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Thursday, July 30, 2009


Taking a shine to Scheiner

Thank God for Dr. David Scheiner. Thanks to the fact that he was Barack Obama's personal physician for 22 years, a discussion (ok, an expanded mention, maybe not yet an actual discussion) of the single-payer system has finally reached the corporate media. "Celebrity journalism" finally pays off.

Here's a statement released by Scheiner today, and the quotes I'll pick out from it are representative of the kinds of things he's been heard saying on, e.g., CNN :

Yes, there are parties who stand to lose out under a single-payer program – the private, for-profit health insurance companies and their multimillionaire CEOs in the first place. The head of Aetna, for example, received $18.6 million in compensation last year. That's obscene.

Investor-owned, for-profit hospitals won’t benefit from single-payer either. Neither will the big pharmaceutical companies, who will no longer be able to sell their drugs at such outrageous prices. A single-payer system will be able to buy drugs in bulk and negotiate prices.

Some critics attack single-payer, arguing that under such a program, government bureaucrats will be between the patient and the physician. In the 40 years I have been practicing under Medicare, I have never encountered an instance where Medicare has prevented proper medical care. On the other hand, insurance companies frequently interfere and block appropriate care.

There are multiple problems with the present congressional health reform proposals, but allowing private insurance to continue being involved is the most egregious.

Single payer will offer secure, comprehensive and quality care to all.
Well said, Dr. S.

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