Black People Politics : What Obama's doctor has to say about Single Payer health care

Discussion in 'Black People Politics' started by Putney Swope, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    July 22, 2009


    President Obama’s Longtime Physician Opposes White House Health Plan, Advocates Single Payer
    Dr. David Scheiner was President Obama’s doctor from 1987 until he entered the White House. Today Dr. Scheiner is publicly opposing Obama’s health plan and is calling for a single-payer system. [includes rush transcript]



    Guest:

    Dr. David Scheiner, internist based in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park. He was Obama’s doctor for twenty-two years, from 1987 until he entered the White House.


    AMY GOODMAN: As the healthcare debate reaches a fever pitch, President Obama is holding a primetime news conference tonight in a bid to win wider support for healthcare reform. His remarks are expected to respond to skepticism fueled by the Congressional Budget Office’s scathing assessment of the expenses involved in the House legislation, concerns from conservative Blue Dog Democrats, and broad opposition from Republicans.


    But will the President address concerns of single-payer advocates, who think his public plan will not go far enough?


    I’m joined now from Chicago by Dr. David Scheiner. He was President Obama’s doctor from 1987 until he entered the White House. He treated Obama for twenty-two years but has publicly opposed Obama’s health plan, calling for single payer. Dr. Scheiner was disinvited from ABC’s recent healthcare forum, where he was planning to ask about single-payer healthcare.


    Dr. Scheiner, welcome to Democracy Now! It’s good to have you with us.


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: Good morning. Thank you very much.


    AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean you were disinvited by ABC? What happened?


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: Well, on the Friday before the Wednesday, I was notified by ABC that they thought it would be a great idea to have me come to the White House for that forum, that town hall, as a surprise visitor, that President Obama would not be informed, and I would ask a question from the audience. That Sunday, I received an email outlining the trip, and I canceled two days of the office to prepare for this. And then, Monday, another producer called me and said that they had too many people showing up and that they didn’t need me, and my trip was canceled.


    AMY GOODMAN: What is it—


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: The question of who—yeah.


    AMY GOODMAN: Go ahead.


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: The question of who—the question of who was responsible, of course, is hard to know, whether it was ABC or whether it was somebody at the White House.


    AMY GOODMAN: What would you have asked?


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: I would have asked about single payer, insofar as we already have one that works, and why we just couldn’t have universal Medicare and eliminate the insurance companies, which are causing incredible costs and havoc on the system.


    AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about your relationship with President Obama? You were his doctor for more than two decades in Chicago?


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: Right, exactly. I didn’t talk politics with him, really, because—although I must say, the very first time I saw him, the very first time, he was a community organizer, and he walked into the office. One of the first questions I asked him is if he was going into politics, because he had a presence. He walks into a room, and there’s a presence about him which is extraordinary. And I think about ten or fifteen years ago, a friend of mine from Florida called me, told me I had said I had a patient that I thought could be president of the United States someday. And it was—there was something about him. And there still is. He’s an incredible man. And we had a very good relationship. It wasn’t a close relationship, personal relationship, but we saw each other often, and for minor problems. He’s in superb health.


    AMY GOODMAN: Did you ever discuss the issue of healthcare with him?


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: The only thing that I ever discussed with him was the question of malpractice and tort reform. And the response was somewhat negative, as it was when he spoke to the AMA.


    AMY GOODMAN: You were the partner of Quentin Young, well-known advocate of single payer. We’ve had him on the program a number of times.


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: Right.


    AMY GOODMAN: He was the former head of the American Public Health Association.


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: Oh, yes, a close friend and, I have to say, my mentor, and influenced my life in innumerable ways. I owe a great deal to him.


    AMY GOODMAN: So, can you look—tell us about the plan that is presented by the House and whether or not you support it?


    DR. DAVID SCHEINER: The problem, overwhelmingly, is the issue, in my mind, of the private insurance companies being a part of the program. Their record has been so abominable that to have them in the program just doesn’t make sense. The cost—Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, made a comment in the Journal of the AMA that just the administration costs of employers’ health is over $300 billion a year. And that money will still be wasted. There will probably be even more advertising. The huge CEO salaries will continue to be made. I think the head of Aetna makes $23 million a year.


    Insurance companies repeatedly interfere with the care of patients. The opponents of health reform keep saying that if the government gets into medicine, you won’t have a choice of your doctor, you won’t have a choice of your hospital, your care will be restricted. I don’t know where they got that. Medicare, if anything, is too permissive. Medicare never gets in my way. But insurance companies—I have to use special labs. I have to—I can use certain hospitals for one person; I can’t use them for another. I’m repeatedly getting responses from the insurance company disallowing certain procedures, disallowing certain medications. The insurance company is in the room every time I see a patient. And somehow, the patients think they have free choice. Medicare gives them free choice. They will have their choice of doctor. They will have their choice of treatment. With private insurance, that will not be the case. It’s an extraordinary waste of money.


    And the public—if I had a single point to make about what is going wrong with this health reform is that the public is so uniformed. They think somehow that they get the best care in the world. We know by health statistics we’re thirty-seventh. Even people with good health insurance don’t realize that the healthcare they get is often not appropriate. Sometimes they get unnecessary treatment. The whole issue, for example, of prostate cancer, which is an extraordinary industry today, and there’s no proof that doing anything is of any value. But, you know, if I have a patient with prostate cancer, there’s no way I would sit back, because I know the trial lawyer is also in the room watching me. That’s another issue, which—there’s no way you’re going to control costs, if you don’t get that under control also.


    full article:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/22/president_obamas_longtime_physician_opposes_white
     
  2. mazimtaim

    mazimtaim Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There is no way this country will enact a single payer system. This country does not function on using the methods that are the most fair, the most efficient, and the most practical. The rich keep the masses in line by demonizing certain words. Communist, government-run, welfare, entitlement, etc., etc.
     
  3. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Understandably true inall aspects but history has proven...

    ...that is no reason to give up the fight!
     
  4. mazimtaim

    mazimtaim Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I just don't see the benefits of such a battle. Rich "White" people won't even extend this basic right to poor "Whites". And trying to convince poor "Whites" of their humanity is just a bridge too far.

    I think we have to set our sights on what is realistic.

    But I am not trying to argue. Just stating an opinion. If such legislation were to be considered, I would give it my full support.
     
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