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Reflections on a Medical Career Robert S. Dotson, M.D.

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Cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts


The Impending Collapse of American Medicine

Just as is every issue in the US, Obamacare and the wider question of the state of American health care are obscured by propaganda and disinformation. In the article below, Dr. Robert S. Dobson looks back on a lifetime of medical practice and provides facts and insights that might help us to understand our situation.

The US medical system is the most expensive on earth without being the best and without providing full coverage. One-sixth of the American population has no medical coverage.

There are two main reasons that US medicine is so expensive. One is that profits are piled upon profits. In addition to wages and salaries for doctors, nurses, and medical personnel, the American health care system has to provide profits for private hospitals, diagnostic centers, insurance companies, and for the accountants, attorneys and management consultants made necessary by the enormous litigation and regulatory compliance cost. American medicine is the most regulated in the world and the most criminalized.

What "Obamacare" does is to divert Medicare and Medicaid monies to the profits of private insurance companies. Instead of providing medical care to those in need, the taxpayers' money will provide bonuses for insurance executives and profits for their shareholders. It is the height of folly for Obama worshipers to defend a law written by the private insurance companies that uses public revenues to provide insurers with 50 million more customers and to add yet another layer of profits to the cost of American medicine.
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Reflections on a Medical Career
Robert S. Dotson, M.D.

All lovely things will have an ending, All lovely things will fade and die; And youth, that's now so bravely spending, Will beg a penny by and by.
-Conrad Aiken ("Disenchantment IV"- 1916)

Thirty years have passed since a much younger physician opened his ophthalmology practice in East Tennessee. A lifetime of hopes and expectations, intermingled with the usual collection of fears and uncertainties, has sped past at blinding speed. Children came, grew up, and moved on to their own lives. Parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, many friends and colleagues have returned to dust in advance of their fading photos.

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Patients and their parents and children and grandchildren have moved in and out of this world, too, inextricably woven into the fabric of my life. Sadly, a few may have been hurt by lapses in judgment or the arrogance of youthful physician pride and overconfidence. But, at the end of the day, most were helped. I was fortunate to be recognized as a "doctor's doctor" early on and, though there was no attendant reward other than the respect of peers, that was a sufficiently gratifying laurel to carry.

As in any human story, joy and pain, love and sorrow, have marked these same years. The Millstone of Time has also worn away foolish aspirations and vainglorious pretensions. There is no one left to impress, no accolades to seek, no rank to which to aspire. Consequently, I feel freed to offer some end-of-life reflections on my profession and career.

Any thinking American knows that there is something terribly wrong with the health care system in this country. Throughout my career, the political ruling elite has been enacting piecemeal a version of "universal" healthcare coverage to satisfy the demands of an increasingly vocal, but also increasingly disenfranchised citizenry. Our overlords, of course, have been more motivated by enhancing corporate bottom lines and enriching themselves, than in genuinely helping the peasantry.

Every U.S. President since Kennedy in 1962 has dealt with the issue in one way or another -- by policy statement or passage of legislation. LBJ oversaw the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Nixon oversaw the passage of the HMO Act (Health Maintenance Organization) in 1973 and ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) in 1974. Amazingly, he also introduced CHIA (Comprehensive Health Insurance Act) in 1974. Even more incredible was the spectacle of Ted Kennedy working to ensure its defeat. Doubtless, Kennedy regretted that in future years. Following the untimely departure of the 37th President, Gerald Ford signed ERISA into law in 1974 on his behalf, thereby introducing some minimal regulations to ensure that separated employees could maintain benefits, such as health insurance, for a limited time.

Carter campaigned in favor of National Health Insurance, but failed to pass anything similar during his time in office. He cited Kennedy's opposition to CHIA and to his own proposals as the main reason for failure. Reagan's era witnessed the passage of EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) and COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) in 1986 that, among other things, provided for emergency medical treatment coverage for anyone who could drag themselves into an emergency room (of course, such a visit might bankrupt them unless they were lucky enough to be an illegal alien). Medical labs and imaging centers (and, the providers staffing them) were given "special attention" under CLIA (1988).

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The first President Bush had little time for national health care issues, as he was primarily focused on launching the NWO. Poppy's "Thousand Points of Light" degenerated into in-coming tracers from the illuminated Angel of Death -- simply more "peace, freedom and liberty" being delivered to millions of innocents across Battlefield Earth. It seems so trivial now, but Bush was unseated after reneging on his pledge of "no new taxes," not for offshoring the US economy or taking the first step toward turning US foreign policy into the pursuit of world hegemony.

The Clinton administration tried to force through "Hillarycare" in 1993, but met with stiff opposition from their Republican opponents (of course, the opposition was due to perceived threats to corporate profit margins). Nonetheless, Team Clinton was able to push through HIPAA (1996) (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and SCHIP (1997) (State Children's Health Insurance Program) which, contrary to the titles of the acts, neither improved health insurance portability or accountability nor improved the health of children.

The Clinton White House had more important fish to fry: war in the Balkans; the liberal distribution of depleted uranium and cruise missiles across the globe; test wars on Americans at places like Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City (OKC); the appearance of numerous "Arkan-cide" victims whose mortal remains seemed to be discovered at the most inconvenient times; and, a semen-stained blue dress. The first versions of the Patriot Act were trotted out in response to the false flag event of OKC, but Congress and even the Imperial Senate balked at moving so precipitously toward the New Amerikan Security State.

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http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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Thanks.... by intotheabyss on Friday, Aug 3, 2012 at 2:41:00 PM
Thank you Dr. Dotson.One of the most heartfelt and... by Tom James on Friday, Aug 3, 2012 at 3:08:00 PM
Thank you for this most informative article, tying... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Aug 3, 2012 at 3:40:33 PM
Great article.  The medical system, just like... by Ernie Messerschmidt on Friday, Aug 3, 2012 at 5:04:45 PM
however, it is a huge, calculated mistake to blame... by Lester Shepherd on Saturday, Aug 4, 2012 at 8:08:00 AM
even the Feudal lords need entertainment, so to ab... by Ray O. Sunshine on Saturday, Aug 4, 2012 at 6:43:25 PM
Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block in Aug... by bogi666 on Monday, Aug 6, 2012 at 3:46:03 PM