Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The American College of Surgeons supports HR 3200


Why is Dr. Thomas Russell coming out in support of the 1000 page health care reform behemoth? Has he read it? Is the ACS just trying to upstage the AMA?

It's very simple, actually. Medicare is due to cut physician reimbursement fees next year by 21.5%. This bill averts that. Furthermore, as most general surgeons will attest, any reform package that increases the number of paying customers (i.e. reduces the uninsured) is a win-win situation. You do enough appendectomies and perfed colons at 3 in the morning on self pay patients (that you'll never see a dime out of) and those piddly remunerations from medicare/medicaid start to seem like Publisher's Clearing House jackpots, giant fake check included....

6 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Probably because Dr Russell (never trust someone with 2 first names) doesn't depend on the private practice of medicine to make a living...Sure, he might have an academic appointment somewhere or make the occasional PR trip to Haiti to lance a Pone, but Dr. White Hair's got "Suit" written all over his swarmy face...
Ask anyone who is or has been in the Military how well the Government does Healthcare, and thats with a predominantly healthy population...

Anonymous said...

Funny, some of the docs I've met who have hopped into my old pond, are exceedingly transparent (in a bad way). Not even a hint of "game" which, tends to make them look silly, and tends to get them taken advantage of in business/politics (same thing).

-SCNS

Frank Drackman said...

OK, curiosity got the best of me, so I googled Dr. Russell...

Former San Francisco Colo-Rectal Surgeon... left private practice in 2000, There's a good joke in their somewhere... and best of all...

Made the Obligatory Haiti Trip in November 2007...Curiously enough, although several other high powered surgeons accompanied him, Dr. Russell did absolutely NO operations during his trip to the jewel of the Caribbean... you're tellin me they couldn't find some work for him???
He did watch some residents operate...

Frank

Buckeye Surgeon said...

Frank-
I actually met Dr Russell once at a Chicago Surgical Society meeting when I was a resident. He's a genuinely nice man.

Anonymous said...

Probably Dr. Russell has read most of the proposal. His staff in the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy of the American College of Surgeons have certainly read all of it as well as other health reform proposals which are in preparation. The College's Institute of Health Policy is also integral to this effort in collecting real data about the state of surgery in America. The Institute also reports to Dr. Russell. American Medicine is in a state of flux. Thanks to Dr. Russell and his staff we have an educated and informed voice in the debate.

Mark Mettauer, MD said...

No one disputes the congenial demeanor of Dr. Russell, a well-respected surgeon. The issue is simple...the government CANNOT provide efficient high-quality health care. This is evidenced on a smaller scale by the VA hospital system, and until there can be Tort Reform on a national level, we have no business offering HR3200 any support. You cannot simply give credence to this hastily and poorly written legislation on the premise that something has to be done now.

It is obvious that there has been very little input regarding this legislation from the medical community and a great deal from Democratic legislators (i.e. attorneys). I for one refuse to ride along hoping for an extra bone here and there. When they refuse to protect physicians and all the while dictate their own policy, then we as surgeons and physicians have a lot more to lose in the long run than a couple of appys in the middle of the night.

In short, the college's support leads me to believe that the ACS was threatened to be left eating at the kids' table during Thanksgiving having no input whatsoever! Sounds like typical Chicago strong arm tactics.

Isn't the American College of Surgeons based in Chicago?