Docs opposed to Obamacare call for responsible reform

December 19, 2009

A Docs4PatientCare Town Hall Meeting was held this past Tuesday at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel in Northbrook, IL.  The Town Hall Meeting was attended by 50 concerned citizens, including several doctors.

It was an event that deserves repeating throughout Chicagoland at various venues, as Congress presses ahead seemingly determined to pass a version of health care reform that most Americans do not want and which would impact patient care, quality, availability and cost.

As an alternative to the AMA, Docs4PatientCare was formed to give physicians a voice in matters that relate to healthcare. Docs4PatientCare is a grassroots organization that not only recruits doctors, but is also open to all who are interested in advocating for responsible healthcare reform.  Getting the word out, however, is a challenge. If you are concerned about the government’s eventual takeover of health care, sign up at www.docs4patientcare.org.

Lake Forest resident Dr. Mark Neerhof organized the Northbrook event.  Neerhof is the main contact in the Chicago area and is responsible for organizing the grassroots movement here in Illinois.  Other events are planned for January of 2010.  Event dates will be posted at docs4patientcare.org.

The forum featured a panel of four doctors and one individual who spoke from a patients viewpoint.  On the panel were Dr. Steve Sauerberg (Dr. Sauerberg ran for United States Senate against Dick Durbin in 2008.) Family Medicine, Focus:  Impact of legislation on quality of care; Dr. Joseph Szokol, Anesthesiologist and Attorney, Focus:  Tort Reform; Dr. Victoria Harris (via video), Emergency Medicine, Healthcare Economics, , Focus:  Socialized Medicine and healthcare in the UK and in Canada; Dr. Mark Neerhof, Maternal/Fetal Medicine, Focus:  Healthcare reform and your liberty; and Elizabeth Hitchcock, patient, Focus:  A Patient’s Perspective.  Dr. Steve Sauerberg joined the panel for the question and answer session.

Each panel participant spoke for ten minutes, after which a lively question and answer period followed.  All of the physicians spoke for themselves and not on behalf of the hospital systems for which they work.

Among many cogent messages expressed were the following:

  • There will never be healthcare reform without meaningful tort reform.
  • Any public option would become a government-controlled monopoly where government establishes all the  rules and undermines the free-market system.
  • Health care should be between patient and physician and not determined by politicians and bureaucrats.
  • Technical and advanced care is limited in Canada and the UK where waiting lists are used by government to control supply.  Access to a waiting list is not access to care!
  • Rationing of care is the only way costs can be cut under the proposed plans.
  • Waiting for care is accepted in Canada and England.  The American people expect more and strive for a free-market system to provide more.
  • An oil change at JiffyLube is fine, but not if the engine light goes on.  Chronic care patients also need options in choosing their physicians.  The American health system is the doctor and patient teaming together and trusting each other.
  • Forgotten by many is that America is a land of opportunity and not of entitlements.
  • If physicians are expected to do no harm, then we must demand of our government that it does no harm.
  • If something sounds too good to be true, it is.  Such as:  We must spend $1 trillion in order to save money.
  • There are no cost saving measures in either the House or the Senate bill.  Costs will go up.  There is nothing to prevent this.
  • Healthcare reform is not about healthcare but about government control.  Which will it be?  Are we content to lose our rights and liberties or will we stand up and fight?

Docs4Patient Care advocates speaking up and standing up for our rights.  Ways in which citizens can do so is through joining Docs4PatientCare.org.  Signing up will provide you with information and alerts.  Donations can also be made.  Why not arrange a rally or a town hall meeting, call your senators and congressmen, or visit the district offices of your senator and congressman?  Most important is that you speak up and tell others that both the House and the Senate bills are recipes for disaster.

Even if the Senate passes its version of healthcare legislation, reconciliation must take place between the House and the Senate bills.  Although healthcare was considered a “slide through” earlier in the year, it met with resistance after the American people rallied against government-run healthcare through Tea Parties and Town Hall meetings.

Healthcare reform is far from a done deal.  Each individual can make a difference.  Those who tell you otherwise are not to be believed.  Docs4PatientCare will remain active in advocating needed health care reform in a responsible and cautious manner without requiring the nationalization of the entire American healthcare system.

Here is a link to the youtube video of a Million Med March held in Millenium Park, Chicago.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggxZXHcF6NE

The above link features Dr. Mark Neerhof and is part one of eight parts.  Readers will be able to follow the prompts on the other side of the screen to see the other seven rally clips.

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