April 2nd, 2010
06:03 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Florida Doctor Tells Obama Voters to Go Away

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

A Florida doctor has put a sign on his office door telling supports of Pres. Obama to find a different doctor.

The notice on Dr. Jack Cassell's practice reads, "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."

Cassell, who's been in practice for 22 years, says he isn't turning anyone away – despite what the sign says.

He also has no regrets over the sign. He talks with Anderson about the controversy tonight on 360°.

Anderson will also talk with Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, who is outraged by what Dr. Cassell is doing. Grayson says it goes against the Hippocratic Oath.

The modern version of that oath reads:

"I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

It says nothing about politics.  However, politics are mentioned in the American Medical Association's Code of Ethics.

Section 9.012:

"Under no circumstances should physicians allow their differences with patients or their families about political matters to interfere with the delivery of high-quality professional care."

Also tonight, the FBI is warning another anti-government could stir up trouble. Dozens of governors have received letters from a group called the Guardians of the Free Republican demanding they resign or face removal. The FBI says the letters don't refer to a specific plan for violence. We'll go up close and talk about the fears with CNN Contributors John Avlon, a Senior Political Writer for the Daily Beast and author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America" and Thomas Fuentes, a former FBI Assistant Director.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Glenn

    If the florida medical board allows this. Next the doctor will turn pople away because they are black,spanish or a jew. are because they live in a certain area of the city or because they shop at a store that he does not like. the list could go on forever get rid of him. He is an A*s Hole

    April 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  2. Jene

    Well, okay. Let's grant the good doctor his wish and let all Obama supporters find another MD. That should cut his business in half if not more then maybe he will decide to stick to medicine and keep his politics to himself. He sounds like some sort of radical jerk anyway.

    April 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  3. carvic16

    To Pat Campbell..........how would you feel if you happen to be in an are where there is only 1 doctor in that area and knowingly that you are a republican and that so called doctor has a post saying that if you voted or a republican supporter to go away.......ha! What are you going to do, Ms. Know it all? I bet you that you are not in the medical field!!!!!!!!! Wait until 1 doctor tells you to go away and he is a democrat and I bet you will be the first one in line in the medical board complaining about him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  4. Tony in Largo

    This is just another example of extremism. I hope the doctor has to defend his actions before an Ethics review board and the other Urologists around take the patients he doesn't want.

    April 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  5. Cassaundra Hefner

    I support the doctors efforts to raise awareness of the effects this healthcare bill will have on our practice. Nearly 70% of our current patient population are Medicare. Patients that are being turned away from other offices d/t the recent 21% Medicare cut. We too have to pay the overhead. Other offices have ceased accepting Medicare- ARE THOSE OFFICES IN VIOLATION- DISCRIMINATING in a silent manner.
    I admit there are others ways to bring awareness, BUT, am glad he now has a voice. I have been writing Congress about the Medicare cuts, WITH NO RESPONSE!! GOOD FOR HIM!! HE GOT A RESPONSE!!

    April 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  6. Larry

    Only about 17% of doctors belong to the AMA.

    April 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  7. Tony in Austin

    Right on doctor!!!!!

    To all the libs on the blog – next time, go to your doctor and see if he/she has put up signs that says they no longer accept medicaid or medicare.

    it's the same thing. 🙂 Change begins today, not 4 years, as the good doctors says.

    Enjoy your "free healthcare" your entitlement babies!

    April 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Kudos to the doctor for helping to educate people about what changes are in store c/o the recent health-care legislation. Too bad this country's sinking to these seemingly low tactics, but if that's what it takes to wake everyone up to being intelligent and open in their analysis of elections(aka, legislative votes included) & their consequences (vs. simply towing a political party's line in a winner-take-all contest/game), then that's what it takes. What say you of corporate-America's response (taking their tax losses, depreciating the share value of funds you may well have in your retirement portfolio too?)? This thing was so hastily and poorly done; what do you expect?

    C'mon America, civil debate is great; what we have now, isn't (and the media isn't helping, being so 'this side or that' about everything).

