Politicians' Interest in Patients' Well-being Is Misleading

Cal Thomas | Syndicated Columnist | Saturday, June 23, 2001

Politicians' Interest in Patients' Well-being Is Misleading

Politicians know how to fool people. That's why they call some legislation a "civil rights act" and other legislation the "patients' bill of rights." It sounds noble and helpful, doesn't it?

When was the last time government got involved with anything that turned out the way it was advertised? What about managed care, which supposedly can deny care to people and which liberal members of Congress want people to be able to sue? Managed care can only deny payment for care, not treatment. Many, if not most, doctors and hospitals treat patients whether or not they get paid. That's why emergency rooms are so busy. They are not allowed by law to turn anyone away. The basic problem, says my doctor, is not that patients are being denied care; it is that providers are not being paid for what they do. My doctor says he's $150,000 in debt because he can't always collect from patients and insurance companies.

The politicians won't make it better. They'll make it worse. Politicians don't care about the rights of patients or doctors. They only care about getting re-elected.