Florida Doctor Posts Sign Telling Obama Voters ‘To Seek Care Elsewhere’

April 2, 2010

(ChattahBox)—If you need the services of an urologist in the Orlando, Florida area, you would be advised to check your political affiliations at the door. Dr. Jack Cassell, a practicing urologist in Mount Dora and a registered Republican, is so incensed about the passage of the healthcare overhaul that he posted a sign on his office door directing Obama voters “to seek care “elsewhere.” Cassell’s heavy-handed display of anti-Obama venom, just barely meets his ethical obligation to treat patients, say experts. But Cassell claims he is merely invoking his free speech rights.

If Dr. Cassell’s plan was to seek media attention for his lawyer-wife, Leslie Campione, who is running as the Republican candidate for Lake County commissioner, he has succeeded. Whether it’s the type of attention that could win votes in the heavily Republican county, remains to be seen.

The doctor’s sign reads in full: “If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

Cassell denies that he personally turns patients away, but certainly an openly Democratic patient seeking his care would have reason to worry. “I’m not turning anybody away — that would be unethical,” said Cassell. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”

Cassell, 56, also has a stack of copies of Republican talking points about the new healthcare law in his waiting room, urging his patients to read them. An additional sign is posted above the documents: “This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it.”

According to the report in the Orlando Sentinel, William Allen, professor of bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, says Doctor Cassell is right on the edge of what is considered acceptable behavior by a practicing physician:

“Allen said doctors cannot refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability, but political preference is not one of the legally protected categories specified in civil-rights law. By insisting he does not quiz his patients about their politics and has not turned away patients based on their vote, the doctor is “trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation,” Allen added.

‘”But this is pushing the limit,” he said.”

A constituent of Rep. Alan Grayson’s (D-FL) snapped a photo of the sign and sent it to the firebrand Congressman, who was appalled:

“I’m disgusted,” he said. “Maybe he thinks the Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no good.’ If this is the face of the right wing in America, it’s the face of cruelty. … Why don’t they change the name of the Republican Party to the Sore Loser Party?”

See the Orlando Sentinel for more.

h/t Steve Benen’s Political Animal

Photo Credit: Deirdre Lewis/Orlando Sentinel

(Update: A physician rating Web site, Vitals.com is filling up with mostly negative comments and reviews about Dr. Cassell’s sign telling Obama voters to seek care elsewhere, condemning him as a “right-wing clown,” with one commenter, saying “I wouldn’t let him cut my toenails.” A couple of comments are supportive of Cassell’s actions, with one commenter writing,  “Finally! A doctor who isn’t afraid of the Obama mob.”


18 Responses to “Florida Doctor Posts Sign Telling Obama Voters ‘To Seek Care Elsewhere’”

  1. Brianna on April 2nd, 2010 12:42 pm

    Three cheers for this physician! He is no more required to offer medical treatment to someone than he is required to offer money, or his car, or his house…. Doctors are unhappy now, but it’ll be the patients and Washington who will ultimately be stuck holding a sheaf of empty promises from the Obamessiah if they keep biting the hands that provide their medical care in this idiotic fashion.

  2. Jim Christiano on April 2nd, 2010 1:13 pm

    I always assumed a doctor had a certain amount of intelligence and professionalism.

  3. Brianna on April 2nd, 2010 1:49 pm

    You don’t think it’s intelligent to point out to voters that their electing themselves a truckload of free goodies at doctors’ and health care providers’ expenses has logical, negative consequences?

  4. Jack Cassell: Doctor Refuses To Treat Obama Supporters | Internet Buzz on April 2nd, 2010 1:56 pm

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  5. Kris on April 2nd, 2010 2:16 pm

    I read the story. The Doctor is not turning anyone away and is not even asking. The sign on the door of his office is a protected free speech and is not a representation of his actions or his responsibilities of a doctor. He is not asking his patients and his patients don;t have to tell. If someone comes in and says I am here for my 3 O clock … See More and Yes I voted for Obama and his office staff or even him personally decline patient care it would be unethical and perhaps grounds for the revocation of his license – but I will guarantee you he will not turn even an outspoken patient away. The sign is a political stand point for how he and his industry feel. I think he has every right under law, and even as a doctor, is not compromising his Ethical RESPONSIBILITY to his patients with his right to an opinion.

