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Failing Government Policies Are Failing the Care of Our Health

Robert Gergely, MD gives his take on how we managed to convert an excellent medical care system into a "health (no) care" failing system.

March 20, 2023

Medical Care was available since biblical times. Fast forward to America after the second world war.

Troops came back, the economy was booming, companies searching the best talent, employers offered in increasing nubmers private medical insurance. Still a large population was not covered by insurance for medical care.

America needed to solve this issue and the election of Truman (1945) made medical care political.

Truman proposed the single payer plan. His plan met a major resistance from the AMA blaming Truman for touting the communist ideology. Nothing happened and the Korean war broke out and the issue faded. Many who could afford it got private insurance and the unions used medical coverage from employers as a bargaining chip during negotiations.

Johnson signed into law the “Social Security Act 1965” which created Medicare and Maintenance, as we know it.

Nixon established the “Health Maintanence Act of 1973 (HMO). Medical care was renamed to Health Care.

Cost of health care kept on growing. From 6.9% of GDP in 1970 to 12.1% in 1990.

In 1996, Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which established privacy standards for individuals. It also guaranteed that a person’s medical records would be available upon their request and placed restrictions on how pre-existing conditions were treated in group health plans.

To lower costs, HMOs and PPOs flourished. Insurance companies gained increasing control on how people receive health care.

 

A relevant table I wanted to share here.

 

Bush in 2004 announced and signed an EO to digitalize paper medical records and decentralize medical records so every citizen will own and control their digital medical record within 8-10 years.

Obama in 2009 signed the HITECH Act to reverse Bush policy and had one goal. Centralize medical records in control of the Government and NOT the patients.This Act was the tipping point creating MANDATES for every physician to use EHR (Electronic Health Record). Since then close to 100 Billion Dollars invested. This experiment failed to reduce cost, improve outcome or lower patient care errors. Obama signed into law the Affordable care Act in 2010 with mixed results.

Since signing the HITECH Act and implementing EHR, major disturbances fragmented our “health care” system. Physicians from private practice had to quit and be employed by insurance companies and institutions providing health care. Health care deteriorated due to excessive burden on physicians and nurses, disruption of patient-physician relationship and lack of interoperability of “health information”; all to the detriment of patients and their physicians.

 

Health care deteriorated due to excessive burden on physicians and nurses, disruption of patient-physician relationship and lack of interoperability of “health information”; all to the detriment of patients and their physicians.

 

Today, we face major new challenges. MEDICINE did not change. The framework treating patients changed. Physicians and nurses are “burning out” in startling rates and leaving clinical medicine in droves. The joy of practicing the Art of medicine is gone. Patients due to administrative burden are now burning out too.

It is impossible to sustain a system of “health care” when the employees (physicians) and their customers (patients) are burning out due to failed government policies.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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