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home : opinion : opinion April 29, 2016

11/25/2012 6:00:00 AM
Guest Column: Now we all get health care, right?
G. Keith Smith
Medical Doctor

It's after the election, and a lot of people are excited that they can now get health care. Or maybe not quite yet, but by 2014, when Obama-Care is fully implemented.

The only problem is that health care is not like an Obama phone. The phones are all made by a standard process in a factory, probably in China, and they usually work.

You can use them to call a health care provider. But you usually get the "if this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911," followed by the phone menu.

How will this change with ObamaCare? Doesn't that give you a right to health care?

Whenever someone tells me about the "right" to health care, I ask, "From whom? From me?" This question exposes this "right" for the robbery and slavery that it is.

Take it to the next step. Do you really want to exercise your "right" to health care on a physician who doesn't want any part of this bargain? What kind of care do you think you'll receive?

Years ago, I stopped doing cardiac anesthesia, because well over half of the patients were "covered" by Medicare and payment to me for my services was well below what I thought acceptable ($285 for my last 6-hour cardiac anesthetic). Soon thereafter I stopped my dealings with Medicare (and Medicaid) altogether as I increasingly saw myself as the recipient of money taken from my neighbors against their will.

As an aside, the angriest patients I've ever encountered were the Medicare patients I subsequently treated with no charge whatsoever. My providing charitable care elicited patient rage like none I've encountered since.

About two weeks after I quit, an angry cardiac surgeon, inconvenienced by my departure from the group of available cardiac anesthesiologists and with his finger in my face, told me that he was going to see to it that I was forced to do these anesthetics, so as not to disrupt his schedule. I guess he thought he had a "right" to my services.

It didn't help things that I laughed. I said, "Dr. X, I'll be happy to visit with the family before their loved one's elective surgery and inform them that I want no part of this and that I don't really want to be here, but someone is making me do this. Maybe you all would like to wait for an anesthesiologist who wants to be part of this, because I certainly don't."

This cardiac surgeon suddenly understood. Now imagine this on a large scale. Angry mobs of folks waving their ObamaCare "insurance" cards in the street demanding their free health care outside a closed and vacant doctor's office.

That is what Obama-Care is: an insurance card. Come 2014, you'll have to certify to the IRS that you have such a card, one that is acceptable to the government. Or else you'll have to pay the government for the "choice" to not have insurance: a minimum of $95 at first, climbing to $695 in a few years.

So keep that Obama-Care card handy. Either you or the taxpayers will have paid maybe $15,000 a year for it. Or it is very likely to be a Medicaid card. You'll need the card when you call the health care provider. If you make it through the phone menu, your insurance number will likely be the first question you will be asked. This will tell what type of care you are eligible to receive and from whom, and how much the provider will be paid.

It is likely that the provider will not be a physician. The physician you might eventually see will not be working for you. He'll be working for an ObamaCare Accountable Care Organization, which is paid for not providing care.

If too many doctors quit, the government might try to make them work. But will your doctor still care if you point a gun at him? The fear of having to see such a doctor may be the great new incentive for "wellness."

Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. He practices in Oklahoma.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@So grateful Dr. Smith isn't practicing in Kingman

"perhaps the good doctor would like to propose his own solution"

Try learning to read, he did propose his own solution. He said he stopped dealing with Medicare and Medicaid. That sure sounds like a "solution" to me. I don't see where he is required to come up with a solution for everyone else as well. And I don't see where he should be forced to be part of a govt. program if he chooses not to.

Are you just grateful he is not practicing here because you are a person to which his own solution would apply? If so, I'm sure he's glad you are not in his neighborhood.


Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Warren AO

GIMME MAH MUNEEZ! Oh the pain, the pain of it all.

-- Shorter Dr. Smith.

That said, Medicare is broken. It pays fractions on billable treatments, which is harmful to healthcare and providers. No argument there. But to suggest that ACA is going to be the same as Medicare is, at best, simplistic.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Its always interesting to see these kinds of letters. The Obama phone? A little research would show there is no such thing but instead a program that was started long before Obama came on the scene. But that is the problem with the "right" wing - they tend to believe everything without ever doing any research to see if its true.
The healthcare bill isn't perfect - its basically a big handout to the price gouging insurance companies. But I am glad that this Dr.Smith is not my doctor.
Why does the Miner never print anything that is objective, middle of the road or even at all honest? Why is everything straight from the right wing loony bin?

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Different people

So using your logic if i run a supermarket and a person comes in with no money, or not enough money, i should give them what they want for free, right?

Does your view of "compassion" apply to all professions? Oh wait, for liberals it only applies when they are on the receiving end of getting something for nothing.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: the first time and not the last time

what was wrong with dr smith?

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Obama's America:

Jamie Foxx refers to obama as God, our Lord and Savior.

BET uses a promo showing picture of obama as messiah w/halo around head.

Children in a FL county now wave their hand over a machine to pay in cafeteria. The veins in their hands have been previously scanned to read their palms for payment. Next will be hospital patients and then ATM users.

A San Antonio school district is requiring all students have imbedded micro chips so their every move can be tracked. Apparently they haven't read the book of Revelation yet.

PRAVDA - obama re-elected by illiterate Americans.

Churches teaching concealed gun training.

Company fires 150 for not getting flu shots.

Eleven puppies found skinned in PA park.

TV airs "Death to Israel" video.

Morgan Stanely - Big 2013 recession coming.

