Internist Michael Pendleton, MD of Corpus Christi Texas is the next innocent black physician to be attacked by government overreach into medicine. In fact, the overreach goes much farther than other attacks, because they closed his office as part of “an active investigation”. Does the DEA even have the right to close a primary care practice? I don’t think so. Primary care physicians take care of everything, from A sthma to Z ica virus. All the DEA has authority to do is issue a special certificate for the prescribing of controlled drugs. Even if they had rescinded Dr. Pendleton’s certificate, he should be able to maintain his medical practice for all other primary care matters.
Agents did the usual collection of files and boxes of routine medical records, working throughout the day Nov. 15, 2016 and into the evening. The same thing happened when they raided me, coming in at 1:30 PM and not leaving until 10:00 PM. The Corpus Christi police department was involved in the raid as well. For my raid, 20 local, state and federal officers were present. That’s what’s called job security and why these illegal attacks are going on.
Dr. Pendleton appears to have been targeted because of the type of patient he serves. It would appear that Dr. Pendleton takes his Hippocratic Oath seriously, and is another one of the doctors that treats the uninsured/Medicare/Medicaid crowd—the patients that the government would rather see dead. They target the doctors in the country that fit this profile.
In an interview with 6 investigates, a news program. Dr. Pendleton said that he is meeting a need left by a healthcare vacuum created by these three factors:
- a growing uninsured or underinsured population
- funding shortfalls which shift the burden of care to County Health Districts
- low reimbursement rates for physicians
When asked where his patients would go if he chose not to see them, he said “I’m not sure.”
Dr. Mary Peterson of the Nueces County Medical Society, agrees. “I think we do have a shortage of primary care physicians. Especially, adult primary care.” Approximately 6 million Texans are uninsured—the highest in the nation. And then Texas decided to opt-out the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low some doctors cannot afford to care for Medicaid patients.
Pendleton says any primary care doctor or internist must choose another motivation for staying in business.
“(They) may not get the glory but they will get some satisfaction. And it’ll help the community.”
That is the heart of a good doctor, and an example of all of the doctors that have been targeted by the Federal government and turned into felons.
But are people in this country concerned? Not until it happens to them. Tuesday’s raid surprised many of Pendleton’s patients, although they know this is happening across the country. “I have to go without my meds, and don’t know what to do, just like a whole bunch of other people right now,” said one patient.
Patient’s rights were also violated, as they were forced to remain at the clinic for up to four hours waiting to be questioned by agents.