Medical specialists are doctors who train for many years to understand every system and nuance of the human body. They complete their residency at the local hospital, and then they commit many more years to the study and understanding of a single human system in order to specialize in a particular surgical technique or diagnosis.
Medical specialists are doctors who can cure what general practitioners are unable to recognize. And they will no longer exist under President Obama's nationalized health care plan.
The glory of American medicine today is that it encourages students of medicine to dig deeper, work harder and find a specialty niche in which they can invest their time and training because -- through these specialties -- they will save more lives, offer more choice to America's sick and ailing population, and yes they will probably make more money.
Dr. Alfred Bonati, an orthopedic surgeon in Hudson, Fla., invested a lifetime of medical training to discover a unique and successful non-invasive spine surgery for treating back injuries and chronic back pain. He developed and patented new surgical tools. He perfected his technique, established a specialty clinic, and has performed more than 35,000 surgeries. Now, he trains other orthopedic doctors to perform his spine surgery so even more patients can be treated. He has thousands of patient testimonials that tell how this specialized surgical technique restored the patient's quality of life, and in some cases their ability to live without a wheelchair.
Under President Obama's nationalized health care program, surgical clinics and highly advanced surgical procedures will be a thing of the past. The goal of nationalizing health care is to standardize services, not to specialize in them. Rather than treating each individual as a unique medical case, everyone will be treated the same.
Government-run health care systems do not encourage personal achievement for doctors, nor do they pay for additional knowledge and expertise. Medical schools in this country will be graduating only general practitioners; specialty fields will no longer be taught because there is no government reward or financial incentive for specializing more than the person next to you.
Government-run health care systems also do not pay for specialized life-changing and even life-saving procedures. Medicare will not pay for any procedure it deems new, advanced or outside of the realm of 1980s care; and Medicare's policy is non-negotiable.
The doctor who now specializes in treating eyes, the nose and throat area, children, cancer, pregnancy, women's issues, joint damage and more will no longer exist. You will have one neighborhood doctor to visit for all your medical needs; and he or she will prescribe the same treatment as every other doctor based on the services for which the government has agreed to pay. They will offer you nothing more. You may as well refer to your general practitioner as your government provider because under President Obama's plan they are one and the same, and they will be all you have.
America's medical community rises to a level of excellence that is unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. For this reason, many foreign people travel to America to seek medical treatment. Many travel from countries with nationalized health care programs. Today, America is a destination for custom medical care.
However, tomorrow, President Obama's government run health care plan will change all of that. When American health care no longer allows for specialty treatments and services, where will foreign people go? More importantly, where will Americans go to receive a life-saving, advanced medical treatment?
In spite of what we think of the flaws of our health care system. I believe the great majority of Americans enjoy the best health care in the world.
They don't want a trillion-dollar overhaul of the health care system that will offer them less choice, fewer services, will drive their specialty doctors out of business and offer less hope for future advancement in the field of medicine.
Most Americans are tired of watching the cups get shuffled while trying to keep an eye on which one contains the penny. The Obama administration should stop playing shell games with those things that matter most to America and recognize Americans still favor choice over government control.
J.C. Watts (JCWatts01@jcwatts.com) is chairman of J.C. Watts Companies, a business consulting group. He currently works with Alfred Bonati, M.D. and the American Society of Medical Doctors (www.theasmd.org). Watts is former chairman of the Republican Conference of the U.S. House, where he served as an Oklahoma representative from 1995 to 2002.