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Christian Doctors-Health Reform Threatens Patient Relationship

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WASHINGTON -- The 16,000-member Christian Medical Association, the nation's largest faith-based association of physicians, today said that the 2,000-page healthcare overhaul bill (HR 3962) introduced in the House of Representatives last week far exceeds the need for targeted reforms, instead injecting massive government intervention that threatens the patient-physician relationship.

CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens said, "This legislation is an overdose. With this massive legislation, we are getting much more than is actually needed to fix our healthcare system. What we need is a targeted reformation of areas needing reform, but this legislation is an attempt to totally transform our healthcare system into a government-run system that dictates what healthcare treatment each patient will receive.

"The legislation introduced last week is coming to a vote way too fast. We have one chance to get this right, and leaders in Congress are trying to push a bill through in a few days that will impact one-sixth of our economy. It is bitter medicine that most people don't want, and taking it fast will not change that.

"The legislation is also ineffective and will increase costs rather than lower costs. It will hurt efficiency and increase bureaucracy. It will interfere with the physician-patient relationship and lead to the delay and denial of healthcare based solely on cost.

"The legislation also has serious side effects. In a radical shift in U.S. policy, under this legislation the government will suddenly be funding abortion on demand. And if abortion advocates prevail, the government ultimately will force health care professionals to participate in abortions.

"Physicians are so upset about this takeover of healthcare that hundreds of thousands have threatened to leave medicine if it passes. Forty-five percent of all physicians polled say they're ready to leave medicine if healthcare overhaul passes. Ninety-five percent of faith-based healthcare professionals are ready to leave medicine if their conscience rights are weakened. The bottom line for patients under this legislation is that they are much more likely to lose their physician."

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