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Personal view - Personal View

The case for Obamacare

  • By: Katharine Thomas
  • Published: 18 December 2012
  • DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e8313
  • Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e8313

Governor Barbour made this remark to the Boston Globe in April 2011,1 insisting that people without health insurance in Mississippi can get charitable care from hospitals and doctors whenever they need it, and poor people can rely on Medicare, a national insurance programme run by the United States government.

I was recently in Mississippi to experience the US healthcare system myself. Early one morning at 7 am, I sat slumped on a sofa, bleary eyed, waiting for surgery to start. A doctor sat down on the sofa next to me. “Did you hear what our president is doing?” he asked me. I sensed a familiar conversation.

“Obamacare?” I ventured.

“Damn straight,” he replied. “That man wants to destroy the right of doctors to make money. What right does he have to do that?”

Mississippi is one of the most conservative US states,2 and support for Obamacare—properly known as the Patient

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