De-skilling America’s Doctors

By:  Ralph R. Reiland
De-skilling America’s Doctors

A surgeon declared war against health care's central planners recently in the Wall Street Journal.

“So when do we say damn the mandates and requirements from bureaucrats who are not in the healing profession?” asked Dr. Daniel F. Craviotto Jr., an orthopedic surgeon, in “A Doctor's Declaration of Independence.”

“I acknowledge that there is a problem with the rising cost of health care, but there is also a problem when the individual physician in the trenches does not have a voice in the debate and is being told what to do and how to do it.”

My doctor said the same thing two decades ago when Hillary Clinton was behind closed doors at the White House developing a Rube Goldberg contraption that was supposed to restructure a seventh of the nation's economy by transferring the decision-making in medicine to thousands of bureaucrats in hundreds of interconnecting committees — a bloated Leviathan in which a patient had a good shot at expiring before his paperwork made it through all the hoops.

“It'll just get worse,” I remember him warning about HillaryCare. He said he already had to fax people who had no medical knowledge just to get approval for even the most routine treatments. He saw that he was being ground down into a semi-skilled operative.

In her novel Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, Ayn Rand focused on the personal, medical and economic wreckage caused by big government through the character of Dr. Thomas Hendricks, a surgeon.

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