DEATH OF THE AMERICAN SPECIALIST

By J.C. Watts Jr., and Alfred O. Bonati, MD

Many important people will die in the healthcare reform effort. He or she is someone who trained for many years to understand every system and nuance of the human body. They completed their residency at the local hospital, and then they committed many more years to the study and understanding of a single human system in order to specialize in a particular surgical technique or diagnosis. He or she is a medical doctor who cured what general practitioners were unable to recognize. They are a category of doctors known as the medical specialist; and they will no longer exist under President Obama’s nationalized healthcare plan.

The glory of American medicine today is that it encourages students of medicine to dig deeper, work harder, and find a specialty niche in which they can invest their time and training because—through these specialties—they will save more lives, offer more choice to America’s sick and ailing population and yes they will probably make more money. Dr. Bonati invested a lifetime of medical training to discover a unique and successful, non-invasive spine surgery for treating back injuries and chronic back pain. He developed and patented new surgical tools. He perfected his technique, established a specialty clinic, and has performed more than 35,000 surgeries to-date. Now, he trains other orthopedic doctors with the skills to perform his spine surgery so he can treat even more patients. He has thousands of patient testimonials that tell how this specialized surgical technique restored the patient’s quality of life, and—in some cases—ability to live without a wheelchair.

Under President Obama’s nationalized healthcare program, surgical clinics and highly advanced surgical procedures will be a thing of the past. The goal of nationalizing healthcare is to standardize services, not to specialize them. Rather than treating each individual as a unique medical case, everyone will be treated the same. Government run healthcare systems do not encourage personal achievement for doctors, nor do they pay for additional knowledge and expertise. Medical schools in this country will only be graduating general practitioners; specialty fields will no longer be taught because there is no government reward or financial incentive for specializing more than the person next to you. Government run healthcare systems do not pay for specialized life-changing and even lifesaving procedures; look at Medicare today. Medicare will not pay for any medical procedure it deems new, advanced, or outside of the realm of 1980’s care; and Medicare’s policy is non-negotiable. The doctor who now specializes in treating eyes, the nose and throat area, children, cancer, pregnancy, women’s issues, joint damage, and more will no longer exist. You will have one neighborhood doctor to visit for all your medical needs; and he or she will prescribe the same treatment as every other doctor based on the services for which the government has agreed to pay. They will offer you nothing more. You may as well refer to your General Practitioner as your government provider rather than your general practitioner because—under President Obama’s plan—they are one and the same; and they are all you have.

America’s current medical community rises to a level of excellence that is unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. For this reason, many foreign people travel to America to seek medical treatment. Many travel from countries with nationalized healthcare programs. Today, America is a destination for custom medical care. However, tomorrow, President Obama’s government run healthcare plan will change all of that. When American healthcare no longer allows for specialty treatments and services, where will foreign people go? More importantly, where will Americans go to receive a life-saving, advanced medical treatment?

In spite of what we think the flaws of our health care system are Dr. Bonati and I believe the great majority of Americans enjoy the best healthcare in the world. They don’t want a trillion dollar overhaul of the healthcare system that offers them less choice, fewer services, drives their specialty doctors out of business and offers less hope for future advancement in the field of medicine. Most Americans are tired of watching the cups get shuffled while trying to keep an eye on which one contains the penny. The administration should stop playing shell games with those things that matter most to America and recognize Americans still favor choice over government control.