Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just Say "NO"

Thank you for representing me in the U.S. Senate. And thank you for standing firmly against Obama's proposed healthcare plan!

I am currently studying for my MD/PhD, and naturally this legislation has captured my attention.  On the one hand, I'm excited to enter the medical field, where I can see my work directly improving people's lives.  At the same time, I am seriously concerned about the changes that this field would undergo should Obama's proposed healthcare plan be enacted.

Every day of every year physicians engage with patients in life-and-death decisions.  They must collect as much information as possible, then use this to make prudent choices.  Anything that complicates this process or divides their loyalty to their patient means loss-of-time, and potentially loss-of-life.

Obama's healthcare plan would do just this.  If this plan becomes law, a physician must not only think of what s/he thinks is medically in the best interest for the patient's health, s/he must also consider what is in the best interest of the government's budget.  People are subsequently reduced to economic products, not as beings endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.  

We can see the impact such divided loyalties are having in countries that have adopted socialized medicine.  For example, in Great Britain where the employees of the National Health Service comprise the third largest workforce in the world, rationing is a painful reality, and the government strictly mandates who will and who will not receive specific treatments.  Smokers are not to be treated for heart disease, and the overweight are denied knee or hip replacements.  The NHS' motto may be "your health, your choices," but there are no alternatives to the socialized medical system.  The citizens must shrug -- or immigrate.

Ironically in many ways, such a system does not save money, because in a monopoly there is no incentive to cut prices or provide a better service.  We can see the first tastes of such a system in our own semi-socialized system, where Medicare imposes an inflexible framework on physicians and patients, and is the third most expensive federal program, outspent only by Social Security and national defense.  Our three health insurance programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) -- account for 20% of the 2008 federal budget.  If Obama is concerned about saving money, he can do so by decreasing the $599 billion spent on these programs last year.  He does not need an additional unconstitutional, unreviewed, unsubstantiated program on which to practice.

Gathering the information, looking at the short- and the long-term implications, socialized medicine is not the answer for our country.  Thank you very, very much for standing against Obama's proposed healthcare plan.  

May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you as you follow Him!

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