In the US, our government has been brought to a standstill in a political dispute over what has been billed as healthcare reform. I will make a disclosure: I support President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. As an employed physician in a healthcare system that takes ALL; rich, poor, insured, uninsured, desperately ill, worried well and grievously injured I have personally spent a lot of time in providing care for which there is no source of revenue: i.e. unreimbursed care.

Unreimbursed…a peculiar term…implies that something owed hasn’t been returned. What could that be? Fixed overhead costs of $100 or more an hour for one.

What the Affordable Care Act is, in my opinion, is a modest attempt at health insurance reform. It attempts to use existing market-based mechanisms to address the worst abuses of our current system.

But as much as I want these problems to be addressed and as serious as I regard them to be, I view the issues raised by the strategy of the tea party faction to be even more serious, by at least an order of magnitude.

If a small minority can wreak this degree of havoc over this issue, giving in sets a precedent that threatens the foundations of our system of governance.

So hang in there Mr. President.


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