It’s one thing that House District 74 GOP hopeful Julio Gonzalez was a virulent opponent of Obamacare more than two months before Barack Obama was the presidential nominee.
Gonzalez — a Venice orthopedic surgeon — even went as far as to tell voters he “got into a fight” with Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2008 over the not-yet-in-existence healthcare reform act. And he paid $500 for the privilege.
“It was awesome,” the good doctor recently said to a Republican crowd.
It’s another thing when the conservative Republican addresses the minutiae of Obamacare, where there seems to be a few things the doctor can really get behind.
Take the dreaded “death panels,” for example.
In 2009, Dr. Gonzalez authored a manuscript titled Health Care Reform: The Truth, where he condemns the “Democratic agenda” for improving health care reform.
According to the Amazon.com synopsis of The Truth, Gonzalez certainly does not hold anything back on his contempt for the “Democratic plan” put forward by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus:
Armed with an aim to increase government intervention the Democrat agenda for health care will play a strong role in molding the future of the American health care system.
Left unchecked, this plan is one that will significantly diminish the patient’s ability to access the best American medicine has to offer and the independence with which that care is selected.
“Health Care Reform: The Truth” is a must read for any interested citizen who is concerned about the future direction of the United States and who worries about the integrity of the American health care system.
Nevertheless, like any good review, some of the best bits were left out.
One fascinating excerpt, titled “End of Life Care” (pg. 138), the candidate opines on his approach for controlling healthcare costs:
Another area where health care costs can be better controlled is at the end of life. It is estimated that 27% of Medicare’s yearly budget, approximately $327 billion dollars (sic), is spent to care for patients with limited hopes in their final year of life.
How much of that was spent on heroic, futile efforts at effecting cures for patients with limited hopes of survival is certainly worthy of study. (emphasis mine)
Redirecting those funds towards efforts revolving around supportive management would likely result in a significant reduction in health care spending and represent a more appropriate mode of resource allocation, not to mention being more humane on the patient and loved ones.
Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin first used the term “death panels” in August 2009. The Tea Party darling was charging the then-proposed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would create “death panels” of bureaucrats to decide if Americans, such as the elderly or children with disabilities, were “worthy of medical care.”
The “death panel myth” has been thoroughly debunked, and there is nothing in Obamacare that leads anyone — administrators or physicians — to determine who is “worthy” of health care.
As for Dr. Julio Gonzalez’s book — available for the bargain price of $2.79 — he seems to suggest “death panels” should be added to the ACA.
As a money-saving measure, of course.
Perhaps Gonzalez is willing to be the one who decides exactly what is a “more appropriate mode of resource allocation” for the elderly, disabled — or you.