Hugh Hewitt: Docs, get off your tails or get run over…

Townhall.com::Blog
Which unfortunately may be too late to save American medicine if the doctors don’t stop complaining and actually start doing something. Again at last night’s forum in Atlanta –where I shared the stage with Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager and guest moderator Jonah Goldberg– I met a number of doctors, and had a chance for a decent length conversation with three in particular, … Not one of these five specialists had contacted even one friendly Representative or Senator much less a Democrat, and in this political lethargy they are representative of the profession.

I stipulate that doctors are very busy and very hard-working and that an 80 to a 100 hour work week isn’t unusual. The doctors I spoke to yesterday are very well informed about politics, know the dangers of the “government option,” and are looking for a way to join the fray. But the problem is they are waiting for someone to organize them.

I don’t know much about the AAPS. I do know that docs give a LOT less to pols than do plaintiffs’ attorneys, and that disparity disadvantages us.

Hugh’s exactly right about docs wanting someone to organize them. Most docs have all the fight in them of a tree sloth.


Comments

  1. Bastiat's Ghost says:

    Amen. I’ve been saying this for a long time. Doctors don’t do anything but bitch. The weird part about is the relationship that people have with their physician will allow for doctors to approach politicians on a level that few can. People’s relationship with their doctor is on par with that of their spouse or clergyman. The amount of influence that could be had compared to the amount of effort expended is considerable. Build a relationship with the politician the same way you might with a patient and see what happens.

  2. “I do know that docs give a LOT less to pols than do plaintiffs’ attorneys”

    Really? Is that broken down somewhere? Does it include AMA and other lobbying organizations’ donations?

    “Most docs have all the fight in them of a tree sloth.”

    Nonsense, when the insurers organized you for tort “reform” a few years ago you were all marching on state capitols, putting propaganda in your waiting rooms, writing letters to the editors, etc. And that wasn’t even for direct benefits to you! That was just the hope of reduced premiums, which it turned out everyone got in all states, even the ones without “reform”.

    Docs have the money and willingness to act politically. They just don’t have enough sense to do it in a manner that actually benefits them.

  3. I’m not going to do your homework for you. Fire up Google and prove me wrong.

    And yes, when organized by outside parties, docs did show up to advocate for their patients’ interests. Read the article again, for content this time.

  4. There is friendly Government man in the ED wating room, with a very large vat of melted butter.

  5. Oh, come on. You’re making it sound that if doctors picked up the phone and spoke in paternalistic tones to our congressional representatives, we’d regain the ground we’ve lost. No. Our lobbyists and organization is simply not as effective as that of insurance, or pharma, or even nursing.

  6. TheNewGuy says:

    Politicians don’t care one bit what physicians think… they know perfectly well that they can polish the class warfare card any time they want, and use it to undermine whatever we’re demanding. “Those greedy doctors don’t want to help people get healthcare!” blah, blah, blah, etc.

    Doctors can’t win… everybody thinks their doctor makes a million dollars a year, and they’re not going to cut any slack with that perception so firmly in mind.

    Like it or not, class warfare works.

    As for spieling our political views to our patients during our clinic days, calling that crass would be charitable. A person less inclined to be so generous would call it unethical to push your political views on a sick person who came to you for help. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see physicians who made politics part of their patient interview to get a referral to the state board.

  7. “I’m not going to do your homework for you. Fire up Google and prove me wrong.”

    In other words, you just made it up.

    “docs did show up to advocate for their patients’ interests”

    Only if those patients get paid based on insurer’s profits. And I did read it, it’s absolutely accurate. It mostly makes me sad, because the people with the most stake in the outcome of the universal healthcare debate, and probably the most ability to steer the debate, are doing so little. Must be the result of suckling from the govt. teat for so long.

  8. “Politicians don’t care one bit what physicians think… they know perfectly well that they can polish the class warfare card any time they want, and use it to undermine whatever we’re demanding.”

    Nonsense. You guys have the ability, both financially and via your access to the patients accessing the system, to effect tremendous change. You either lack the leadership or foresight to do so for YOUR direct interests as opposed to someone else.

    As for the crassness of putting propaganda in the office, evidently some of you were able to overcome it a few years ago, and there’s no sign those guys aren’t practicing anymore. You going to turn this guy in:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2002149492_chavez14m.html

    You’re right, class warfare, or more accurately, accusing others of greed, does work. Physicians have used it as a weapon, calling anyone who has ever filed a malpractice claim as well as their lawyer greedy, so they really can’t complain when it’s used against them, though.

  9. TheNewGuy says:

    So it’s the fault of physicians that everybody hates lawyers? Really?

    I hate to break it to you, Matt… but you gentlemen built that reputation yourselves.

    And I’m not comfortable haranguing my patients about their politics. Dr. Mulholland (in your linked article) is a private OB/GYN, and can theoretically do what he wants in his private office; he has the ability to pick his patients. However, you may have forgotten that you’re on a blog frequented by ER docs. We don’t get to choose who we see, and since we have something of a captive audience, the power relationship there is a little different from a private clinic. You might be A-OK with politicking under those circumstances… I’m not.

    And for the record, nobody plays the class warfare card better than the Democratic party, and they count the trial lawyers as one of their core constituencies. Only the very young and/or those who haven’t payed much attention to politics (and you’re neither of those things) wouldn’t recognize that.

  10. TheNewGuy says:

    And BTW, that last post wasn’t a swipe at your age… I suspect you’re as firmly middle-aged as myself.

  11. “So it’s the fault of physicians that everybody hates lawyers? Really?”

    Not sure where this statement came from. But as to the general proposition it’s the nature of the job – you have an adversary on the other side every time so at least 1 person is angry at you (although often it’s their own actions that put them in the position). Most people like THEIR lawyer, though.

    “And for the record, nobody plays the class warfare card better than the Democratic party, and they count the trial lawyers as one of their core constituencies”

    This doesn’t make much sense. We’ve gone from class warfare against physicians to Democrats in general. I’m simply saying physicians can’t whine about it if they’ve used it. Just because they’re not as good at it, they think, as others doesn’t change the point.

    And actually, I’m still young and ridiculously handsome.

  12. doc,

    got a mention on hugh’s blog and show the other day. seems to be echoed here.

    http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/6e63dcdb-5662-49f3-a7b7-6b39788dd077

    it must suck to be an attorney with a small penis who has to resort to the ad hominem when challenged, but these days maybe that’s what plays in court.

    best

  13. Are you in the business of examining the penis of an attorney in your area? Hope it pays well! Perhaps you’d be better served spending less time checking those out and more time paying attention to

    PS – do you know what “ad hominem” means? Or were you being clever by engaging in such an attack?

    PS PS – While I realize you fancy yourself a “conservative”, there’s nothing conservative about tort reform.

  14. Oops, got sidetracked chuckling about your side job of penis measuring. I meant to say “more time paying attention to the legislation that is coming down the pike regarding universal healthcare and all you physicians being wholly owned subsidiaries of the federal govt.”

    But hey, at least you’ll get to join a union!