear”?

You may recall from Obama’s health care pep rally townhall where he claimed that those in opposition to his healthcare plan were spreading disinformation and fear. But he also talked about doctors being more inclined to cut off a diabetic’s foot than treat him because they would make more doing the amputation than with preventive care. The claim, of course, is Obama’s plan would discourage that.

All I’m saying is let’s take the example of something like diabetes, one of — a disease that’s skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it’s not treated as effectively as it could be. Right now if we paid a family — if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they’re taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that’s $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 — immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we’re also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

The American College of Surgeons responds (something Marc Ambinder finds to be “amusing”):

The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.

— Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts
completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg
amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and
$1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the
evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient
follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation.
Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for
this service.

— Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon’s decision to
remove a child’s tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of
money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were
dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons
make decisions about recommending operations based on what’s right for
the patient.

We agree with the President that the best thing for patients with diabetes is to manage the disease proactively to avoid the bad consequences that can occur, including blindness, stroke, and amputation. But as is the case for a person who has been treated for cancer and still needs to have a tumor removed, or a person who is in a terrible car crash and needs access to a trauma surgeon, there are times when even a perfectly managed diabetic patient needs a surgeon. The President’s remarks are truly alarming and run the risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients.

Who again is out there “spreading fear?”

Hope and change.

~McQ

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16 Responses to Who Is Spreading “Fear”?

  • This original TV commercial was the butt of a long forgotten Jay Leno joke when he repsonded ..
    Hey buddy, you aren’t much of an actor either

  • Obama’s answer to every problem is to expand government control. The only way he knows how to sell that idea is to demonize some heterogeneous group of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens, and then promise to defend us against them.
    I expect our checks and balances to work a lot better than Venezuela’s have done. But one way or another, these narcissistic idiots are going to do a lot of permanent damage.
     

  • Haven’t Obamacare supporters also been demonizing the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, even though both are on board and spending money to support Obamacare?

  • I believe they just got out of ‘make a deal’ with drug companies. I assume that’s a payoff of some sorts to bring a compromise with them. I also assume they are working up carrot and stick deals with other medical companies including some of the insurance companies. All to help bring republicans into the fold.

    So they’re running out of villians.

  • All I’m [Obama] saying is let’s take the example of something like diabetes, one of — a disease that’s skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it’s not treated as effectively as it could be. Right now if we paid a family — if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they’re taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that’s $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 — immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we’re also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

    It’s truly shameful that the guy who is trying to change our health care doesn’t know that surgeons don’t do family care, so the choice he offers is meaningless. It only shows his ignorance. His example is equivalent to taking your car to an auto body shop to get an oil change .. they might, just might, do it for you, but they will charge you plenty because it’s not what they really do.

  • Guy, don’t decieve yourself into thinking he’s committed to any of the words he’s said to get this turkey onto the table.
     
    Who they have to demonize, what they have to say, whether or not any of  it’s true…all irrelevant,  so long as it helps in achieving their goal.
     
    Unlike Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address the words they speak will not be long remembered, and they know it.

  • To include Doctors who are not Doctors who say they are Doctors (let’s all give the little lady a round of applause).
    Then follow that and listen to this Rep….First saying there aren’t enough GP’s…then saying you can’t get them because there ARE, but they’re busy because they’re really popular!
     
    Then say that this bill will CREATE MORE!
     
    It will WHAT?  CREATE MORE?
     
    So now the Government is going to…what?  Go into the educating Doctors business?
     
    Heh..now who could EVER have predicted they’d be forced by this legislation to eventually do that.   Gonna be forced to because Doctor’s salaries are comin down kids….and who wants to pay to learn to be a proctologist to make , say, $60,000 a year.  And this rep is ahead of the curve, she’s gonna put a section in the bill to CREATE MORE DOCTORS.
     
    Like I said, “Say whatever you need to say, whenever you need to say it…these idiots will never know the difference until it’s way too late.”
     
    Doctor Who?

  • I predict that, if ObamaCare passes, Big Pharma gets screwed, which only goes to prove that secret promises are worthless.

  • Lemme see if I have this right:

    TAO promises that “you can keep your doctor”. Yet, he accuses these same doctors of unnecessarily lopping off feet and removing kids’ tonsils to line their own pockets.

    Riiiiight.

    I’m also curious about his claims that diabetes is on the rise in part because “not treated as effectively as it could be”. Um… How, exactly? How are the doctors of America somehow falling short in treating this disease? What does that world-famous endocrinologist, Dr. B.H. Obama, suggest that they do differently?

    The incoherence of TAO’s message is part of the reason he’s having trouble selling it. Americans have been convinced that the health system is “broken” because it costs too much, not because our quality of care is poor or our doctors are butchers. When he tries to convince people that Uncle Sugar needs to take over because doctors are performing unnecessary surgery and are otherwise incompetent… Well, it’s a bit hard for many people to believe.

  • It is truly amazing. I have always given BO the benefit of the doubt in regard to intelligence. However, he has lost me. He has said some of the most unbelieveably stupid things. He analogizes the “public option” competing with private insurance with the post office competing with Federal Express? Does he think that is a persuasive argument? The Post Office?

    Based on the htings he has said in the last 6 months, if Barack Obama were a Republican, the left would be screaming about how stupid he is.

  • Why is no one talking about possibly one of the biggest cost cutting measures in the health care debate? Tort reform,this is the single biggest cost that health care professionals bear. Why is it off the table?

  • This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 8/14/2009, at The Unreligious Right

  • File as the Motto of the Obama Administration – “Say whatever you need to say, whenever you need to say it…these idiots will never know the difference until it’s way too late.”
    Further proof, as if it’s needed.
    No AARP Endorsement
     

  • You guys actually read Obama’s statement, right? He wasn’t saying that surgeons make $50k for amputations. He was saying that’s how much an amputation costs. After all, his point was that preventive care is cheaper than amputation. So why would he only have quoted the surgeon’s fee, rather than the full amount? Duh! Because he WAS quoting the full amount. And the surgeons group got it wrong.

    Again, his point wasn’t that surgeons are greedy or can’t be trusted. His point was that preventive care is cheaper. I thought that was abundantly clear. Geez, most of the conservatives repeating this bogus claim never bothered reading his original statement. But you guys don’t even have that excuse as it’s right there in the post, yet repeat the bogus claim too. Weird.