Obamacare and Aneurysms: A Doctor’s Take

One of the most debated topics this election season, especially during the recent presidential debates, has been the potential impact The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — commonly referred to as Obamacare — would have on millions of Americans.

One of the most debated talking points has been the role the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a government-appointed body that has been described as a way to “help address our long-term fiscal imbalance while boosting quality in health care” by some; a group whose sole purpose is “to cut spending with little guarantee of maintaining quality, access, and scientifically proven care” by others.

That last point is one brought to light by Adam Frederic Dorin, M.D., MBA,  who specifically pointed to the potentially alarming affect Obamacare could have on those with brain aneurysms. Dr. Dorin in particular singled out Vice President Joe Biden, himself an aneurysm survivor:

How would then-Senator Biden have fared if his brain aneurysm had become symptomatic in the context of tomorrow’s Obamacare reformed medical system? Will future sufferers of this tragic disease be afforded the same level of care as the Vice President did even decades ago?

Dr. Dorin explains that, under the auspices of “limit[ing] medical resources, control[ling] the utilization of services, and decreas[ing] costs” in the health care system,” the number of deaths from brain aneurysms could increase because of a more “European-style” healthcare system. According to Dorin, approximately 66,000 people each year die from brain aneurysms in Europe; in the U.S., that figure is approximately 50,000:

If Obamacare causes the U.S. medical system to become more European, who will be amongst the additional, preventable 16,000 deaths per year from traumatic brain injury? Should future Obamacare patients be afforded a lesser degree of medical care than the Vice President himself benefitted from back in 1988?

While President Barack Obama and supporters of the health care legislation say the independent board “can’t make decisions about what treatments are given,” those against the president’s health care reform believe the directive to lower costs in a government-controlled health care plan will ultimately decide a patient’s level of care.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.