I am Milton Wolf. After this last week, you probably know me as the doctor who is Barack Obama's cousin.
Like millions of other Americans, I watched with bafflement and frustration as Congress wrestled with the onerous task of reforming our health care system. After studying both the House and Senate's health care plans, and a lot of sleepless nights, I knew I had to take a stand for my patients, my profession, my state, and my country. I made the decision to "go public" with my opposition to "ObamaCare."
I wish my cousin well, but my oath is to my patients.
What began as a humble blog led to a Washington Times op-ed. Then a massive media storm erupted. Morning news with a visit to the Curvy Couch, radio interviews, ruffled feathers at Media Matters & Democratic Underground, another op-ed, an army of Davids carrying my questions to their representatives in Congress, Hannity, more FOX & Friends, radio, and more print and internet opinions than I could ever read. Last Saturday, it all culminated in an address to thirty thousand patriots who set their lives aside long enough to rush to the Capitol and try one more time to be heard by their elected leaders in Washington.
My message is simple: Patients will suffer under ObamaCare.
This plan goes "all in" on the government failures that have already had a tremendously detrimental effect on medicine. It's not that health care rationing might happen under the plan; it's that it will. In fact, it's already written into the plan.
Section 3403 of the Senate bill creates the Medicare Advisory Board, the express purpose of which is to reduce funding for Medicare. These unelected, unaccountable officials are required to make recommendations for Medicare cuts. These recommendations will have the effect of law, even if the Congress does not act on them.
We are given a preview of what this rationing board will try in section 3007 of the Senate bill. This portion of the health care bill addresses a scheme that actually penalizes your primary care doctor for providing the care he has determined that your family needs. The top ten percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists, no matter how valid the reason, will be penalized. This ignores the expertise of the family care physician. It does not care if your daughter hurt her arm and needs an orthopedic surgeon. It does not care if your mother is short of breath and needs a pulmonologist. It matters to them only how many of your doctor's patients are sick enough to need a specialist.
There's no other way to say it: "ObamaCare" penalizes your doctor for providing medical care. This is rationing. It will get worse as costs continue their upward climb and more doctors opt out of Medicare and medicine altogether.
After my experience in Washington, D.C., I understand that the reality is that the only ones who can save Kansas are Kansans.
Washington, D.C. may be satisfied with government taking over the health care system, but Kansans have a choice. The Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment was supposed to be the final firewall to protect the citizens of Kansas from being forced into a government-run health care system that would rob them of their freedom to make their own health care decisions. The Kansas House defeated the amendment, but the Kansas State Senate has yet to act. Any Kansas legislator who opposed this amendment will be held directly answerable for foisting "ObamaCare" upon Kansans. We should hold them just as responsible as Barack Obama himself.Milton R. Wolf, M.D., is a practicing diagnostic radiologist and second cousin to President Barack Obama. He has spoken and written publicly against ObamaCare. He operates the website TheWolfFiles.com.