17 year old manager of Long John Silver's hides video camera in women's restroom.

Buffet calls for 30% tax increase on wealthy.

Shoplifter held by Walmart employee dies.

Ah, peace in obama's America. Nothing like it.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Ansons Nephew

I would like to see every doctor......"

Wow, it does not take much to make your FASCIST side come out, does it. You mean doctors and others you don't like do not get their student loans "forgiven" (which really means dumped on the taxpayers)? That has been a very popular idea with freeloading leftists for some time now.


Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Different People

Until I read this letter, I felt the Okies were generally compassionate people. This annesthesiologist must have been using some of that gas on himself for a spell.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: So Grateful Dr. Smith isn't Practicing in Kingman

Bazaar. It's too bad that he feels $47.50 (2 1/2 times the average full time salary per hr) isn't worth his while.

This is an amazing piece for one in the medical profession to attach his name to. I will sympathize with him regarding the attitude of some of the patients. However it is part of the profession. I'm sure you can speak with any nurse and she/he will tell you how doctors talk down to them and many simply take advantage of their position to denegrate. They see this as part of the job. So should we feel sorry for the doctor that lets a handful of patients bug him? I am curious that he found it necessary to check the financials of a patients that seem to rile him - how else would he know they are on medicaid/medicare?

Wages and benefits across American in all professions are under tremendous downward pressure. And most will see
wages and benefits shrink if they have not all ready done so. I think the medical profession will also see downward pressures. I would love to see the AMA agree to open up medical schools to increased numbers (something they vehemently oppose). It would be interesting to see if all young people wanting to enter the medical profession would be given the opportunity to do so. Performance while undergoing medical school would be the determining factor for those eventually becoming doctors. Unfortunately, we have a very low quota of those allowed to enter medical schools. By opening up medical training and allowing thousands more to be doctors, we might find several willing to do cardiac anesthesia for $47.50 an hour.

Oh, one last thing, perhaps the good doctor would like to propose his own solution or would he rather be a part of the problem not the solution.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

A brilliant letter! I hope some of the obama zombies on here start seeing the truth but don't hold your breath.

Again, as I posted elsewhere, obamacare is in terrible disarray. Scheduled to begin in 11 month, noone knows how to implement it because NOONE HAS A MONTH OFF TO READ IT TO SEE WHAT IT SAYS.

Those reading parts of it can't decipher it, it being cobbled together like a Rube Goldberg - so many various entities contributing their desires so none of it fits together nor makes any sense. Consider the length of the Constitution or Lincoln's Gettysburg Address compared to THIS. Those white men of long ago sure knew what they were doing in the word department.

The very few who have read it in it's entirety (see Dr. Betsy McCaughey) realize it is more about taking over every facet of your life then providing you medical care.

Speaking of taking over your life like obama is doing, it is fun and interesting to follow the obama anti-christers. The stories and You Tubes are everywhere. My fav is the words Barak U or Obamah taken back to Hebrew mean "I saw Satan as barak obama." Hard one to dispute actually since the POTUS's name does mean that, as lightening falling from heaven.

No conspiracy theorist but I do try to "study to show theyself approved" as God recommends. And this POTUS has oddities. 9-11 hit us, all Arabic jihadists. A few short years later, we elect an Arabic - Englishman, unknown, w/three Arabic names and a disputed birthplace and citizenship. He does blaspheme the Holy Bible on tape (You Tube available), has stated his allegiance to islam. Some say his ring pledges allegiance to allah and 666 has entered. Undoubtedly coincidences although some called him messiah.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: KO TAY

Next year yep 2013 smokers will pay the highest premiums? 2014 insurance will not be available for smokers no matter how much money you have. No insurance if you smoke after 2013. No big deal right....Haha this is going to make welfare people mad. In 2014 overweight people will pay the highest rate if you do not lose the weight you will be dropped from insurance. In 2013 makers of inplant devices have to pay 25% taxes on those devices. Stick it to the big companies huh. They have doubled their prices for such devices. Nothing is free people. Tax the rich they really don't care. Make the big companies pay as if. To those of you who voted Obama you screwed yourself. The big companies, the rich they are just going to pass that cost to you. So in my opinion if you voted Obama and you dare to complain for the next 4 yrs you own it.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

‘…. and payment to me for my services was well below what I thought acceptable.”

And obviously someone else decided the sum was actually viable, so you exercised your right to drop out. Good for you.

I know many people who feel their job compensation and lack of benefits is unacceptable, but guess what? They have no option to drop out, so each day it’s off to work they go.

“It is likely that the provider will not be a physician. The physician you might eventually see will not be working for you. He'll be working for an ObamaCare Accountable Care Organization, which is paid for not providing care.”

Incorrect, but then that is no surprise. As the system currently exists the provider you have (if you’re fortunate enough to have a provider) works for an insurance company. The group that actually employees “death panels” to see to it that their bottom line is protected by denying treatment.

“If too many doctors quit, the government might try to make them work.”

Highly doubtful but I would like to see every doctor who obtained his education through federal student loans be “forced” to work. Let’s say either every year until they pay back their student loans, or maybe five years for every year we the taxpayers paid for.

I might suggest to Dr Smith that sine he is so unhappy with the AHCA he leave the country and go to a place where he will not be shackled by a government health care system. Of course that means no-where in the industrialized world, but that’s his problem. And of course he would not be allowed to leave the country until his student loans are paid off.


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