Skip to main content

Ted Cruz Filibuster Misses the Mark

Even the most casual Whistleblower reader is aware of my hostility toward Obamacare, which appears destined for incremental implementation.  Ted Cruz’s paper mache weapons were no match for the Democrats' artillery brigade.   When the Chamber of Commerce, corporate America and organized labor are all on the same side of this issue, it suggests that healing this forerunner of socialized medicine will take more than a tweak or two to smooth it out. 

Cruz Takes Aim

There’s nothing unexpected or unfair here.  Romney campaigned hard against Obamacare.  The country had an opportunity to elect him, and declined to do so.   Did we expect that Obama would dismantle his signature legislative first term achievement in his second term?   When Romney lost, Obamacare won. The Affordable Care Act was legally enacted, albeit without a single Republican vote.  The Supreme Court determined that the law was constitutional.  Elections matter.  So, a flawed program, whose ultimate consequences are not yet entirely visible, was legally enacted and will be nearly impossible to derail.

Of course, serious reform was needed.  I written throughout this blog that our health care system was not enjoying optimal health.  There were glaring deficiencies and inequalities that I could never satisfactorily explain to my patients.
  • Why are drugs in Canada so much cheaper than the same drugs purchased here?
  • How can a hospital charge exorbitant fees for simple items that would cost a few bucks at CVS?
  • Why did it take so long for colon cancer screening to be a covered benefit, when colon cancer was always paid for?
  • Why is our per capita health care cost so much higher than other nations who demonstrate superior health outcomes?
  • Why can’t patients receive medical bills that they can understand?
  • Shouldn’t patients and their families have some skin in the game as a brake on the profligate spending of other people’s money for health care?
  • Why do physicians permit, if not encourage, futile medical care?
  • Why is it possible that so many working Americans can’t afford medical insurance coverage?
Obamacare emerged because the dysfunctional system demanded a response, and no prior president since the Truman administration was able to move the ball down-field.  Had Obamacare antagonists passed reform measures incrementally during past decades, then we wouldn’t be subjected to the clumsy and heavy hand of government healing now.

I don’t like Obamacare and I wish it could be repealed.  But, the program didn’t emerge from nowhere.  Those who coasted along for decades clinging to the status quo, created a target so large that you could hit it without aiming.  In Ted Cruz’s 21 hour and 19 minute speech, he never explained what brought us all to this moment.  We can't blame Obama for this.  His aim was wild, but the target we all created was so large, that he couldn't miss.


  1. I think the 'win' was in the selling but like many products purchased on a catchy tag line, buyer's remorse is setting in.

    I don't know of anyone, who voted for President Obama, or not, that isn't suffering from the price shock of their new insurance.

    Yes, elections have consequences, an incompetent legislative body has consequences, and not being able to afford the tripling of insurance has consequences too.

    I'm not sure how the first two will play-out but I see a business opportunity for supplying/acquiring insurance on route to the hospital.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Obamacare is an interim step toward something worse. My advice as a doctor? Stay healthy!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

When Should Doctors Retire?

I am asked with some regularity whether I am aiming to retire in the near term.  Years ago, I never received such inquiries.  Why now?   Might it be because my coiffure and goatee – although finely-manicured – has long entered the gray area?  Could it be because many other even younger physicians have given up their stethoscopes for lives of leisure? (Hopefully, my inquiring patients are not suspecting any professional performance lapses!) Interestingly, a nurse in my office recently approached me and asked me sotto voce that she heard I was retiring.    “Interesting,” I remarked.   Since I was unaware of this retirement news, I asked her when would be my last day at work.   I have no idea where this erroneous rumor originated from.   I requested that my nurse-friend contact her flawed intel source and set him or her straight.   I wonder how far this fake news had extended.    Retirement might seem tempting to me as I have so many other interests.   Indeed, reading and studying, tw

Why Most Doctors Choose Employment

Increasingly, physicians today are employed and most of them willingly so.  The advantages of this employment model, which I will highlight below, appeal to the current and emerging generations of physicians and medical professionals.  In addition, the alternatives to direct employment are scarce, although they do exist.  Private practice gastroenterology practices in Cleveland, for example, are increasingly rare sightings.  Another practice model is gaining ground rapidly on the medical landscape.   Private equity (PE) firms have   been purchasing medical practices who are in need of capital and management oversight.   PE can provide services efficiently as they may be serving multiple practices and have economies of scale.   While these physicians technically have authority over all medical decisions, the PE partners can exert behavioral influences on physicians which can be ethically problematic. For example, if the PE folks reduce non-medical overhead, this may very directly affe

Should Doctors Wear White Coats?

Many professions can be easily identified by their uniforms or state of dress. Consider how easy it is for us to identify a policeman, a judge, a baseball player, a housekeeper, a chef, or a soldier.  There must be a reason why so many professions require a uniform.  Presumably, it is to create team spirit among colleagues and to communicate a message to the clientele.  It certainly doesn’t enhance professional performance.  For instance, do we think if a judge ditches the robe and is wearing jeans and a T-shirt, that he or she cannot issue sage rulings?  If members of a baseball team showed up dressed in comfortable street clothes, would they commit more errors or achieve fewer hits?  The medical profession for most of its existence has had its own uniform.   Male doctors donned a shirt and tie and all doctors wore the iconic white coat.   The stated reason was that this created an aura of professionalism that inspired confidence in patients and their families.   Indeed, even today