The Doctor Is In: The $634 billion down payment on healthcare reform

The ten-year budget released this week by president Obama establishes a $634 billion fund as a down payment on health care reform. To subsidize an overhaul of the health care system, the new administration plans to raise taxes on people who earn more than $250,000, which has been criticized as an effort to redistribute wealth.

As a citizen I think we all need to pull together to help the 50 million or so Americans who are now uninsured. As a physician, I think it's about time we provide Americans with access to quality, affordable health care.

Every day I see patients who say that they are about to lose their job, and consequently, their health coverage. My practice is in Greenwich, CT -- not exactly an impoverished community -- and I'm seeing more and more patients who choose to forgo their annual exam or delay a surgical procedure because they can't afford health insurance. The weekend calls asking me to call in a prescription so patients don't have to make an appointment for an office visit are also picking up.