Jun 28, 2012

TMA: Reduce Health Law Red Tape

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress and the Obama administration must find a way to reduce the law's overbearing bureaucracy, said Texas Medical Association President Michael E. Speer, MD.

But, he added, "One thing today's ruling has not, and cannot, change is Texas physicians' deep commitment to care for our patients. The well-being of our patients comes first."

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that an analysis of the counter-bureacracy argument on any front and for any industry can be summized as a proverbial development of a scapegoat to avoid the root of the problem. The problem with the business of medicine is the very people that practice medicine. Historically, reform movements have their impetus on bringing about a correction to a problem that requires a collective solution or a change of direction. From a logical standpoint, this is overwhelmingly evident in medicine and the solutions are in fact straightforward. The elephant in the room is money. The reform fight has nothing to do with rights nor taxes nor mandatory coverage. It has become about the profitable enterprises medicine maintaining their ability to freely access revenue streams. The only reason that the concept of managed care makes sense to a bureacrat is that for them, its all about the numbers. For medical providers, its about the defense of access for patients. Or is it? What is undeniable in this whole debate is that many institutions and indivdual providers have thrived financially in a "free", unaccountable payment environment. This free-for-all and money grab has led to the development of secondary and tertiary relationships between physicians, vendors, pharmaceuticals and ancillary providers that continually feed on this tax money. Where have we seen this scenario play out to its own demise? Does the real estate market ring any bells? Again, logically speaking, we cannot for one minute believe that some very intelligent bankers, mortgage companies, developers and Wall Street executives could not see the destructive aspect of the real estate market and the derivative tools employed to make millions. What allowed the scheme to continue was that everyone involved -- from the salesmen, to the banks, to the developers, to the homeowners - benefitted from the unaccountable system. And so, healthcare is no different because it is comprised of people -- human beings. And what history and the study of man has concluded is that Man is naturally endowed with a seeming obligation to socially and economically seek comfort. A long route way indeed to arrive at a point. The true reform of healthcare will require a sacrifice by those that have made a comfortable living on unaccountable care. As I said before, reform is about instituting corrections to what is reality not to what can be developed for the sake of profit. If the cure for cancer were to be discovered today and offered freely to anyone and everyone, what would become of the multi-billion dollar industry that relied on that funding. Think about it. I'd venture to say that within the fringes of celebration, there would be some that would be dismayed at their sudden change of fortune.

steve.levine@texmed.org said...

Dear anonymous:

Thanks for your comment. Well thought-out. Rather than address and rebut it point by point, I would rather refer you to an excellent blog post (written about the time of this original post) by Dr. Joe Valeni, an obstetrician in Denton, Texas. You can read "Setting the Record Straight on Doctor Pay" here.