Dr. Robert Sewell, author of A Surgeon’s Heart, replies to comments by AMA President Steven Stack’s comments about MACRA:
This statement from Stack is the exact same Drivel we heard from the AMA surrounding the passage of the ACA. “Don’t worry, we will revisit it every year and we’ll make it better.” To that I have only 2 words and they start with the letters B S. AMA “Leadership” is in the tank for the government and their total take over of medicine. No matter how the AMA tries to soft-sell all this crap, it is clear they are satisfied because they’ve salvaged themselves by making a deal with the devil. I say to hell with them. This is why I left the HOD in 2013 after four years of actively trying to change the organization from the inside. It can’t be done. Unless you are willing to play along with their scheme, your voice is ignored. They even have all board members agree to never discuss what goes on inside their closed meetings, AND every decision must be openly supported by every board member. I wish I could find a bookie who would take odds on the likelihood that MACRA will be delayed or altered in any substantive way. I might finally be able to retire by mortgaging my house and putting everything on the AMA/Government plan standing pat, despite the preponderance of negative feedback they are receiving.
BTW – I believe Stack is right about one thing. Nothing is going to change with any new administration. It will be long after we are all retired before there is any positive change. The public will have to get tired enough of long lines and impersonal care to make health care a prominent political issue again. Even then, the bureaucrats will find ways to maintain control. Reagan was right when he said, “The closest thing we have to eternal life on earth is a government program.”
Our only hope is to work together to create an alternative, free-enterprise comprehensive health care system, totally outside of government control. So far attempts to do that have been limited and most have largely failed. The only notable exceptions being a few direct pay primary care practices and the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, but these are niche services. No one offers truly comprehensive, full-spectrum, independent health care. Every hospital/clinic/physician who takes government money will continue to be subject to the government system of ever increasing controls. They are unwilling to buck the third party guaranteed payment system.
I know nothing I’m saying comes as news to any of you, but I felt the need to vent. Now it’s back to writing my novels where, through the magic of fiction I can make what I have just described my own reality.
Robert Sewell, M.D., F.A.C.S.