November 19, 2012
‘Now We All Get Healthcare, Right?’
Just a reminder that the “poor” are the “rich” Jesus warned us about…
Years ago, I stopped doing cardiac anesthesia, because well over half of the patients were “covered” by Medicare and payment to me for my services was well below what I thought acceptable ($285 for my last 6-hour cardiac anesthetic). Soon thereafter I stopped my dealings with Medicare (and Medicaid) altogether as I increasingly saw myself as the recipient of money taken from my neighbors against their will.
As an aside, the angriest patients I’ve ever encountered were the Medicare patients I subsequently treated with no charge whatsoever. My providing charitable care elicited patient rage like none I’ve encountered since.
About two weeks after I quit, an angry cardiac surgeon, inconvenienced by my departure from the group of available cardiac anesthesiologists and with his finger in my face, told me that he was going to see to it that I was forced to do these anesthetics, so as not to disrupt his schedule. I guess he thought he had a “right” to my services.
It didn’t help things that I laughed.