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Why the rush on such a big issue as health care?

As a retired physician I can attest to the fact that the federal government does not do well in regulating health care. On two occasions in the last 30 years the government interference with my practice caused (forced) me to alter my billing procedure and in both cases the cost went up without any corresponding increase in effectiveness in medical care.

Then there are Medicare, Medicaid and the last insult of the drug benefits. Does anyone really believe that these government programs are well managed? These programs are fiscally insolvent and contributing to bankrupting our society. And now we think of adding universal health care to these failures. It strikes me that this gargantuan overreach to include everyone, as it eventually will, for a relatively small number of uninsured is more about centralizing control in Washington than it is about caring for individuals.

This involves freedom or equality. The more you try to equalize everything and everyone the more we lose our freedom. The more you try to take over individual responsibility and do for people what they ought to be doing for themselves the more you encourage irresponsibility and dependency. And we all thereby have less freedom.

And why the rush? That in itself causes me concern. This is really a big deal. It is not like the stimulus packages as large as they were. They will expire. and not have the long-term impact that nationalized health care will have.

Furthermore, once started how can it be reversed or even corrected? I don't believe it will.

I am also very concerned about what this would mean to the doctor-patient relationship and the ability of the doctor to do what in his clinical judgment is best for his patient. I know there is some interference even now with the insurance companies but can you imagine how this would be expanded if the federal government intervenes?

Which brings to mind a term I heard in reference to national health care: a "quality-adjusted-life-year: or QALY. What do you suppose they are getting at here? I am older, somewhere between old and really old, and I had better keep my quality of life up or else I will be adjusted down. We are all getting older. Keep that in mind

Roald Fuglestad

Park Rapids