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“Choose Patients Over Profits” and the Propaganda of Politics


“This is a golden opportunity to choose patients over profit” said U.S. Representative Jackie Speier as she announced the “Promoting Integrity In Medicare Act of 2013,” HR 2914.

In Speier’s words, the bill removes Stark in-office ancillary services safe harbor protection for advanced imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy and physical therapy.

I’m not in this post taking a position on changing the in-office safe harbor. Rather, let’s look at the propaganda here: “Choose patients over profits”

Profits are bad. Patients are good. Completely logical if you’re a Congresswoman from the San Francisco Bay Area as long as we’re not talking about the tech companies in her congressional district.

But without profits, no one is going to be treating patients. So what Jackie really means, is that more profits than she thinks should be made are “bad.”

What happens if what Jackie thinks is enough profit is actually not sufficient to keep doctors in the system, as in doctors dropping out of Medicare (which is happening at an increasing rate)?

Then the empress will have no clothes.

She will have chosen politics over patients.

Hmm, not a bad sound bite.

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