Health Care Tyranny

Author: 
Ward S. DeWitt, MD
Article Type: 
Correspondence
Issue: 
July/August 1998
Volume Number: 
3
Issue Number: 
4

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is a myth for some in this world. Consider a country that would limit the amount of money that certain highly trained workers could earn for doing their work no matter what their skill level. Consider a country that encouraged a non-competitive environment for only this type of worker. Consider a country that would make it a crime for these workers to privately negotiate compensation outside of a government-imposed fee structure. Consider a country that would selectively drive the incomes of these workers' down at a time when other workers in other industries enjoyed increasing prosperity. Consider a country that would allow monopolistic companies to also lower their payments to these workers, just like the government. Consider a country that threatens to drive these workers out of business because their costs could not be covered. Consider the plight of the workers that would lose their jobs because of this ruthless government behavior. Consider the unfortunate consumers of the services that these highly skilled workers would normally provide --- consumers who would find the lines long and the services denied because of the government's policies.

Does this sound like tyranny or, perhaps, a third world dictatorship? The country is the United States. The workers are health care workers --- physicians, nurses, therapists, hospitals, and their employees.

We are losing the greatest health care system in the world because of unrealistic cuts in payments to health care providers at all levels. This is health care tyranny in the "land of the free." Bargain basement medical care will soon be worth less than what we pay for it. Urge your representatives to turn this short-sighted policy around in the name of quality. Discuss this issue with those who know.... We and our patients deserve better.

Ward S. DeWitt, MD
Missoula, MT

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(4);109-113. Copyright©1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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