Social Question

josie's avatar

Is it time for doctors to strike?

Asked by josie (28765points) March 22nd, 2010

“I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards—never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness at which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind—yet what is it they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in the operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.” from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

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36 Answers

Shae's avatar

You do realize the bill passed last night was a health care reform bill. It just made it easier for people to get and keep health insurance. The government does not run the health care system.

wundayatta's avatar

Most doctors aren’t organized, so they can’t really strike. The ones who work for large managed care organizations—maybe so. They have been forced to see more and more patients in the same period of time by the insurance companies. They might consider care to be compromised, not to mention that it takes more out of them. So perhaps those docs might strike. I haven’t heard of any major doc strikes yet’

grumpyfish's avatar

As @Shae said, the healthcare system in the US hasn’t been nationalized, and most doctors in countries where it has been, haven’t discovered Ms. Rand’s fear come true.

You also should note that improving the “healthcare system” is different than creating “social welfare” which was the problem in Atlas Shrugged.

Care you produce your own original ideas, as Ms. Rand suggested in that selfsame book?

jaytkay's avatar

lol Ayn Rand lol, nice role model you really shouldn’t be reading that pathological dreck

“The best way to get to the bottom of Ayn Rand’s beliefs is to take a look at how she developed the superhero of her novel, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt. Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation. Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman.”

janbb's avatar

Since the AMA approved of the bill before it was signed, I doubt that the doctors will “go on strike.”

grumpyfish's avatar

So, I am still curious, @josie—why do you think Doctors should go on strike?

josie's avatar

@grumpyfish I am curious. Where in the question does it say that I think that they should (or should not)?
I just wanted to, as they say in Fluther, “Start a discussion”.

tinyfaery's avatar

For what? Making me wait forever, spendind 5 minutes with me and then charging up the wazoo?

grumpyfish's avatar

@josie Sounds good to me, and you seem to have gotten a good one going =)

@tinyfaery As airline pilots say, you don’t pay me for what I do, you pay me for what I know how to do.

grumpyfish's avatar

@tinyfaery You’d prefer someone with little to no training treated you?

Edited to add: Oop, just saw that you live in California. Yeah, what you said lines up with all the doctors I saw in CA. In the rest of the country it seems your doctor actually treats you, instead of just charging you lots of money and not paying attention to your condition(s).

blueknight73's avatar

the doctors would never go on strike if they could. who would pay for their escalades and private school for the kiddies?

no, that would never happen. they are WAY TOO GREEDY to go on strike

wonderingwhy's avatar

On a hospital level perhaps you could find a group willing to, though you have to wonder what effect that would have on any doctor or hospital involved, after all that’s not exactly an encouraging signal to patients.

On a national level, it wouldn’t happen. The medical field isn’t really organized in a way that would easily precipitate it. But if it did I don’t see that it would end well for the doctors. Something about “withholding lifesaving treatment” captioning video of doctors with picket signs is probably where it would begin, jail and lawsuits is likely where it would end at least for those who didn’t agree to the governments terms. People don’t have a lot of sympathy for others plight when it’s their family member who’s treatment is being negotiated over and I don’t see the government giving in to a work stoppage of that magnitude.

cazzie's avatar

Sorry… I’m still rolling on the floor at the A.R. quotation….trying to catch breath…. nope… not tonight.

Jeruba's avatar

The strike I want to see is all those Republicans refusing to accept the care they have just become eligible for.

Silhouette's avatar

From what I can tell they have been on strike for quite some time already. They set an appointment time for me, I show up 20 minutes early and I wait and wait and wait. Finally, 1 hour and 10 minutes after my appointment time the doctor shows up. I start telling him my woes and I’m told we can only address one issue at a time. I tell him I thought maybe they might be related to just one issue and he poo poos me. I have run into more of these arseholes than I can count. It’s not like I had some exotic illness, my gallbladder went kaput and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis should have been pretty easy for them, as I went in knowing what I had, all they had to do was confirm it with the testing but they knew more than me so I chased my tail for almost two years. Their arrogance was the biggest obstacle in my search for relief.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Silhouette My sentiments exactly.

Silhouette's avatar

@tinyfaery It sucks doesn’t it? I don’t go to the doctors unless I think I might be dying. I plan on dying in some nice waiting room one day. That’ll teach um!!

Rarebear's avatar

Doctors will still be well paid and they won’t go on strike. Don’t worry.

ETpro's avatar

Doctors overwhelmingly supported this bill. The AMA supported it. The American Nurses Association supported it. The AARP endorsed it. Catholic Hospitals endorsed it.

