Dr. Robert Sewell presents a concise history of Medicare in America that can be accessed by going to http://www.spiritofhealthcare.com/?p=217 Here is the response by Dr. Ralph Kristeller:
Bob--Your excellent email on Creeping Socialism deserves more time than I am able to muster.
“Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde and the band played on.”
Substitute the term AMA for Casey and the word politicians for strawberry blonde and that describes the reason for the current health care mess.
Words do count: “Medicare Fee Schedule” should have been stricken from the vocabulary. It is a Payment Schedule and the AMA should have jumped on it right from the start, just as they should have jumped on the outrageous phrase “health care is a right”. The AMA “never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity”
I am incensed over my personal experience whereby one of my physicians has opted out of Medicare. I continue to pay Medicare taxes yet in the case of his opt out I can not submit a claim or receive any payment from Medicare. In short it’s premium collection with no “benefits.” It amounts to taxation without representation. It goes with the thoughts in your fifth paragraph.
In brief the AMA is expending all its effort to change the payment for physicians in a system that closely resembles the Code of Hammurabi. They should be expending all their effort to re-establish a system that closely resembles the oath of Hippocrates. The oathis based on autonomy for physicians. Autonomy includes the right to freely contract.
The code of Hammurabi excludes autonomy and so the politicians cleverly frame the debate and the profession stupidly falls for the ruse.
With regard to your email, as the saying goes: “Good job”
As always warm regards