Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Friday, July 13, 2012

Millionaire Doctors and Poor Patients

A Report By Eddie G. Griffin, International Child Rights advocate

I find it interesting that the federal government thinks Medicaid expansion is the answer when the number of doctors who accept Medicaid has decreased as the following numbers show.

2000 – 67%
2010 – 42%
2012 – 31%

Source: Dr. Mark Shelton, Facebook Post

Dr. Michael Burgess, U.S. House District 26 of Texas, explains why doctors are abandoning their practices, or refusing Medicaid patients. (See C-SPAN). In essence, the Medicaid reimbursement rates are too small. And with the anticipated expansion of Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Healthcare Act, they fear the medical care market would be flooded with poor patients, and fewer doctors willing to see them.

In 2009, in a one-on-one over coffee, Michael Burgess and Eddie Griffin debated the healthcare bill which was being drafted and reviewed at that time. Eddie Griffin was the first to point out typos and other flaws in the original 1400-page bill, before it was rushed through the Congress and enacted as a 2700-page tome, known as “Obamacare” (socialized medicine, as some would say)

In the exchange, Griffin pleaded the case of The Unborn at risk of being born with a “pre-existing condition” like the Blue Baby. In his C-SPAN interview on yesterday, Michael Burgess discusses his ideas about babies being born with pre-existing conditions. And still he has no solution for the Blue Baby, except a high-risk insurance pool, regulated by the state.

But there is irony in what Burgess says about healthcare access. Just because people have a healthcare plan, it does not mean that they have access to healthcare coverage. Having Medicaid did not guarantee that patients would receive medical attention, as there will be fewer and fewer doctors willing to take new patients, as more and more patients come into the healthcare system under the Affordable Health Care Act.

Millionaire doctors are in revolt, some threatening to shut down their offices, some threatening to leave the country and practice elsewhere.

Dr. Burgess asked: “Why vilify the doctors? These are the very people that you need.” Good doctors? Yes. Bad, greedy doctors? No.

With over 650,000 doctors now in the Top 1% of the income bracket, and 20% of doctors now in the Top 2%, how can anybody ask why healthcare cost has gone through the roof?

Millionaire Doctors are getting rich off their practices in a number of exploitative ways, from pushing pills for the pharmaceutical companies, to worthless treatments and unnecessary surgeries, to plugging the plug on terminal patients when coverage runs out, limiting their own medical tort liability, while forcing some patients to mortgage their homes to pay their medical bills, these doctors maximize profit over care.

They vilify themselves when the take the Hypocrisy Oath instead of the Hippocratic Oath.

We have all had family members bled by the system for premiums and later dropped, for some technical excuse of other, written in a policy nobody could read and understand in the first place.

Simplification and streamlining the system is necessary. Maybe that might mean that some of these millionaire doctors need to shut down their operations for the betterment of the overall healthcare system, if they refuse care to the “poorest of the poor” just because it does not pay enough.

We have often disputed whether healthcare was a right or a privilege, whereby Burgess believes the latter. And, since introducing him to the plight of the helpless unborn and uncovered, he has worked diligently to provide a fix, without having to rewrite another 2700-page Republican alternative.

And just when he puts the final touches on his alternative to introduce to the Republican-dominated House of Representative, and in anticipation of, at least, a partial victory from the Supreme Court, the Roberts’ ruling was “not exactly” as he wished. Translated, Justice Roberts threw a monkey wrench into his alternatives.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act is the law of the land. That meant Burgess’ Republican alternative plan has to be altered.

Therefore, at a nexus in time, when the Republican proposed to outright kill “Obamacare”, there is no alternative on the table, only a promise from Burgess that one will be ready before the month is out.


The law is in effect. And, it will be defended. And, not until the Blue Baby is provided affordable health care coverage, pregnant mothers, elderly, and terminally ill, without caps of coverage, and patients without denial due to poverty, will we rest in the defense of this Act.

Eddie G. Griffin (BASG)

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