Most doctors despise all the hoops they must jump through to submit everything on a different form for each insurer. Insurers routinely deny payment even for services they are pledged to cover just because they know that it ups profits. A sufficient percentage of customers won’t be able to fight them. This Bill makes doctor’s lives a lot easier by streamlining of medical records and ending the egregious practices of the insurance cartel.

After any contentious debate, particularly one where such a heap of lies and disinformation was pushed by the advocates for the status quo of ever spiraling prices and health insurance profits, some people are going to be losers in the fight. I doubt they will strike, but if they do they will lose again as they won’t have any union supporting them. The right-wing that is firing this hate-fest up is as against unions as they are in favor if letting insurers rescind policies when you get sick, in favor of denying insurance to anyone with a pre-existing condition, and so forth.

The world Ms. Rand desired would have worked very well for a tiny handful of truly brilliant people and have treated the rest like worthless serfs. It would have been a return to Feudalism except brain power and not nobility would be what let one live like a king. Most of Ms. Rand’s most ardent fans aren’t intelligent enough to see that she was proposing an oligarchy they would never benefit from. Those fans would end up with the serf class if her practices were put in place.

rottenit's avatar

@ETpro Several sub-specialties did not back the bill, and the AMA is more Mcdonalds of medical groups. From the physican perspective I am not sure what major issues with the fil bill was them, the forced abrtion thing is gone. The biggest fear is some sub-speciatli get screwed by medicare re-imbursment (around 33% of insurance remb.) in some cases the cost of a procedure is not reimbursed by mediacre.

ETpro's avatar

@rottenit Thanks. I am not aware of what sub-specialities are opposing the bill. Certainly the streamlining of medical info and insurance form submission would be a benefit to all, as would 32 million more customers actually being able to pay them for services instead of waiting till they have to go to the emergency room and leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab.

Make no mistake I think the bill needs improvements. But it is a step in the right direction—hopefully the first of many to come. And it certainly beats “Kill the Bill” when we can see that the current cost spiral will bankrupt the nation in a decade or so.

Rarebear's avatar

It’s not really a question of subspecialties, it’s more a question of political alignment. Nobody likes the bill—it’s a masterful example of how sausage is made. But the reality is that 30 million people will now be covered that weren’t previously covered.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Thanks, Doc.

mammal's avatar

yeah, yeah, load of old horse shit, the snotty doctors tried all this when the National Health service came in Britain, Rand should have spent her days daubing her drivel on the walls of a Gulag in her own faeces. Having said that, i do believe in the right to industrial action and that would be their choice.

JeffVader's avatar

Doctors should never go on strike…. ever.

JeffVader's avatar

@Rarebear I feel it would be immoral for them to do so. Their entire profession is supposed to be about caring for others. Striking, even with good cause, is a selfish act. For Dr’s to go on strike, it would mean them putting themselves ahead of their patients. I also feel this about the Police & Fire Services.

Rarebear's avatar

@JeffVader What about nurses? They strike all the time.

JeffVader's avatar

@Rarebear Thats a very good point. I know technically my argument should stand for nurses as well, they are also a caring profession after all, however, I dont feel that.

grumpyfish's avatar

Actually, doctors in Louisville, KY, sort of went on strike in ~1995 or so. One of the insurance companies changed their plans so significantly that none of the doctors wanted to accept it any more—it was announced with like a 60 or 90 day “this goes into effect period”

Major employers (UPS, Ford, GE) immediately switched their plans to another provider so their employees could keep going to their same (or any…) doctors.

No denial of care—just stopped taking a given insurance.

cazzie's avatar

@grumpyfish – That is a very interesting story. Doctors in the States have the kind of power to see the unfairness of certain programs and can influence things that much. Interesting.

grumpyfish's avatar

@cazzie A doctor generally cannot discriminate against patients, however they can refuse to accept their insurance. One thing that most folks (seem?) to forget is that health insurance is just a form of insurance, subject to whatever rules it has.

Just as I cannot throw bricks through the window of my house, then file a homeowner’s claim and expect it to get filled, health INSURANCE is very different from health CARE.

In this case, the doctors refused to accept the insurance. The patients could have continued coming there, but they would have been responsible for the entire cost of the visit. However, they could have filed a reimbursement claim with the insurance company and maybe gotten reimbursed.

Rarebear's avatar

@grumpyfish Exactly. Health insurance reform is very different than health care reform.

cazzie's avatar

but the doctors ACTED…. and it made all the difference.

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