Every doctor in America who is worth his or her salt should quit. Apparently, given the impending implementation of Obama-care, they’ve been contemplating it. How many? Eighty-three percent! Unfortunately, most of them will not quit, and more is the shame because if we want to defeat Obama-care, that’s the way it could be done. That, or the statists would need to unmask completely and simply enact in law what they intend: Health-care professionals, from doctors to nurses to orderlies must now be the slaves of the state. If you think this is an overstatement, consider the facts. When you are forbidden from negotiating your wages, and must accept whatever some bureaucrat tells dictates, you are a slave. You can pretty it up any way you like, but that’s where all of this will lead. Eventually, those skilled enough, smart enough, and diligent enough to be doctors will realize they would be better off doing something else. Instead, the ranks of doctors and nurses will begin to be filled with the incompetent, the slothful, and the under-qualified. This is what always happens under socialized medicine, and every one of these would-be slaves has the same moral right to refuse this servitude, and the sooner they do, the better the chance that they will spawn a movement in opposition.
If you’re not a doctor or nurse, and you’re not a skilled radiologist, and you haven’t the foggiest about how to operate an MRI machine, you might want to hold on a moment before joyfully proclaiming your new “right to medical care” under the Affordable Care Act(a.k.a “Obama-care.”) Those who foolishly believe they will maintain some form of private health insurance over the longer haul ought to pay attention too. Let us imagine everybody has insurance, as the Utopian masterminds behind Obama-care promise. Then what? It is not only money that can be inflated out of all value. An insurance to purchase a service that is in shortage isn’t much of an insurance, is it? Imagine having auto insurance of this sort. You have your fender-bender, and your insurance company estimates the damages, sending you out in search of a shop to perform the repairs. What if you can’t find one? What if you sit there with the check from your insurer, satisfying your claim in full, but there exists no shop to perform the work, or so few, that you will be without your vehicle for weeks or months, or perhaps longer. How will you maintain your job? How will you get to the grocery store?
Naturally, if you’re a welfare leech, you’re not much worried about that, but if you’re a working American with bills to pay, you’d better begin to think about it now. Under Obama-care, slowly, but surely, this will become the inevitable conclusion: Care will be of poorer quality, more scarce, and since everybody will have their coverage, there will be no advantage by offering more in payment. How long before a black-market medical system develops? Do you deny the possibility of all of this? Are you stuck on the notions of what you have known, rather than what can(and likely will) now come to pass? What happens when it’s your six-year-old daughter down at the emergency room with a fractured wrist, in a line that stretches up and down the hallways and side corridors, because there exists a severe shortage of medical professionals? Will your wishes mute your daughter’s agony?
You think doctors and nurses are endless, bottomless pits of human compassion, but they’re not, and no person is, because it’s simply not possible. More, if you want their compassion, shouldn’t you offer them yours? Why do you wish to have them work as slaves to your needs? Isn’t that what this whole corrupt system has become? Tax-payers must be slaves. Doctors and nurses and orderlies must be slaves. Everybody must be slaves but he who has nothing to offer, and no intention of offering it, since he has no intention of obtaining it by his own efforts.
Am I being too crass, and too obnoxiously terse in my appraisal? Brother, you haven’t seen the half of it yet. Wait until doctors are unionized, since it will be the only way to protect their diminishing wages, and they look at you and your suffering child, parent, or spouse and say simply: “I’m on break.” At the ends of their shifts, they will walk away, as carelessly as the country has walked away from them. What do you think is the meaning about the endless delays in Medicare payments, and the inaction of Congress year after year in adjusting reimbursements to doctors? Were I a physician, I wouldn’t have a single patient who is in a government system of any sort. Why would one wish to accept patients whose payment will always be less than it ought to be, while robbing from paying patients in order to subsidize the government-paid accounts?
Imagine running any other enterprise like this for long. All of your paying customers would abandon you. You wouldn’t be able to carry off this sort of con-game, because they’d price-shop the matter and move briskly to another provider, whether the product is a widget or the service is the measurement of blood-pressure. What Obama-care offers, and indeed what all forms of socialized medicine promise is to deliver something many people desperately want without regard to their ability to pay. That’s it, in a nutshell, and if I were a physician, I’d be looking to set up a clinic somewhere off-shore where I could live out my life unmolested by big government mandates. Nobody should be compelled to labor. Neither you, nor I, and certainly not doctors. We’d better begin to consider if we wish to coerce the people who we expect to save our lives.
Back in 1978, Dr. Milton Friedman discussed all of this at length. I’ve provided his talk on the matter, in six pieces, here: