To the Editor:
In regard to your September 2009 editorial (Underneath the Shouting, Dubious Data), sound bites are the words of influence. Rather than "dig deeper than the sound bites," "shouting" and "debate," I clarify the sound bites in my open letter to speakers, writers, editors, representatives and colleagues:
Health Care. Health care is a responsibility ... not a right. Health care is the responsibility of the patient ... not the state or the physician. Health care is diet, exercise, temperance, no smoking, no doping, safe driving, safe sex, wanted progeny and clean living.
Reform. Reform is the responsibility of the patient. Reform is ending unnecessary diseases caused by bar room brawls, addictions, unwanted pregnancy, obesity, accidents and violence.
Medicine. I diagnose, treat and prevent disease. I strive for constant, never-ending improvement, not reform, debate, duplicity, rationing, denials and crisis.
I am a medical doctor, physician and surgeon ... not a health caregiver, caretaker, provider or PCP. No one can provide anyone with health, fitness, sobriety, peace, clarity, clear conscience, meaningful work and restful sleep.
Politics. Politics thrives on transposing rights & responsibilities, health & disease, givers and takers, high taxes and come-hither giveaways, citizens and non-citizens, physicians and staff, cost and quality, productivity and pen-pushing, privacy and Internet medical records.
Politics thrives on crisis and conflict among patients, insurance, facilities and physicians.
Make insurance portable. Allow preexisting conditions. Provide socialized medicine for those who reach the maximum lifetime insurance benefit.
Excise the Echolalia. Excise the pathologic political echolalia—health care, reform, PCP, provider, gatekeeper, caretaker, client—from our literature, our lobbying, our physicians, our representatives and our patients.
Sound bites, political words and lack of clarity can pave the road to socialized medicine.
Eileen Marie Wayne, MD