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Comparing politicians to used-car salesmen? Well, okay, but it sounds like a stretch to me.

August 13, 2009

used-car-salesman-main_FullAt least the used-car salesmen generally know something about what they’re selling.

Carol at No Sheeples Here has an issue with President Obama’s understanding – or, rather, lack of understanding – of how the medical system works.

In Portsmouth, NH President Obama’s astonishingly uninformed soliloquy about doctors getting rich by performing amputations of limbs from diabetic patients was little more than a theatrical device to scare the beejeezus out of those in attendance and, of course, the national audience. Here’s what he said:

“All I’m saying is let’s take the example of something like diabetes, one of—a disease that’s skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it’s not treated as effectively as it could be. Right now if we paid a family—if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they’re taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that’s $30,000, $40,000, $50,000—immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we’re also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

Carol is diabetic herself, and has a lot to say about the way the medical system works with patients to prevent that disease’s more dramatic aspects from manifesting themselves. In other words: doctors try to avoid performing amputations.

Which is odd, if performing amputations really is that lucrative. Heck, I’ve got a sharp knife and a bottle of whiskey. I’ll do it for half!

Just sign here, please.

As it turns out, though, and unlike most used-car salesmen, President Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about:

Surgeons are not paid $30,000 to $50,000 to amputate a diabetic’s foot. Medicare pays a surgeon, on average, from $541.72 to $708.71 for one of two procedures involving a foot amputation.

I think his teleprompter is starting to turn on him.

3 Comments
  1. August 14, 2009 6:57 pm

    My husband was diagnosed diabetic about 10 years ago. After several years of “active management” (read experimenting), his blood sugar is well-controlled by his special recipe of medication and insulin. Lifelong insulin management is paramount – no doctor wants to resort to amputation when there are so many drugs and treatments to AVOID that outcome.

    We pay more co-pays on prescriptions in a month than an average family pays in a year. And while we don’t love our insurance, we are exceedingly grateful for it. And I will say this – while the insurance company can be a pain sometimes, they monitor his care as closely as his doctor.

    But in Obama’s world of backasswards rationalization, the brand-shiny-new utopia – even if the cost of his meds didn’t cripple us, the Hubster would be considered a less-than-productive individual. Too old and broken to save. Then he’d be summarily put down like an old horse.

    This legislation needs to be stopped. Period.

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