  6. Dan on April 2nd, 2010 2:26 pm

    Obama has previously said that doctors perform unneeded operations in order to collect more money. I heard it again this morning. He basically called them all liars and thieves who care more about collecting extra money that they don’t deserve, instead of treating their patients. How many doctors you think fit that bill? How many of them do you think find that extremely offensive? This guy is pissed off and I don’t blame him. If Obama wants to make doctors work for what he “thinks is the right pay”, they should get to choose who they take as patients.

  7. Geoffrey on April 2nd, 2010 2:56 pm

    If the country is indeed about freedom, this man has a right to speak his mind. Further, at least he has the backbone to say publicly what WILL affect the decision making of many healthcare providers as the socialism oriented programs from the current administration take away incentive and freedom.
    The true unkind and foolhardy are those who would deny our rights as citizens of this country to express our opinions and follow our consciences.

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  9. Abigail Adams on April 2nd, 2010 4:21 pm

    Once again, the left shuts up free speech. Put the sign back up, Doc. Alan Grayson can bitch all he wants now, he’s only got a few more months to do so. See you November!

  10. Carol on April 2nd, 2010 4:31 pm

    I sure would like to read these two pages the Dr. is handing out to patients…I wonder how I could get them? I totally support this Dr. He’s trying to get the word out and I hope and pray he does.

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  12. Six on April 3rd, 2010 4:46 am

    He is saying, “if you voted for Obama, I won’t treat you.” The reaction to the sign was appropriate.
    Saying that the ‘Obama mob’ (coffee partiers? who?) are trying to take away his free speech rights through this reaction is like me saying that you all are trying to take away the ‘Obama mob’s’ free speech rights through your own reactions.

  13. RDW on April 3rd, 2010 10:30 am

    The problem with the current Democratic leadership and spokespeople is that they want to force their unwanted socialistic garbage down peoples thoats and then when people react and speak out against them it’s branded as “Vitriol” from those who oppose. I watched the interview with Obama yesterday that you may have also seen. Such a charming president we have ….who gets to force his still unpopular healthcare on the American public and then so nicely paint a picture before the public of the vitriolic right wingers. The Democrats deserve every bit of negative “free speech” that is flying in their direction.

  14. Marion Williams on April 3rd, 2010 7:58 pm

    This doctor is a sore looser! He sees the cash cow on it’s way out! And about time!! As a nurse I see ABUSE and FRAUD on a daily basis. Doctors who perform partial procedures…so they can go back and do it again! Why? So they can be paid AGAIN!!! Surgeons who perform partial procedures, for the same reason. Doctors are nortoirous for billing patients for procedures they have not done. A revision of a shunt, is not the same thing as an implantation of a shunt. This could be the difference of $1.800 or $18.000. But time and time again, they bill for something they did not do!

  15. Morely Dotes on April 3rd, 2010 9:38 pm

    Hey, he has the right to turn away patients. I have the right to call him a greedy, money-grubbing mercenary who is in the medical profession because it’s safer than robbing banks or peddling drugs on the street, and he can get to be fat and wealthy by cheating his patients and the insurance companies,

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  17. annette boykin on April 4th, 2010 1:01 pm

    I think this shows that raceism is alive and well in America and i dont mean black and white either i mean between the insured and the unisured its a shame that people ca’nt shut up and give the a chance medicade@medicare are goverment funded and it’s taxed,It’s called fica.Does America really want to kill some ones children or any person because they donot agree with a policy. but i did’nt see anyone throwing bricks or threating Bush family and they did’nt agree
    with the Irac war.Seems to me it maybe about RACE anyway. And those who donot agree with this are know better than the suicide bombers in the ARAB countries.Think about it. We are suppose to a country that set examples for the rest world,well i think not.

  18. Brianna on April 4th, 2010 11:52 pm

    “I think this shows that raceism is alive and well in America and i dont mean black and white either i mean between the insured and the unisured”

    Where do you see any evidence at all that this doctor is turning away patients on the basis of insurance? And how on earth can anyone compare racism, which is discrimination based on an accident to birth, to discrimination based on what a person thinks, which is a completely rational reaction to another person’s voluntary intellectual choices?

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