A world where the premier protector of the health of our citizens, the Surgeon General, is muzzled and constrained by the administration's political agenda.
A world where insurers, not physicians, rule on the type and level of care.... or even if one receives care.
The question posed today in the Washington Post.... "Who Killed U.S. Medicine?" .... reveals how increasingly under Bush's corporate-favoring agenda our physicians are under siege, both professionally and financially.
It's medicine for profit not care.
"Doctor's work is dictated by the policies of insurers and governments, and independent physicians have been replaced by salaried doctors who are accountable to the hospitals or insurers that employ them."
Shameful. It wasn't that long ago that the mere mention of the insurance commissioner brought such loop-hole-abusing insurers into line. No more.
But, the single-payer system so widely lauded by many politicians isn't the answer either. Under this type of government-run system, the physicians incentive is stifled by imposed salaries, and the inevitable result is a lowered standard of care.
"German physicians unhappy with their salaries and work hours under this kind of a system had no recourse against their monopolistic bosses but to go on strike last year." Not a healthy situation for doctors nor those under their care.
The AMA, who should be the entity battling for the physicians, has recently too often engaged in "trivial warfare" while physicians are "increasingly forced to becomes salaried employees.... and constrained by recipes for the practice of medicine that are cooked up by government and insurance company bureaucrats."
The answer to this sorry state of affairs.... our political leaders must have the courage to legislatively step on the neck of insurers and hospitals, and put teeth into enforcement so physicians can practice their profession.
Government oversight agencies must once again be directed to protect the public, and the AMA must refocus their efforts to advocate reversal of the corporatization of our physicians and medical care.
Perhaps then, we can stop our health-care system's slide toward imminent collapse.