September 14, 2009
Did you see it? The makings of history? Oh what a joyful sight! After sixty years of several failed attempts, maybe we’ll finally get it right. It took the courage of a leader to venture down the road less traveled. Despite the hate, propaganda and vitriolic behavior, President Obama stood firm, like many of us prayed he would.
Obama delivered on his promise: a public health option. The party is over for the insurance company monopolies and I’m not shedding a single tear.
The rights of passage I endured during my eight years of training were never meant to be used for the benefit of greed. It was for the exclusive benefit of my patients. I often lament on how physicians arrived at this ungodly juncture and to a certain extent, it’s our own fault. Most of us were too afraid to organize for fear of being in violation of anti-trust. Of losing precious hospital privileges. Of being disenrolled from insurance plans. Of being labeled a “trouble maker.” So instead, we did nothing and the unscrupulous took over.
Some of us threw in the towel and retired. Others added “spa boutiques” to compensate for shrinking revenue. The desperate (and greedy) ones added additional volume to their office schedule and almost killed patients in the process. Some whined about “Obamacare” in the “physician-only” chat rooms and called him every name in the book. But deep within the recesses of their hearts, they knew they were witnessing a hero. Our profession was a bumbling mess, yet no one had the courage to fix it. It was the nurses (God bless them) that stormed the senate hearings in protest so that our voices could finally be heard.
When the smoke clears and the dust finally settles it is the patient-physician relationship that must be held sacred. Med school taught us the standards, the ethics and the integrity of our profession. Let us NEVER allow it to be compromised again.