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Friday, August 14, 2009

American College of Surgeons: When the President makes statements that are incorrect we think he does a disservice to the American people...

CHICAGO—The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.
Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.
Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon’s decision to remove a child’s tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what’s right for the patient.
We agree with the President that the best thing for patients with diabetes is to manage the disease proactively to avoid the bad consequences that can occur, including blindness, stroke, and amputation. But as is the case for a person who has been treated for cancer and still needs to have a tumor removed, or a person who is in a terrible car crash and needs access to a trauma surgeon, there are times when even a perfectly managed diabetic patient needs a surgeon. The President’s remarks are truly alarming and run the risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients.
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Stray Yellar Dawg? said...

This is not the first time we have heard Mr. Obama make outrageous statements about a profession he knows nothing about.

Police officers "act stupidly" in his book. And physicians are a greedy bunch of money grubbers.

These kind of statements could only be made publicly by someone who thinks he is above anyone who works hard to earn a paycheck.

Of course... there are bad cops. And bad docs. But... geesh ... Shouldn't a POTUS be more careful about lumping all cops or docs in with them?

Al said...

Thank goodness the decent Surgeons have put the issues of truth and trust above Mr. Obama's daily teleprompter readings. Two thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

I'll believe a doctor any day of the week over Obama and his faux intelligentsia. None of this really matters to Obama except in how He gets to play the game of politics. Otherwise He wouldn't flip-flop so much. What a waste of time for playing around.