- - Sunday, January 3, 2016

Before I begin, I must stress that this is not a “poor me” op-ed. It is more of a Clarion call for people to see what Obamacare has finally done to the medical profession.

​​The original Hippocratic Oath, or Oath of Maimonides, is the oath that all physicians take when graduating medical school. It is an oath that I, your physician will be your champion. That oath is being rendered meaningless. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects of Obamacare seems to believe that the new oath should instead be an oath of allegiance to the health of the state, not the individual patient. Since, if the state is healthy, then the individual will be as well. Think of the lack of individualized attention you,as a patient receive, when you go to into your next appointment. The doctor or nurse is busy inputting data in the computer. There is no, or minimal eye contact. Data rules supreme. Data dictates outcome. Your personal story does not matter.

These are what I call, unintended consequences of Obamacare. The destruction of the medical profession actually began with Hillary Clinton and her “HillaryCare.” While HillaryCare did not pass legislation, it did start the unraveling of the best health care in the world. For some of you doubters, and for those of you who like to quote the World Health Organization, we as a nation do poorly when compared to some smaller nation in life expectancy. The problem with using statistics, is that you can get to any end result you want depending on how that variable data is collected. Life expectancy also includes deaths from murder ​(​16​,000/year)​, Motor vehicle accidents (35,000 deaths), suicide (41,000)​( US CDC Dec 2014, table 10,pp19-23),not to mention premature infants who do not survive.

Including those statistics , we as a nation do poorly. Are those variables actually a component of our health care system? No. We as physicians have no control over the violence or the drunk driving. Funny thing is we do have control of the premature infants who do survive. We also include those statistics for the 28 week (3 months premature) birth, who has a good chance for a normal life. Those infants who are born in third world countries are not even given a chance, they die, nor are they included in their life expectancy statistics. Most of those occur in the small villages and are contained locally. Now if we look at the statistics that are important, then we are still the best. Life expectancy after the diagnosis of cancer is the true indication for a robust health system. We are the best.

​Again here​ comes the unintended consequences of Obamacare. It is wonderful to say we all have the same equal health care. Makes no difference, Rich or Poor. The problem is that Obamacare has lowered the previous ​high quality to bring it down to the lowest common denominator, so we all now have the same lower standard. Besides the $2 trillion cost, which was originally quoted at $800 million. Besides the lies about keeping your insurance plan, or keeping your doctor. Besides the promise to lower the cost of health care. Besides the promise that the exchanges will succeed. Besides all of that, what Obamacare has done, is change the way health care is delivered. By the end of 2015 there will only be 25-30% of physicians in private care. ​Even less this next year.​

Patients will no longer have their personal champion, but will be assigned a doctor who works for the “company”. They will become clients, not patients. Obamacare ​did gi​ve ​some ​people a piece of paper saying they have health insurance, but there is no one left ​to deliver it.

​For most of us “experienced” physicians, we’ve had enough, we’re “burned out.” Medicine is the only highly skilled profession where experience and skill are not rewarded. My office just calculated that we get paid less per hour to take care of a pregnant women for nine months and deliver her than our handyman makes to fix our toilets. A physician of 30 years experience, with an excellent reputation gets paid the same from an insurance company as that of a young graduate one day out. This is not griping, but highlighting the problem. Think of the high powered lawyer accepting the same remuneration as that of the local law school grad. Think of whatever job you are doing, and that after 30 years you are getting paid the same as the new kid in the mailroom​, or less than your handyman​. For all of these unintended consequences of Obamacare, the medical profession is dying, and there is no experienced doctor in the house to save us.

Dr. Peter Weiss is a board certified OB/GYN, assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. He was a health care advisor for senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, as well as a health care advisor for former governor of New York David Paterson. He is currently the medical director for the Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center.


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