Dr. Jack Cassell, Congressman Alan Grayson, And Health Care Reform

A major controversy has erupted in central Florida, in the town of Mount Dora, where an urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, has posted a sign on the door of his office telling Obama supporters to go elsewhere for medical care.

A strong critic of the Health Care reform, Dr. Cassell claims that he is not denying anyone medical care from him, who wants it. He sees it as his right to make his position clear on the health care reform, and believes that very few people who have come to his office have turned away from walking in.

Congressman Alan Grayson, who is the Representative from Cassell’s district, is bringing a case to the Florida Medical Board and the American Medical Association against Dr. Cassell, as acting in a discriminatory manner against some of his patients, and others who might seek medical care from him.

He points out that the Hippocratic Oath and the American Medical Association Code of Ethics makes clear that a medical professional is not to use political viewpoints as a reason to refuse medical care to any of his patients.

Many would argue that this is a freedom of speech case, and certainly, in his role as a private citizen, Dr. Cassell has every right to express his views in any forum outside of his work place. But in his role as a medical professional at work, it is totally inappropriate and against medical ethics to do what he is doing.

Grayson is pursuing the idea of consequences for what Dr. Cassell is doing, and it seems appropriate that Dr. Cassell needs to agree to cease and desist in what he is doing at his workplace, and pursue it instead in other venues or even in running for public office to promote his views, if he sees fit.

Freedom of speech does not include the right to intimidate patients and imply denial of medical care, as much as it does not include the right to “shout fire in a crowded theater”. There is a time and place for such assertions of the First Amendment!

5 comments on “Dr. Jack Cassell, Congressman Alan Grayson, And Health Care Reform

  1. M. Mitchell April 5, 2010 11:14 pm

    As a Registered Nurse and nursing educator. I find the behavior of Dr. Cassell unacceptable and beyond reprehensible. He is certainly allowed his opinion and to voice his opinion..but to refuse care to patients based on their voter history is unethical. How about if all of us health care providers decided we were going to limit our care to patients in this same manner…based on our own specific political views?
    Addtionally, Dr. Cassell LIED. He stated Medicare reimbursement for Hospice care would be completly cut in 2012. Actually, the health care bill does not eliminate reimbursement for hospice providers, and health care analysts have noted that “hospice was not a major target of cuts.”NHPCO expressed support for reduced payment cuts in Senate bill. In a December 19, 2009, letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO, expressed “strong support for the national effort to enact health care reform,” citing the Senate’s “modification” to the “proposed reductions to the annual market basket increase.” From the NHPCO letter:

    On behalf of hospice and palliative care providers and the more than 1.5 million patients, and their families, served by hospice each year, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) would like to express our strong support for the national effort to enact health care reform. We acknowledge the enormity and complexity of the task facing Congress, and we applaud your recognition of the importance of preserving quality, compassionate and cost efficient end-of-life care as a critical component to the nation’s health infrastructure.

    NHPCO sincerely appreciates that the Senate leadership has responded to the concerns of the hospice community regarding proposed reductions to the annual market basket increase through the Manager’s amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We applaud this modification to the legislation and support the bill’s progress with the amended hospice market basket language included. Minimizing the impact of these reductions is a necessary step to guaranteeing that all Americans retain access to compassionate, quality and cost effective end-of life care
    I would hope that any patient who has been referred to this Dr. requests a different referral to a physician whose concern is for his/her patients care…not their political views.

  2. J. SMith April 7, 2010 10:05 am

    Idiot, the man said he wasn’t denying care to anyone but preferred that ignorant Obama supporters go else where. You are misrepresenting the facts and slandering this doctor. He has his first amendment right to speak out and if you don;t like it move to another country which restricts speech. This congressman is over extending his authority targeting this doctor and trying to silence his free speech because it does not agree with the socialist agenda. Anyone targeting this doctor’s license needs to be investigated because it violates his free speech which is in the constitution unlike health care.

  3. M.Mitchell April 7, 2010 3:34 pm

    J. Smith… Are you kidding me? Placing a sign on his door telling Pres. Obama supporters to seek care elsewhere is denying care you dolt. How are the facts being misrepresented? His sign or his comments did not state…”Obama supporters seek care else where…oh but come in anyway.. haha just kidding”. The Dr. has been on television stating his views…he could not be more clear….how is repeating his comments “slander”?? Are you telling me J.smith……..if a patient is referred to his care….no problem…he will treat them despite their voting history? That’s not supported by what he said. What about if he is called to the ER for some sort of emergency issue…is he going to treat the patient without checking his/her voting record?…I sure hope so but that’s not what he indicates in his comments.. He does not wish to treat anyone who voted for President Obama. He has every right to express his opinion…no one is denying that….if you read carefully you will see this. Checking FACTS and emperical evidence seems to be very hard for the right wing. Expressing his opinions will have consequences though as a medical professional, and he does not seem to be bothered by this fact or ethical behavior. His right of course.. Patients will not feel comfortable seeking care from him now, nor will other Dr.s feel comfortable referring to him….and I can state the fact…most of his patients ARE referred because that’s the way insurance companies work. Patients have to have referrals from their primary care physician to see a specialist. Finally…..in front of cameras Dr. Cassell stated his lie about Hospice. I heard it and saw it. Again if yoiu will check the facts…he lied.

  4. Teresa April 7, 2010 7:22 pm

    I support you Dr Cassell, don’t give in to these idiots and obama whorshipers. You have every right to put that sign up and see whom ever you want.. Stay the course, my hat off to you for taking a stand. I hope that more Doctors will take a stand against this UnConstitutional health care bill. You can’t make people buy a service. I won’t be told what to do buy or do by no one, not even by the President.

    Never in my life have I’ve seen such arrogance as I have in this adminatration. Obama is so full of him self. He acts like he is God or King Obama well he is neither. And besides as another person brought this up this Dr didn’t refuse anyone.. You people that are against what he is doing are idiot and drank too much of the kool aid…STOP DRINKING THE KOOL AID.. Don’t you even realize that we are losing more and more of our rights and freedom in this country. LIttle by little its being taken away and you’re too blind to see this.. I will do my part in 2012 to have this arrogant President removed from office by voting him out..

  5. HARVARD GRAD April 15, 2010 2:07 am

    Wow, and this THING is called a doctor?? ! No way!! I wonder how he will feel WHEN he goes completely bankrupt and is unable to afford his own healthcare; then he’ll know what it means to be sick and NOT to be able to afford a healthcare. He is so bitter, because he is loosing ALL his patients; – not because of the healthcare reform, but because he’s a bad doctor. True doctors AREN’T in business to make money, but to save lives, they should WANT TO treat EVERYONE!

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