Just What Americans Need:
Less Healthcare. More Politics.
Shame on you, AARP, and tsk-tsk to Marsha Mercer, ”freelance journalist who lives in the Washington, DC area.” Neither of you appear to offer much in the way of common sense, or even the hint of a realistic viewpoint, when it comes to your manipulative and politically-charged-below-the-surface feature story that appears in the AARP March Bulletin.
Your front page hype,”Fixing The Doctor Shortage – Big Changes For Patients” (and guts of the story) deceptively suggests that the evolving physician shortage is one that’s the product of an aging doctor marketplace and by private insurers undercutting Medicare reimbursement rates. Simply not true.
government control is the culprit.
MEMO TO AARP: Put the premise that your article spotlights in the drawer, and start making phone calls. Ask a few hundred doctors. I have. They will tell you in so many words that relentlessly increasing government control is the culprit.
The article’s lead source, Dr. Steven Berk, is certainly a distinguished one, yet the context of his quote appears to have been quietly tucked away. Surely, Dr. Berk had more to say about the subject than thirty-six words? Could it be that the rest of his comments failed to support the sensationalist undercurrent of your story?
And how about adding the link for 2012 Physicians Foundation survey that you cited so people can check it out for themselves? Check it out here. Certainly the survey IS worth noting. Skewed, though it may be to represent the best interests of its sponsoring organizations, it seems credible enough.
So what is worth noting you ask? How about the glossed-over fact that all the alarming findings referred to have taken place since (and are compared only with) the survey of 2008? Does that strike you as worth noting?
Hmmmm! And what else happened in 2008? An increase-government-control advocate was elected president. So, are we to conclude that most of the problem we face today regarding doctor shortages and the systematic transitions in healthcare that have forced the issue are attributable to physician aging and private insurers, as the article purports? Not likely.
To Find Doctors we should be looking — instead of to state medical associations — to family, friends, neighbors, other doctors, and other healthcare professionals. After all, isn’t it TRUST we seek? Surely, it’s not more government in our lives, or politically-motivated state medical associations trying to justify their membership fees.
Let’s remember that –far and away– the single greatest reason that the vast majority of Americans seek any (even including ER) medical care is to get reassurance. Reality, even for seniors, isn’t a TV hospital show. It’s seeking reassurance.
Oh, and please: FORGET about .gov websites. They are not invested in helping you. They are invested in controlling you! Go instead to private practice websites. Go to The American Academy of Family Physicians and other non-governmental professional physician credentialing organizations. And stop believing what you read in AARP propaganda.
Unless you prefer some politician to give you a diagnostic workup, prognosis, and treatment program?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Hal Alpiar has served doctors and practice managers as a personal and professional practice development consultant nationwide in virtually every area of specialization for thirty years. He’s a former business professor and Amazon 5-star-rated author of DOCTOR BUSINESS…How to boost practice growth and build long-term relationships now (PMIC) for doctors. Hal won a national book award for his healthcare consumer work, DOCTOR SHOPPING…How to choose the right doctor for you and your family (Health Information Press). He was co-founding executive director of The Pennsylvania Heart Institute, and of Bio-Motion of America (motion analysis programs for physical therapy). Hal is also the past founder/CEO/President of e-Healthcare Ventures (NYC-based online healthcare services conglomerate) and co-founder of the NJ hospital program, Backpackers Spine Health & Strength Training. He is formerly a five-year member of the Public Affairs Committee of NCQHC (National Committee for Quality Healthcare), now Quality Forum, Washington, DC.
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