Physicians Are Eagles Who Believe They Are Chickens

By NIRAN AL-AGBA, MD & WESTBY G. FISHER, MD

There are 800,000 physicians in America and more than 65% believe the Maintenance of Certification process, known as MOC, has no clinical value for patients.  For the first time in the history of our profession, physicians have a fighting chance to topple a Goliath-esque organization, the American Board of Medical Specialties. 

In a 2018 survey conducted by Merritt-Hawkins, 78 percent of physicians said they experience some symptoms of professional burnout. Physician burnout is a public health crisis which threatens the health and well-being of all patients. 

A burned-out physician reminds me of the fable about an eagle who believed he was a chicken.  When the eagle was small, he fell from his nest.  A chicken farmer found the eagle, brought him to his farm, and raised him in the chicken coop with his chickens. The eagle grew up living like a chicken, doing what chickens do, and believing he was, indeed, a chicken. 

One day, a visitor came to the farm and was surprised to see an eagle –considered the king of the sky– strutting around the chicken coop, pecking at the ground, and acting like a chicken. The farmer explained that this bird was no longer an eagle, instead he was a chicken because he was trained to be a chicken. 

The man knew there was more to this great bird than “pretending” to be a chicken. He was born an eagle and had the heart of an eagle, and nothing could change that. The man lifted the eagle onto the fence surrounding the chicken coop and said, “Thou art an eagle. Stretch thy wings and fly.” The eagle looked at the man and glanced down at his home among the chickens in the chicken coop where he was comfortable.  He jumped down off the fence and did what chickens do.

The visitor asked the farmer to let him try one last time.

Medicare For All
is Completely Impossible, a Crazy Idea.
Unless You Do These Things …

By JOE FLOWER

Medicare For All — or any other way of covering everybody in the U.S. — is impossible. Unless we could do it for less, way less, than healthcare costs us today.

But that we can do. That’s the good news.

People assume that covering everyone will cost vastly more. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg said the other day that it would bankrupt America for a long time. Like Venezuela, he said. You want that?

No, they do more than assume it will cost vastly more. People insist. They get really mad about it. There are lots of ways to get called names online, this is one. One person actually told me recently that even talking about the possibility that we can do healthcare for much less is immoral; they call it lying, that it’s some part of a bait-and-switch chicanery to even talk about the possibility.

It’s apparently easy to go nuts on a subject like this.

The Red Pill moment

But imagine what if for a moment with me. Imagine covering everyone, taking care of everyone—and it costing less than what we pay today. Less for the government, less for employers, less for you. Way less. Half or less.

How could that be possible? This is really kind of a red pill moment. Because once I lay this out for you, you really can’t un-see it. You won’t be able to go back to the usual way we see this debate.

Some of this will be familiar to regular readers, but hold with me for a moment while I lay it out for the people in the back there, the ones who just came in.

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Q: How Do You Build a “Great Party of Healthcare?”
A: Build a Party of Doctors

By NIRAN AL AGBA, MD

The narrative goes like this:

The Democrats are the party of healthcare. The Republicans are the party that wants to take healthcare away from people. Dismantle the Affordable Care Act and we’ll have a disaster on our hands, millions will lose their healthcare coverage, middle class Americans will go bankrupt, the World will end

All this political propaganda ignores a fact that physicians have understood for some time now:   For doctors and millions of Americans, Obamacare already is a *total and unmitigated disaster*. From opening day when the administration’s Healthcare.gov web site symbolically blew up, it was clear that things weren’t going to be going according to plan.

Giving millions of people access to healthcare was a great thing and long overdue. But kowtowing to health insurers and pharmaceutical companies, obsessing about centralization, and endless digital paperwork all but guaranteed an epic fail.

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