Jack Cassell is the Florida urologist who recently created a stir after he placed a sign in front of his office directing Obama supporters to seek care elsewhere. Cassell says he is angered by healthcare reform.
During a recent interview, however, Cassell struggled to describe the content of the legislation, and he even expressed some far-fetched ideas. For example, Cassell claimed that the legislation cuts "all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services . . . ." When pressed, however, Cassell, referring to the legislation, said that "I can’t tell you exactly what the deal is."
It is unclear what particular policies Cassell, a self-described Republican, is referring to in the interview. At one point, he seems to be concerned about Medicare cuts, but John McCain proposed deeps cuts to Medicare. In fact, Obama hypocritically made the same arguments against McCain's plan that Republicans are now using against Obama. Ah, progress.
Alternatively, Cassell could have been referring to proposed 21% cuts in Medicare reimbursements, but these cuts are not part of the healthcare reform legislation. Instead, these cuts were enacted by statute in 1997, but since that time, Congress has delayed the cuts each year.
Recently, the liberal House (i.e., The Evil Nancy Pelosi House of Representatives, blah blah blah) voted to increase Medicare reimbursements -- an outcome Cassell seems to prefer. The more conservative Senate, however, voted to delay the cuts once again, which means that the 21% cuts remain valid law. Ironically, Cassell, a self-described "fiscal conservative," is upset about proposed cuts to an expensive federal program that is closer to socialized medicine than anything the healthcare reform legislation enacts.
Cassell also mentions cuts to hospice care. But the Bush administration slashed hospice spending. Apparently, this did not move Cassell to protest. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, however, sued to block the cuts. Where was Cassell then?
Note: The interviewer responds to Cassell by discussing a cut in tax deductions that companies can claim if they fund retirees' prescription drug purchases. I do not think this is what Cassell had in mind.
For a tape of the interview and related commentary, see: Doctor Against Treating Obama Supporters Admits Not Knowing What’s In Health Reform Bill.