To pay tribute to Dr. Jane Orient is increasingly a futile gesture. No individual has done more to carry the flag for physicians in private practice or for their patients than this indefatigable woman. She has won no popularity contests amongst the intelligentsia in the healthcare industry by connecting the dots between government intrusion into the private practice of medicine and the disenfranchisement of individual patients.
Whether she is discussing the plight of physicians succumbing to hostile takeovers by big health systems and becoming their employees or the increasing victimization of doctors by the Medicare Stasi, “Jane of Arc,” as I frequently refer to her, pulls no punches. She never has and never will. Dr. Orient single handedly took on the Clintons and their huckster/strongman, Ira Magaziner (think of Ezekiel Emmanuel or Jonathan Gruber as a kind of modern day Ira Magaziner), and brought the Clinton health care plan to the death chamber, where it was largely resurrected in a bipartisan fashion later. Try to keep this in mind as you watch this video.
Working hard against Dr. Orient in this and every other fight was the American Medical Association and virtually every other medical organization in the country, yet this has only stiffened her resolve. Betrayed by both sides of the aisle and now facing a cowardly political machine unwilling to remove any of the government intrusions introduced into the healthcare industry (primarily for the benefit of the crapitalists), you would think she would admit defeat. She doesn’t know the word “defeat.” What an inspiration Dr. Orient has been to those who know her. I am honored to know Jane and call her a friend. I believe she is just beginning to fight.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.