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Robin Smith / August 9, 2021

Even Healthcare Falls to Politics

As a result of increased politicization, fewer Americans trust our healthcare system.

Many who run for office are identified with their partisan moorings. We see Joseph Biden (D) on the election ballot or read about Ronald Reagan (R) in the history books. In NASCAR, drivers affix decals and logos to their cars to identify their sponsors. These identifiers assist voters and fans with information and show us where these leaders and sportsmen stand. But will it now be necessary for physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities and caregivers to do the same thing by disclosing their political party or ideologies?

Science, like justice, should be blind and without bias by its very nature, yet America’s healthcare system now suffers from “woke” influences and politics over science and actual patient health.

For the last 18 years, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, grade school teachers, and police officers ranked within the top 50% of most ethical professions in America as surveyed by Gallup Research, yet the trust in healthcare as a system and sector of our economy is beginning to wane.

An April 2018 analysis in Medical Economics entitled “The Eroding Trust Between Patients and Physicians” puts the finest of points on the issue: “Healthcare systems, insurers and professional organizations like the American Medical Association have all been accused of acting out of self-interest, rather than in the best interest of patients.” In a March 2019 Modern Healthcare article, a Gallup finding was discussed showing in 2018, only 34% of the public surveyed held a positive view of the healthcare industry in contrast to 80% in 1975. From the above Medical Economics article, “We have learned in our exploration of trust that there are multiple drivers of low trust in healthcare, from the growth of competing and contradictory sources of information to conflicts of interest and lack of disclosure.”

“Competing and contradictory sources of information” is a phrase that could sadly sum up the COVID response from 2019 to date. Key institutions like the CDC are yielding their guidance based on political pressure rather than actual data, proven by emails about reopening public schools between the leadership of the Centers for Disease Control, a powerful teachers union, and the Biden White House. Instead of a decision made based on science, the guidance was developed by a union boss and her team of Democrats.

Remember, too, that then-candidate Joe Biden angrily warned Americans that President Donald Trump was lying in September 2020 about a vaccine being only weeks away. Ironically, Trump responded by accusing Biden of spreading “anti-vaccine rhetoric” since the 45th president will be credited in history for contributing to the greatest innovation during this crisis by restructuring medical research to create a vaccine on a war-time schedule.

The media has completely forgotten that, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris’s declaration when asked about the vaccine in October 2020, “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Politics has definitely infected medical decisions and the public discourse involving medicines and masks, but what about other issues beyond the coronavirus? The American Medical Association board of trustees released a stance in June this year that leaves no doubt. “Existing AMA policy recognizes that every individual has the right to determine their gender identity and sex designation on government documents. To protect individual privacy and to prevent discrimination, U.S. jurisdictions should remove sex designation on the birth certificate.”

The very group touting its representation of America’s physicians abandoned credibility by ignoring chromosomal, hormonal, and biological science to assume the social justice high ground.

Shamefully, medicine and healthcare have now fallen to politics, and it may be time for physicians, healthcare systems, hospitals, and other decision-makers in the healthcare space to reveal their sponsoring ideologies.

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