College of Surgeons: Obama needs to get facts straight about surgical care

August 27, 2009

President Barack Obama's remarks regarding care given by U.S. surgeons has prompted a response from the American College of Surgeons, which says it is "deeply disturbed" over comments that are inaccurate.

President Barack Obama’s remarks regarding care given by U.S. surgeons has prompted a response from the American College of Surgeons, which says it is "deeply disturbed" over comments that are inaccurate.

"When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform," ACS said in a statement.

During a town hall meeting in August, Obama stated that a surgeon receives $50,000 for a leg amputation, when, in fact, according to ACS, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for the procedure.

Earlier, Obama implied that a surgeon’s choice to remove children’s tonsils is based on desires to make money, to which ACS responded, "We were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what's right for the patient."

ACS called these and other comments by Obama "alarming" and running the "risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients."