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Presidential Doctors

Monday, September 27th, 2004 · 4 Comments

I watched a teaser on CNN this morning for a look behind the medical team that is responsible for maintaining the President’s health. How nice that the President has a team of not just one, but five doctors on call to make sure he’s OK at all times.

I wonder how much of our tax dollars go to pay for that expense? Considering that the average salary for a doctor ranges anywhere from about $150,000 to $560,000, let’s assume for a moment that these “Presidential doctors” make a healthy $300k. They have to keep the most powerful man in the world healthy, after all, so that’s probably a conservative estimate. Regardless, five doctors times a conservative $300k per year equals $1.5 million per year. And that’s just for the doctors. There’s also a full nursing and administrative staff to go along with this.

All this while 45 million Americans go uninsured. That’s 15% of the estimated 294 million Americans. Again using a conservative estimate of $400 per month to insure each of these people, that’s $4,800 per year. If we leave the President with just one doctor, that’s $1.2 million of tax payer dollars that are suddenly made available. And guess what? If that were to pay for health insurance for those without it, then suddenly 250 people can go to the doctor without going broke. 250 people. Of course, the ripple effect (healthy people means less strain on whole system) makes the cost savings even more significant.

This is not to say that the President shouldn’t have personal doctors. This is to say: How ironic that we elect one man to lead us, and we pay for him to stay in top-notch shape, yet so many of us go without basic medical needs.

Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t have national healthcare.

The full show on this topic airs Sunday at 9pm Eastern Time on CNN. But CNN probably won’t examine it from this angle. My guess is that their angle will be more about oohing and ahhing.

Tags: rants

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joe // Sep 28, 2004 at 12:02 pm

    Here’s one good reason; oft cited by Republicans: (Although as you probably know, I support nationalized health care (or, at the very least, guaranteed health insurance for all).

    Private industrial healthcare drives R&D in ways that the government won’t. For example. If you can’t get a boner, R&D has developed at least three drugs that can put the rock back in your pocket rocket.

    A cure for malaria? Not a big enough ROI, sorry. But if your malaria is making your dong limp, we can help you.

  • 2 spmartin // Sep 29, 2004 at 2:11 pm

    I suppose all those cancer drugs and AIDS drugs are a waste of time as well?

    I hope you will rant about the number of doctors taking care of the president the next time a Democrat is in office.

  • 3 Gabe A_nderson // Sep 29, 2004 at 2:22 pm

    Sean (spmartin)-

    I said nothing of cancer or AIDS drugs. I’m all for R&D, but drugs are way overpriced. I don’t think national healthcare would deter such research.

    But speaking of research, I will say this: Stem cell research offers an approach with great potential for finding new cures for any number of diseases, and who’s outlawing that? Republicans.

    Whether the sitting President happens to be a Republican or Democrat, 5 doctors is overkill. Do you disagree? How many doctors do you have? Are you any less important than the President? I may disagree with you politically, but I would never suggest that any one person is entitled to better healthcare than you are.

    All humans are created equally. Don’t we all deserve the same basic healthcare?

  • 4 Gabe A_nderson // Sep 30, 2004 at 1:10 pm

    Another point: Our military is the most powerful, technologically advanced war machine in the world. And nearly 50% of our tax dollars ( pay for this spending and research.

    Imagine what the country would be like if that kind of money were put toward keeping our own people healthy and working for cures to diseases rather than killing others around the world. It shows where our priorities lie.