David McKalip, M.D.
There is no denying it now, Obamacare is killing my patients. Obamacare is making my patients suffer without treatment. It is all by design and the republicans who refuse to repeal it outright are just as guilty as the Obamacare statists. The fact is that there really is a death panel – it is the system of perverse incentives and dangerous penalties that reward doctors for rationing medical care. That means that Obamacare has changed the patient-physicians relationship and turned many doctors against their patients. Patients often ask me, “why don’t the doctors and the AMA stop Obamacare”? Unfortunately, many doctors are profiting from it, many support it, and many are afraid to speak up – that means only patients and average citizens can stop Obamacare. Those who want to secure their medical freedom and lives can take the first step and join a rally and sign waving calling for Obamcare repeal at the corner of Kennedy and Westshore at 5-6:30 pm in Tampa.
As a neurosurgeon, I take care of people who become suddenly and critically ill with catastrophes like brain hemorrhages and spinal cord injuries. I also take care of patient suffering from back, neck, arm and leg pain or weakness from severe spinal disease causing nerve damage. In the not too distant past (a few years ago) patients who suddenly lapsed into a coma from a brain hemorrhage were routinely given at least a few days to overcome the original insult to their brain (so we could see if they recovered and actually had a good prognosis). However, these days within 12 hours there is usually a hospital-employed nurse or doctor who is not a neurological specialist telling the family that there is no hope for recovery. The family then decides it is time to stop care and medical support is withdrawn, causing an early and preventable death. The family may not know that in the intensive care unit and in the hospital, many doctors are now employed by the large hospital corporation. They receive a bonus for shorter ICU stays for patients, and are penalized with lower pay if the patient stays “too long” in the ICU (they will ultimately fire the doctor if they spend “too much” on their patients). This part of a larger penalty structure put in place through Obamacare called “pay for performance” (PFP) or so-called “value based purchasing” (VBP). If the family knew that corporate doctors and nurses were being financially and professionally pressured into stopping care for their own benefit, they would be far less likely to give up on their family member.
The PFP and VBP models were designed by lovers of big government who think that the medical economy should be planned, commanded and controlled from Washington D.C.. They also set up penalties for doctors who spend “too much” money on patients. For instance, under PFP, if a doctor places a patient in the ICU after spine surgery through the front of the neck near their airway, they are deemed to break through a bureaucratic budget goal and get a lower rating – receiving a cut in pay. If doctors give antibiotics for more than 24 hours after surgery, shave hair with a razor in the O.R., don’t vaccinate for pneumonia when a patient is in for a broken leg or any other nonsensical “best practices”, they are also penalized. There are even penalties if the doctors don’t do dangerous things, like give blood thinners to a patient right after major hip replacement (which has been shown to increased infections due to growth) or when they have bleeding in the brain. It took four years to stop penalizing doctors who didn’t give beta blockers to heart attack patients who also had congestive heart failure – sending patients into shock and causing more deaths. These sorts of practices are called “evidence-based guidelines” but a review of the science reveals they are really based on an unscientific method of building consensus among so-called experts who are drunk on power advising the government how to ration care. These are academic types I have known for years who could never prove their pet theory with science, but love the power they get through bureaucracy and rules. Dwight Eisenhower warned against these bureaucratic control by “technocrats” and scientific elites along with his warning about the military industrial complex in his farewell address.
The republicans are complicit. They implemented this same program in Medicare called MACRA. They are now offering an “obamcare lite” bill through Paul Ryan and are doing nothing to get rid of these dangerous cookbook protocols and rationing incentives for doctors. I have worked for years to stop Obamacare and have been told over and over by republican elected officials that they want to repeal Obamacare. It was all a lie. These republicans who want “Obamacare lite” are more interested in their own political skin than the lives of my patients. They are just as complicit in the rationing, the suffering and the preventable deaths as Obama, Bernie sanders and all the collectivists who want big government.
It is time for Americans who want to take control of their medical futures to begin to speak up loudly. The first opportunity in Thursday, from 5-6:30 p.m. in Tampa. Bring Signs calling for repeal to the corner of Kennedy and Westshore (park in Westshore mall parking is widely available). Don’t count on doctors who are being controlled by Washington D.C., insurance companies and hospital corporations to end Obamacare. It is time to stand up for your own lives and show up to let others know you mean it- repeal Obamacre and replace it with freedom.