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Nothing was off limits as Sen. Rand Paul, MD, (R-KY) put the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10, and the U.S. government on blast for creating a gigantic headache for American patients and physicians alike.
Boston-Nothing was off limits as Sen. Rand Paul, MD, (R-KY) put the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10, and the U.S. government on blast for creating a gigantic headache for American patients and physicians alike.
“It’s good to be back around the sane,” Dr. Paul joked to a packed room during the American Society of Cataract/Refractive Surgery and American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators government relations session Friday night.
In addition to likening the ACA to the Kardashian family because “neither of them work,” Dr. Paul accused the U.S. government of being completely in the dark when it comes to knowing how to manage healthcare.
“We’ve turned our healthcare (over) to people I don’t think know the difference between a cataract and a Cadillac,” he said.
Proof, Dr. Paul said, can be seen in the ICD-10 implementation. He named several new codes, such as suicide by jellyfish, intentional injury from frog venom-frogs do not have venom, he noted-and initial encounter with affixation, as examples that prove the new coding system not only is too complicated, but also was created by people who clearly have no medical knowledge.
“Are we going to have a code for reincarnation (too)?” he asked sarcastically. “Somehow, people think if there’s more paperwork, (we’ll be healthier).”
Furthermore, Dr. Paul stressed there is too much government intervention where it does not belong, and said U.S. politicians have been arrogant because they believe they can handle healthcare.
“We entrusted the government, we think it’ll be better because the government is in charge,” he said. “(But) it’s not their money, . . . the rest of us will drown and pay for (their mistakes).”
Politicians are afraid of doing what is right, what actually needs to be done, Dr. Paul said.
“(They’re) afraid of their own shadows,” he said. “Instead of being honest, we play games and not fix the problem.”
All hope is not lost, however, as there are ways to fix the problems caused by the ACA and ICD-10, Dr. Paul stressed. But, he said, the only way to reach those solutions is for the government to stop playing games, be honest about the problems, and have “compassion for helping our fellow man.”
For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times’ Conference Brief, click here.