When Atlas Shrugs With Doctors

Got Health Care?  Great if you do.  Not so good if you don’t.  Reasonable if you have government sponsored coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.  Worse if your doctor takes an early permanent vacation when Obamacare is instituted.

Atlas Is Shrugging.  The American Spectator takes us back to the 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. 

…the most productive and creative citizens in the United States — the innovators, risk-takers, artists, entrepreneurs, capitalists, intellectuals, industrialists — overturn the conventional concept of victimhood and go on strike, refusing any longer to be exploited by society, refusing to be demonized as too successful, too rich, too individualistic, too free.

The rumblings of doctors and patients because of government interposing itself in the doctor patient relationship by way as payor of  health care services, has many doctors on the defense in the quest of safe patient care.  And patients are none too happy with the idea that their best advocate will be squeezed further by draconian health care rationing.  It already happens with private insurance.  Once private insurance gets sufficiently squeezed out of the market and government becomes the primary payor of health care, government will be able to dictate the economics of paying for everyone’s medical needs. 

That is to say, if there are any doctors who have not shrugged yet.

Image courtesy of http://www.sherv.net/bye-emoticon-163.html.



One response to “When Atlas Shrugs With Doctors

  1. As you know, Washington is poised to inject a lethal dose of statism into the heart of the health care system.

    The massive dose of marxist medicine would induce grave waves of arrhythmia – inflation, price controls, lower quality, doctor shortages, waiting periods, and rationing.

    These disturbances would become so emotionally distressing to the American people that Alinsky-inspired statists — opportunists that they are — would be able to exploit each new “health care crisis” as another opportunity to inject another dose of marxist medicine into the system.

    In July 2009, the House Ways and Means Committee, marking up the Health bill (HR3200), REJECTED 22-19 an amendment from Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) that would have prevented providers from being forced to participate in the public plan.

    This vote should tell you what the liberals in Congress and their loyal block of greedy-needy voters have in mind for health care professionals like me: Slavery.

    We must not let this happen without putting up a fight!

    I am doing what I can to stop this leftist-led, lemming-like leap into health care hell.

    Anticipating this possibility, I founded Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine on July 4, 2009 to preserve, protect, and promote the rights of patients to make health care decisions in consultation with their doctors — without interference from government bureaucrats.

    Our longer range objective is to provide health care professionals with a principled, vigorous defense of freedom in medicine based on a philosophy of rational self-interest, individualism, and capitalism.

    Most of the arguments advanced in the public debate concern the economics of health care reform — the costs and benefits of doing this or that, for this or that group, facing this or that problem. Serious debate about the philosophical issues underlying government-run health care is unusual.

    We need to focus more intellectual attention on the philosophical war in health care — the war between the axis of coercion (altruism — collectivism — statism) and the axis of freedom (rational self-interest — individualism — capitalism). Unless the philosophical issues are joined, the statists will surely win their long war against free market healthcare, while we, like Emperor Nero, foolishly fiddle with the economic issues.

    To help doctors unite and wage a more effective philosophical war for free market medicine, I wrote The Declaration of Independence for Doctors and have been stockpiling an armory of intellectual ammunition from the Founding Fathers and other philosophical defenders of freedom, including Ayn Rand. This material is located on the “Intellectual Ammunition” page of our website.

    Inspired by Atlas Shrugged, we have been encouraging doctors to prepare themselves to “go on strike” by (a) refusing to participate in any new government health care plans and (b) opting out of existing plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

    Some health care practitioners might not be willing or able to pull this off.

    But many others –like me — would.

    The clock is ticking. We will know soon enough whether a strike is necessary.

    Google “doctors on strike” and you will find examples of strikes all over the world.

    So people would be foolish to think it can’t or won’t be done here in America.

    Will doctors “go Galt” silently, individually, and gradually as the “men of the mind” did in Ayn Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged”?

    Or will a few leaders emerge who are willing and able to get doctors to “go Galt” together in a massive, orchestrated, and public show of solidarity?

    Under this scenario, doctors around the country might unite to destroy their provider agreements with Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and SCHIPs. For maximum effect, this might be done several days before the scheduled vote on the final bill that emerges from Congress. (Of course, doctors would take steps to do this in a way that legally and safely transitions their patients to other providers.)

    Whatever doctors decide to do, I encourage them to reflect on the meaning of the “sanction of the victim” expressed by John Galt, the hero of Ayn Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” in the following passage:

    ‘Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality—and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan—so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collectivized countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values—the impotence of death. I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win—and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was “No.”’

    Inspired by this passage, I feel now is the right time to say, “Enough is enough!”

    This time doctors need to draw a line in the sand.

    If Congress and the Administration cross it, we should be fully prepared and firmly resolved to shrug and unburden ourselves of the unbearable weight that government regulations impose on us.

    When the dust settles, doctors and patients might then champion a new ethic of voluntary trade to govern their relationships in a free market:

    “The Traders Oath: I swear by my life, and my love of it, that as a doctor, as a patient, as a human being, I will forever defend the right of every doctor, every patient, every human being to be treated as a trader among traders, not a slave under masters, nor a master over slaves.”

    Dr. Gregory Garamoni
    Clinical Psychologist

    Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine


    (Cross-posted at The American Spectator)