Last updated on: 8/30/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Manuel Alvarez, MD Biography

Title:
Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine
Position:
Con to the question "Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Good for America?"
Reasoning:

“As a practicing physician, I also feel the leadership from the AMA and many of the societies that represent the interest of clinical care just aren’t there. Everybody’s looking for their own deal and I’m in total agreement after months and months of this, that this bill, as it stands right now, should not be pushed through.

There’s no tort reform in this proposal, and the reason things happen at different operational costs throughout the country is all relative because medical practices, taxes and regulations differ state-by-state.

Many of the points in the current proposal are going to create deficits in Medicaid and Medicare. I practice in the state of New Jersey, and we’re in negative financial flow when it comes to Medicare dollars, with the state responsible for making up the difference. There’s a huge gap, so this is a bad bill as is, I say throw the whole thing in the garbage…

Another issue I have with the health care reform bill is the plan for taxation of medical devices. Medical devices are the bread and butter of modern health care for all Americans because we all want our doctors to have the latest machines, we want GE to pump money into research and development, we want all these companies to come up with better CT scans and ultrasounds; basically, we all want the best care modern medicine has to offer.

Well, what do you think is going to happen when all this state-of-the-art technology is taxed? It’s not going to reduce health care costs for the consumer, that’s for sure.
One of the most important aspects of health care overhaul is tort reform. This is something that the administration should be focusing on, but I think President Obama has downplayed its importance in the current debate. Every doctor I know practices defensive medicine, and most of us would never put patients through half the tests we do if it weren’t to protect ourselves from lawsuits.

Finally, I don’t think it’s possible to insure 50 million people at once; it has to be done in stages. Anybody who comes to a hospital here in the U.S. has to be treated. It doesn’t matter if you’re legal or illegal, insured or uninsured, we don’t deny anyone. Doctors and hospitals provide medical care to the uninsured by the millions, and on top of that we’re looking at taxing not only from the income tax perspective, from the health care perspective and employer perspective.

I understand they’re doing all of this to achieve a noble cause, but you can’t do it in one shot. If they go into reconciliation, they may very well push the bill through, but personally, I think it’s a terrible idea.”

“Health Care Summit: A Real Debate or a Show?,” health.blogs.foxnews.com, Feb. 25, 2010

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Adjunct Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York University School of Medicine
  • Medical Contributor, Fox News Channel, 2005-present
  • Recipient, Man of the Year, New Jersey SEEDS, 2004
  • Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Hackensack University Medical Center, 1996-present
  • Managing Editor, foxnewshealth.com
  • Weekly Contributor, WNYW-FOX 5 News
  • Weekly Contributor, Mega TV
  • Board Member, Life Opportunities Unlimited
  • Examiner, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Member, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Member, Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Member, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
  • Member, Society of Prenatal Care
  • Member, American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • Member, Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Education:
  • MD, Universidad Central Este
Other:
  • Former Reporter, Health Science, TELEMUNDO
  • Former Clinical Fellow, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Former Resident, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center
  • Born in Cuba on Apr. 16, 1957
  • Lives in New Jersey
  • Has three children with his wife Katarina: Rex, Ryan, and Olivia
Quoted in:
  1. Will there be enough primary care physicians to meet the increased health care demand following passage of the PPACA?