Friday, April 27, 2007

Dr. Paul Hsieh's "Crazy" Letter

A few days ago, my husband Dr. Paul Hsieh published this letter to the editor in the Denver Post:
Health care is not a right, and it is not the proper role of government to provide health care for all citizens. Instead, this should be left to the free market. It is precisely the attempts of the governments of countries like Canada (or states like Tennessee) to attempt to mandate universal coverage which have led to the rationing and waiting lists for vital medical services. Similar problems are already starting to develop in the Massachusetts plan as well. Any plan of government-mandated "universal coverage" is nothing more than socialized medicine, and would be a disaster for Colorado.

Paul S. Hsieh, M.D., Sedalia
In response, Denver Post staff columnist Jim Spencer attacked Dr. Hsieh (without identifying him by name) in his column "Reforming the health of our care":
The craziest letter to the editor that I've read in some time came from a physician who claimed that Coloradans have no right to health care.

Seems the guy not only forgot his Hippocratic oath but also the law.

If you're sick enough or badly injured, they have to treat you at the emergency room regardless of your ability to pay.

The doctor aimed his editorial rant against socialized medicine. But he wrote it because a state blue-ribbon commission is now cobbling together a plan for medical treatment and prescription drugs for Coloradans.
The column then discusses the supposedly noble work of the 208 Commission in determining the proper "private/public mix in the provision of health care."

It's delightful to see that quick letter generating that kind of attention. It shows the power that physicians have when they speak out against socialized medicine. For Dr. Hsieh's more detailed case against socialized medicine in Colorado, read Socialized Medicine in Colorado - An Open Letter to Colorado Physicians.