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By “Mark Andrew Dwyer”


July 22, 2009


For those who know how the "affirmative action" works, the idea of a nationalized health care system must be really scary.

Here is why.

When you select your doctor or decide which one to let perform a surgery on you, the only beneficiary of the choosing that you have in mind is you. If he doesn't look like a doctor, doesn't act like a doctor, and doesn't carry himself like a doctor, you just walk away. You don't care about your doctor's hardships while in school and college (or in jail), nor do you consider such factors as him being of under- or over-represented ethnicity, the number of kids he has to feed, or societal desire to make up for past injustices. You simply want the best doctor that you can afford, period. If you don't trust him, you look for someone else without even having to explain to anyone the reasons of your rejection of him.

Well, when federal bureaucrats will be deciding who is and who is not qualified as your doctor, they will have quite a different set of criteria and rules. Their aim will be to increase diversity among doctors and health care workers, and to help the "underrepresented" minorities move upward (see [1]), but not necessarily to maximize the length of your healthy life. And they won't even have such a word as "trust" in their vocabulary.

The bureaucrats will look into ethnic background of your doctor in order to make sure that if he is a member of an "under-represented" minority then he gets the job, unless there is a positive proof that he is not qualified (with respect to whatever flimsy bureaucratic standards they might have adopted there). And the fact that he has tattoos on his forehead and facial jewelry, wears bandanna and gangsta-type cloths, that his communication skills are more appropriate for a street than for a clinic, or even that he wears a braided beard, will not be used against him in order to avoid charges of "discrimination".

Can you imagine the charges of institutional racism and the following adjustments brought by the Civil Right Commission after ACLU or other "civil rights" organization filed a lawsuit alleging that there were not enough black and Hispanic doctors in the nationalized health care system? I can. Just like some minorities are being hired and promoted while better qualified candidates are being passed over, you may expect the same thing happening in the nationalized health care system. And if someone, eventually, produces the evidence that the alleged "under-representation" is not a result of racism but of the fact that the "desired" minorities have less success rate in passing qualification exams, the exams will be deemed unfair and biased, and will be thrown out, watered-down, or abandoned, because of their disparate impact they have on "protected" minorities. We saw this kind of "logic" recently in the case Ricci v. DeStefano that judge Sotomayor (in)famously decided against the firemen who passed the exam for higher ranked positions but were denied promotion because no black fireman was able to pass the exam.

There is absolutely no reason to expect that the federal government will be any more committed to merits and objectivity in the nationalized health care system than it is now in elections (just remember the acclaimed "historicity" of electing the first black president of the U.S. as opposed to the best one, and all the slick Gerry-mandering that ensures that enough "minorities" are elected), government contracts (that gives preference to "equally qualified" minority bidders), government hiring (with its "affirmative action" practices that de facto turn the burden of proof that a minority candidate is not qualified on the prospective employer), or any other governmental activity that has to make a distinction between the "qualified" and "not qualified". And if you think that the courts will make sure that this kind of "noble" good doing does not wreck the quality of nationalized health care, then judges like Sotomayor will bring you back to Earth.

A few years ago, a story about school bus driver who caused an accident killing several children made national news. It turned out that the driver had a history of lawbreaking and substance abuse, yet the school district kept it secret from the parents as it could not refuse hiring him because of some governmental anti-discriminatory regulations. The interest of the driver, who obviously needed the job, was certainly better protected by these regulations than the interests and safety of the kids that were in the bus he drove. And the effect of this kind of absurdity were tragic.

Unfortunately, this is a pattern that you may expect to be followed in nationalized health care.

As it has been the case of virtually all institutions that follow the "affirmative action" hiring standards, the interest of patients will slowly give way to the interest of doctors and their families, particularly of those that suffered from "past injustices" or are members of "under-represented minorities". The "qualified/non-qualified" criteria will be set accordingly in order to make sure that they don't have "disparate impact" on "under-represented" minorities. The policies that protect the doctor's well-being, particularly, the "under-represented", will be devised and implemented. The fact that such policies may lead to suffering and deaths of the patients will be ignored or, if they make the news, rationalized out and counter-balanced by "success stories" similar to Sotomayor's. And anyone refusing to undergo or criticizing treatment by a "minority" or "affirmative action" doctor will risk charges of bigotry so that the victims of his medical malpractice do not dare to voice their concerns anymore.

Remember that black-run Martin Luther King/Harbor General Hospital in LA? Although it had been closed a few years ago after several patients died there of neglect, its story may provide you with a glimpse into your medical future. When the federal government will run the nationalized health care system, you most likely won't be able to refuse being sent to "minority" institution like MLK Harbor General for treatment, where you will be congratulated on your participation in the historic event of the first black brain surgeon operating on a white patient (you), or else you will be branded and, perhaps, punished as "racist". If the government could enforce busing of school children from one district to another, it will be able to do a similar thing to the nationalized health care system.

To make things worse, all kinds of otherwise ineligible crooks and opportunists will figure out how to use the system designed to protect "minority" employees, for their (crooks and opportunists') benefit. Think of felons who "paid their debt to the society" and therefore cannot be even questioned about their criminal records while applying for sensitive jobs in nationalized health care. Think of misfits who flanked their qualification exams but now will be able to take advantage of the new "fairer" testing standards. They all may end up as your designated primary care physicians.

The federal government has been inflicting this kind of ethnic engineering upon the entire nation for some four decades now, with quite disastrous effects. And this is exactly what it will do to nationalized health care. So, when you will be stuck with a weired guy in buggy pants and a wallet chain who has been appointed your doctor for you in order to make up for past discrimination that he and his ancestors allegedly suffered from, when he will misdiagnose your pneumonia or botch a knee surgery that looked routine and simple before but turned our complicated after, and when his rude staff will not even try to hide that the job they are doing there is their entitlement and a form of charity to the "under-represented" and the "oppressed", then remember my hearty advise: I told you so.


[1] Racial Preferences in the Democrats' Health Care Bill


Your trust is not semeone's birthright

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Past commentary (July 15, 2009) SOTOMAYOR CONTROVERSY  


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