I recently went for my annual physical exam, an occasion that allows me to solicit my doctor for his opinions on the state of the American health care system. To understate things considerably, he is not sanguine.
For the first time in my experience, my doctor brought a laptop computer into the exam room, a very snazzy MacBook Air. He spoke highly of the hardware (as who would not), but not of the software and what he was required to do with it. “I think they meant well,” he said wistfully, referring to the mandates of ObamaCare and its electronic record keeping, “but it’s all [CoC]ed up.”
Far from making things “paperless,” he said, the paperwork has actually increased—an increase of no value to patient care. Also, the databases are incompatible, and he doubted that the system’s many flaws would be corrected before he retires, an event he hoped to put off for at least five years but which may arrive sooner due to the frustrations being daily heaped upon him with the dawn of ObamaCare. Many of his contemporaries in the profession, he said, are reaching the same conclusion.
“How anyone thought all of this could be administered from Washington, D.C., is a mystery,” he said.
As it happened, I spoke later the same day with an old and dear friend, also a doctor, a man of some renown within his medical specialty. He is now in semi-retirement, but until recently he was the chairman of his department at an elite medical school. “What we are witnessing,” he told me, “is the dismantling of what will be remembered as the finest medical system in the world. It still is for now, but it won’t be for long.”
But in his great wisdom, the president knows better.