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Dr. David McKalip tries to play bait-and-switch

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mckalip

Dr. David McKalip, is a St. Petersburg neurosurgeon, president-elect of the Pinellas County Medical Association, a board member of the Florida Medical Association and President of the Florida neurosurgical society.

You might recognize McKalip as the author of this Op-ed piece written for the St. Petersburg Times, or this letter to the editor.

Maybe you recognize his work from Lew Rockwell's site.

It's possible you heard McKalip's presentation to the Glenn Beck-inspired South Pinellas 9.12 Patriots.

Perhaps you saw him on Youtube:

When he isn't busy going Galt, or writing misleading screeds attacking the president's health care insurance reform, David McKalip relaxes by circulating tasteless and offensive picture portraying the president as a witch doctor (complete with bone through his nose). That certainly seems like odd behavior for a man who is president-elect of a professional association like the Pinellas County Medical Association Mission: To inform, serve, and advocate).

(Update: since writing this McKalip has resigned his position as president-elect of the PCMA and they have accepted it, stating: "The Pinellas County Medical Association regrets and is appalled by the statements and act of Dr. David McKalip. Dr. McKalip acted in poor taste and on his own accord when preparing and issuing his message.")

In an interview with the Miami Herald following the public outcry over his completely inappropriate, outrageous, and insulting behavior, David Mckalip dismissed the criticism by saying,

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Because I've been so effective in pointing out how the government plans are going to hurt patients in very serious ways the only way they can neutralize my message is to discredit me personally.

Let me spike that nonsense right now. If David McKalip simply had a bad sense of humor, or a momentary lapse of judgment, or even if he was culturally insensitive... that would not be worth much comment. However, Dr. Mckalip trades on his professional reputation and credentials to claim expertise in the area of "medical economics" while promoting as true stuff that is false.

Pretending the debate is about government-run health care, when it is really about government managing the cost of health care insurance is a classic bait-and-switch gambit. Pretending the Obama administration is advocating "single payer" healthcare when it promoting a "public option" is just another variation on that theme. This sort of bait-and-switch chicanery deserves to be debunked.

Let's begin with his recent letter to the editor, titled Government Would Offer Inept Care. It'd hard to defend the false assertion the government will be providing care (instead of insurance to pay for care), but McKalip goes after this straw man with a red herring. To make his case, McKalip points to "the Pentagon's $900 hammers and $1,500 toilet seats" as evidence the government cannot be trusted. He then goes on to make the scary claim that "Medicare will soon resort to rationing to make ends meet." His solution?

The answer is to put $1,000-$10,000 annually for routine annual health care in the hands of individual patients through tax-free health savings accounts. HSA holders now have lower insurance premiums, better care and improved wellness. Their insurance backs them 100 percent for catastrophic medical events that occur rarely.

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To paraphrase Jon Stewart, "Oh Reaaaalllly? Do go on..." Let's see how McKalip develops his argument in his subsequent Op-ed, titled, Rationed Care is Bad Care. As I've said before, McKalip trades on his credentials as a physician to establish credibility as a medical economist. You may think I am making an attribution. No, I am quoting him:

Patients have enjoyed confidence in their doctors through the sacred patient-physician relationship designed to minimize their suffering and prolong their lives. In short, they have been able to trust their doctors.

Having established himself as a self-proclaimed trustworthy source, he then goes on to deride current efforts at health care insurance reform, saying

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For starters, I am not the Henry Porter who writes for the Observer in Britain. I'm a native New Yorker living in Maryland. I used to believe knowledge was power. Now I know knowledge translated into action is power.

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