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How many lies can you find in this 30 second ad?

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I noted 6 lies told by Dr. Jay Cuffe, neurosurgeon from Tallahassee, Florida.  Can you find even more?

1. Lie: We can't cover everyone because we won't have enough doctors

Truth: There are MAJOR investments in the medical workforce in the legislation that both encourage training of primary care physicians, increase payments for primary care physicians, and increase loan forgiveness for doctors (any type of doctor) for practicing in a rural area

2. Lie: Health care reform will ration care

Truth: Health reform legislation actually INCREASES patients' access to care.  There will be no co-payments for preventive care services, there are subsidies for middle class Americans to purchase health insurance, and there is more regulation and transparency in the insurance market

3 Lie: Reform will hurt seniors and end Medicare

Truth: Health reform legislation actually EXPANDS Medicare closing the so called "doughnut hole" in prescription drug coverage.  Plus the health reform bill proposed includes huge investments in Chronic Disease Management and Care Coordination -- which is exactly the type of care MOST needed by seniors (as half of all senior have 2 or more chronic illnesses)

4. Lie: Health reform will limit life saving measures

Truth: This is another SHAMEFUL reference to the fact that the health reform legislation will allow Medicare to reimburse physicians for time spent counseling patients about their options for end of life care --discussing things like a living will or completing an advance directive.  As a neurosurgeon, I am sure Dr. Cuff that has dealt with difficult and of life cases that require thoughtful conversations with his patients and their family.  This type of conversation would in NO WAY limit life saving measures.

More lies to be addressed in future posts...such as "this reform will ration care" and "delay care," and especially the lie that "we will have a system like Canada or Britain."  Stay tuned!

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  1. Paul J Schaefer MD


    Lies? Let's look at the truths.........

    The # of patients entering the Medicare demographic is set to expand dramatically in 2001. The number of payers into the system is shrinking. The number of patients who are more and more medically complex is rising. Older, more complex and heavier is what we are seeing in my community hospital OR. These folks require more complex care at many levels. Recent data tells us that life expectancy is once again increasing. Essentially, we will be seeing more older and complex patients entering an age group that typically consumes a considerably percentage of health care. The facts bear this out.

    The entering workforce of Allopathic physicians in this country is stable, not increasing (with the exception of a new medical school on Long Island which has not opened it's doors yet). Among the "new" workforce of physicians the trend is increasingly toward "lifestyle" (read fewer hours and more part timers) jobs. In my hospital there are several senior physians who may retire or leave medicine if the projected cuts in Medicare occur.There are an increasing number of female physicians entering the workforce; some programs have greater than 50 percent female matriculants. I view this as fantastic for patients for a number of reasons. The devil in the detail is that female physicians are more likely to work part time and studies of current female docs indicate that they work fewer hours, on average, than their male counterparts. Please do not equate this to a sexist comment regarding female docs: simply factuall data. This data comes from the AAMC and scientific studies of current medical students and is not conjecture.

    A simple internet search will reveal the volumes that have been written about the future shortage of physicians. Facts and figures abound.

    So now we are going to insure another 50 million??? Mercifully that number has been significantly inflated.......Regardless, insuring more folks would put more folks into the system and further strain it.

    More patients, more complex cases, the same number of increasingly less "productive" docs equals only one thing......get ready to wait in line.....I hope I am wrong.

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