Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hurting? Wait Until ObamaCare Stops Paying for Anesthesia

That's right. Obama's got to cut health care costs somewhere, so why not cut back on all that anesthesia people get during surgery and childbirth. In the dentist's chair. Before painful medical tests (remember when the nurse gave you that remarkably effective injection?). Bet you never thought that Obama and his Democrat "colleagues" were going to ration that. But they are, big time. 

Come to think of it, if the Democrats make it hard to get pain relief, that will greatly reduce demand for surgery, which is not on most people's list of preferred activities to begin with. Not all consequences are unintended.

This cost savings is not just some amorphous, "Hey, we'll do it someday" promise, like Obama's about-face claim that medical malpractice tort reform is right around the corner, even though it's not in the Senate bill that he intends to sign no matter who doesn't like it (especially the American people). Cutbacks on payments for anesthesia are already in the Senate bill, cutbacks so severe that payments to anesthesiologists will not cover the cost of providing anesthesia. ObamaCare, as written, will pay only 33% of an anesthesia bill (see 1/14/10 link) as compared to the 80% now paid by private insurers.

It stands to reason that anesthesiologists are not too happy about that. Neither are OB/GYNs, because when women in labor need anesthesia, they need it NOW. I can't imagine that dentists are happy about those kinds of cutbacks either. And then there are surgeons. They cannot be happy campers.

I know I'm not. And I need no more convincing demonstration than rationing of anesthesia to show me that Obama doesn't care how much pain I feel. Or care about the pain of every American I know, and every American I don't know, with the exception of Barack and Michelle's entire entourage in the White House and in Congress and in various federal agencies--and their families.

Come to think of it, it's starting to look like the only rational choice for pain-avoiding humans is to get on Obama's good side--his really good side, the side that gets a protected health care system. That probably explains why so many Democrats are behind ObamaCare.

However, you've got to be eating pretty high on the hog to be in that health care system. Witness the  list of physicians' organizations who wrote to the U.S. Senate opposing the Senate bill "because it will threaten patient access and harm quality":
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology 
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons 
  • American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons 
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 
  • American College of Osteopathic Surgeons 
  • American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics 
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists 
  • American Society of Breast Surgeons 
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 
  • American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery 
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons 
  • American Urological Association 
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons 
  • Society for Vascular Surgery 
  • Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic 
  • Surgeons Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 
Time to hit the phone. Mail is good too. It litters up offices and results in visible piles on desks and tables, overflows recycle bins, and, in general, reminds both Congress Critters and staff about future attendance at "town hall" meetings and polling places.

No time like the present. And nudge your spouse, parent, siblings, and neighbors to do the same. 

Unless you really, really like pain. Then don't bother.

No comments:

Post a Comment