By Richard Amerling, M.D., of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
In a recent debate, I pointed out that far from helping the uninsured, Obamacare had created millions of new uninsured. My opponent responded, "Whenever you try something this big, there are always going to be some bumps in the road."
That statement sums up the totalitarian mindset of the hard left, which is, "the ends justify the means." So what if millions lose their insurance? We are on the bumpy road to nirvana, where everyone has access to the same level of care, regardless of income. If a relative handful of people are inconvenienced, injured, or even killed, well, that's too bad for them! It's all for the greater good. To make an omelet you have to break some eggs! This is what they say! The hard left has a high tolerance for the killing of millions of "bumps in the road" en route to Communist totalitarian nirvanas in Soviet Russia under Stalin, Mao's Cultural Revolution and "Great Leap Forward" and in the killing fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. More recently, Barack Obama used the phrase in reference to the attack in Benghazi, which killed four Americans.
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The medical profession's Hippocratic ethic of caring for individual patients, placing their welfare above other considerations, stands in the way of the utopian statists. We stand for those who for the statists are mere "bumps in the road." We care for those who are and who will be denied care, as rationing inevitably rears its head. We speak out for them. This is why the left must control doctors. And this is why we must resist. We speak out against the destructive folly of standardized care where one-size-fits-all practice guidelines substitute for the considered judgment of individual physicians and their unique patients.
Rationing of care in response to the shortages created by central planning, regulations and price controls is only the beginning. Leftism is intertwined with anti-humanism, which is literally a cult of death. We see this in their lust to protect abortion, in their quest to limit end-of-life care, to accelerate death through starvation (as in the Liverpool Care Pathway) or euthanasia, which is rapidly gaining ground in Europe and in America. And we see this in the form of radical environmentalism, which views man as a cancer on the planet, as no better than even the lowliest species and worthy only of depopulation. The pseudo-scientific man-made global warming crowd seeks to de-industrialize the West, which would have profound consequences to health and health care, among other disasters.
It would be wise to remember another pseudo-scientific fad from the early part of the last century that developed a following among the intelligentsia. Eugenics, championed by the communist Margaret Sanger, promoted selective breeding, forced sterilization, abortion and euthanasia as a way to improve the human race. It never went far in the U.S. because our private doctors, watching out for their patients, didn't go along. Not so in Nazi Germany, where the medical profession was under the thumb of government thanks to socialized health care. Doctors under the Third Reich not only went along, they actively participated in euthanizing psychiatric patients and deformed or retarded children. We know where this led.
There are not only compelling reasons for doctors (and patients!) to declare independence, there is great urgency that we do so. A government with the power to declare private insurance contracts null and void will not long shy away from declaring private health-care arrangements illegal. It is crucial that we rapidly establish a critical mass of tens of thousands of private physicians, who collectively care for millions of patients, before they get around to closing that hatch.
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Richard Amerling, M.D., is an associate professor of Clinical Medicine and a renowned academic nephrologist at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Amerling studied medicine at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, graduating cum laude in 1981. He completed a medical residency at the New York Hospital Queens and a nephrology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He has written and lectured extensively on health care issues and is president-elect of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Amerling is the author of the Physicians' Declaration of Independence and is a seasoned speaker and on-air contributor.