Hello, Doctor

By October 5, 2009Health Care

President Obama has invited a select group of 50 medical doctors (as opposed to Ph.D. types) to the White House for a health care event today. And by select, we mean members of the advocacy group, Doctors for America. From the website: “On Monday, practicing doctors from all fifty states are going to the White House to tell the country what all of us at Doctors for America know: That we deserve a better health system and we’re ready to fight to make it happen.”

Doctors for America is, as Politico’s Ben Smith put it, “a reincarnation of Doctors for Obama, an arm of the Obama campaign that boasted more than 10,000 members.”

As a counterpoint, three former presidents of the America Medical Association write an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, “What We Would Have Told Obama“:

We aren’t among the doctors invited to a Rose Garden event today to “join the President in pushing for health insurance reform this year and [who] have offered their help and support,” as a White House press release put it. It’s unfortunate only supporters of the president’s plans will be there. Mr. Obama has missed an opportunity to learn more about the real issues facing patients and doctors and to formulate a plan that truly puts patients in control with doctors as trusted advisers.

The United States has the best health care in the world today, and thanks to the ever-expanding frontiers of science and medical innovation the brightest days are ahead. It is true that there are Americans who fall through the cracks of our medical system every day—and as a caring nation, we must do what we can to expand access to medical care to those who need it. But this can be accomplished without a costly and inefficient government overhaul of the entire system. One easy reform would be to enable individuals to buy policies offered in any state, not just where they live. This will enhance competition. But more government-run health insurance will only lead to disaster.

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