Health Care Bill Could Lead to Physician Exodus
A recent survey of active physicians reveals that as many as half of
the nation's doctors may consider leaving their practice if proposed federal
health care legislation is signed into law. The survey, which included
responses from 1200 physicians, was conducted by the Medicus Firm, a leading
physician recruitment company.
The survey showed that nearly 30% of doctors would leave the profession or
retire early if the federal health care reform plan is enacted. That number
climbs to nearly 46% if President Obama's proposed "public option" plan were
The New England Journal of Medicine noted the results in their
publication. In an editorial, the Journal stated: "While a sudden
loss of half of the nation's physicians seems unlikely, a very dramatic
decrease in the physician workforce could become a reality as an unexpected
side effect of health reform."
Kevin Perpetua, managing partner for the Medicus Firm observed: "The
overwhelming prediction of physicians is that health reform...could create a
detrimental combination of circumstances, and result in an environment in
which it is not possible for most physicians to continue practicing
Perpetua added: "With an average debt of $140,000 and many graduates
approaching a quarter of a million dollars in school loans, being a doctor
is becoming less and less feasible. Health care reform and increasing
government control of medicine may be the final straw that causes the
physician workforce to break down."
The Columbia, Missouri abortion clinic
operated by Planned Parenthood is struggling with staffing problems, and
pro-life activists claim the reason is the latest 40 Days for Life campaign.
40 Days for Life Claims Success in Columbia
Kathy Forck, the campaign director for 40 Days for Life in
Columbia, insists that she has information that the doctor doing abortions
there has resigned. Michelle Trupiano, the public affairs manager for
Planned Parenthood, denies that claim. Yet she admits that no surgical
abortions have been performed in the last few weeks because of a shortage of
nurses and other staff.
"We only offer services one day a week, and frankly, sometimes
we don't even have anybody who's doing surgical abortions," Trupiano
explained. "If you're nine weeks or under, you can do medication
abortions." Trupiano says the clinic will resume performing surgical
abortions in the coming weeks.
Forck believes the 40 Days for Life campaign is the reason for
the turmoil at the clinic. "We've been praying that abortion would end
there. We pray every day for the abortionist and the staff. We pray for
the moms and dads. But we still have to pray for the doctor who gives the
40 Days for Life is a dedicated period of prayer and fasting
for the end of legalized abortion which is held during the spring and
fall. The current campaign coincides with the Lenten Season, with prayer
vigils being held outside abortion clinics in 167 cities.
During the fall campaign, organizers claim they saved the
lives of 607 babies. In addition, two abortion facilities shut down, and
nine abortion clinic workers quit their jobs. The most notable was Abby
Johnson, the Director of the abortion clinic in Bryan/College Station,
Texas. Johnson served as the keynote speaker at the recent fundraising
banquet held for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Rolla.
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Legislators Seek Prayer to Solve State Budget Woes
Members of the Missouri Legislature have asked for prayer in efforts to
tackle the worst budget crisis to face the State of Missouri in decades.
Christian leaders have met with key leaders from both political parties in
the General Assembly who have requested a concentrated prayer effort to
help resolve intense budget challenges they are facing.
"Because of the state's budget shortfall, they recognize that the pending
budget cuts will cause pain to many of our Missouri citizens," says Sue
Stoltz, Midwest Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer. "They are
looking for wisdom to avoid the painful cuts they are now dealing with
in finalizing the state's budget."
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has already cut a total of $850 million
in spending from the current year's budget. Budget officials believe that
there is a need to cut an additional $500 million in spending from
the budget for the coming fiscal year starting this July. State revenues
are currently nearly
13% below the level of the previous year. It is expected that the following
year's budget will be even worse.
The state budget is currently being held together by $2 billion in
federal "stimulus" funds which were used to supplement the 2009 and 2010
budgets. Once those dollars are gone, state budget officials are facing a
herculean task in balancing the budget without substantial cuts in nearly
all state programs. Public elementary and secondary education, which has
generally been spared from budget cutbacks, will likely be on the chopping
block as well.
Stoltz says that Christian leaders have agreed to mobilize a 40-day
prayer and fasting effort ending on May 7th, the date by
which the Legislature must adopt a final budget under Missouri's
Constitution. The prayer campaign will be kicked off with a prayer service
in the rotunda of the Capitol at noon on Monday, March 29th.
"We want to avoid anything that would divisive or distracting to this
thrust of seeking God for solutions," Stoltz explains. "We want to make
sure this is not turned into a political event. This prayer focus is a
bipartisan effort with united support from leaders of both political
Stoltz says the National Day of Prayer Task Force will be working with
pastors and churches throughout the state to organize community prayer
gatherings. They will be asking churches to pray daily for all the state
and state senators, that they be granted wisdom and patience, and that they
will make their decisions based on pure motives.
She is also asking legislators to share with churches the types of public
services that may be impacted by potential cuts. "We can then let
the churches know the areas they need to step up to the plate to provide for
the people in their communities. It is Scriptural that the Church be the
one providing for the needs of the people and not rely on the government."
Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network has played a leading role in
conversations with legislators that led to the prayer initiative. He agreed
to shepherd the statewide push to enlist prayer warriors on behalf of the
General Assembly to help bring dignity and good judgment to the budget
Several lawmakers asked for prayers for patience. "When people of goodwill
here work together, we can solve
one said. "But when legislators lose patience with each other, then the
problems become insolvable. When we're faithful and work together,
miracles do happen."
"Other states are watching us and seeing how we handle this," Stoltz says.
"We can demonstrate that we are the Show Me State in how we handle a major
crisis in government. If we allow God to have His way and invite Him in our
decisions, I believe He will do great and mighty things."
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