    April 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  9. Dan

    I'm sorry that AC didn't have time to discuss the real issue with Dr. Cassell and the reason he posted the sign, that is: What will this new bill do to health care providers? There is a general misnomer in this whole debate: "the increasing cost of healthcare". Any healthcare provider will tell you that their reimbursement has gone steadily down. I believe Dr. Cassell is merely trying to draw attention to the real issue. The question in this debate is who should pay for healthcare and how much should healthcare providers be paid for their services. If you had a $300K student loan, how much would you want to be paid?
    To Nurse Mary: How often do you or any of the docs you work with ask a pt who they voted for prior to treatment? Your analogy is absurd!

    April 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  10. Judy Lacy Purcell

    I am a RN and I want this Dr's License yanked! I am disgusted that he has any support on this at all. I don't think the people that support him have any idea how "vulnerable" this makes us if this type of behavior goes over looked!!! He "MUST" not be aloud to practice medicine any longer, or at least a STIFF punishment for this reckless behavior!! (and from what I saw he WILL not make it in politics either).

    April 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Very Disappointed with his garbled explanation...well attempt at sounding sane.
    Look for him as a key note speaker at the next mad hatters tea party.

    April 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  12. Sherry

    Wow! This is Crazy!! What direspect this dude don't care about anything outside of what he wants!! A 56 yr. Old spoil brat.....ugh ididot!!

    April 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  13. Tope Edun

    It always like that . when the wind of change blows some people receives it cold while other got it hot or warm...it is just a matter of time . He is gonna change his mind . Lets take it easy on him .

    April 3, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  14. John

    The doctor obviously is unable to think clearly when he displays that sign and then denies he is turning away people for political reasons. The doctor is violating the AMA code, and should be scanctioned by the AMA. If he cannot understand the nature of his own actions, then is he able to make sound judgements concerning patients, Obama voters in particular?

    April 3, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  15. Kelly

    I question the doctor's mental health status. Although many of us may not like legislation that effects our daily business we certainly do not take actions that would jeopardize our livelihood (anger our customers) and bring unneeded scrutiny into our lives. (by a licensing board) What is interesting is that he chooses to direct his anger at his patients; blaming and ultimately punishing them for the outcome.

    April 3, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  16. Carla

    The doc just disrepected himself and his profession.

    My doctor does not mix politics with his profession, he focuses on his patients.

    A family member was in the Bush administration.......first hand I know how hard they work.

    Matter's not the party, most give the role their very best effort, hopefully the Doc will do the same.

    I disagree with some laws, but why be so childish?
    Perhaps the doc needs a really good doc?

    April 3, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  17. JPGob

    I know several private practice doctors who are upset about the health care legislation – and they are informed way more than I am. The bottom line is these doctors have either stopped taking medicaid or have limited the number of medicaid patients they can see because, as one doctor put it, "I lose $30 on every medicaid patient I see". They are concerned that the forced health care will affect their livelihood.

    I think Dr. Cassell's actions were reckless and will cause him more problems than it was worth. I think he will be tested no on his assertion that he won't turn anyone away. He'll have crazies from the left going there just to make a point and be vocal and vicious and he'll have to make a decision whether to treat them or ask them to leave. My guess is tha he'll bite and ask them to leave and then be in big do-do.

    April 3, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  18. Beth

    Healthcare ....ends in CARE. This doctor obviously does not care about the Hippocratic oath that he took when obtaining his license. As a healthcare professional, we are bound to taking care of anyone in need, regardless of religious & political beliefs or socioeconomic status. Shame on him. Hopefully his patient base decreases to the point where he does not have to worry about treating Obama voters–or anyone else for that matter.

    April 3, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  19. Laura

    I would not seek this man as a doctor, and not for political reasons.

    He came across as stupid, arrogant, dismissive of some people, and as a result, I have to question whether he has enough intelligence, compassion, and integrity to adequately treat people.

    April 3, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  20. Luis Torres

    Finally a Dr. who stand up for what he believes in. Good for him for making a point of the ridiculous ObamaCare. I wish there were more Drs. making a statement. He clearly did not violate any ethics as Dr. What he is doing is not illegal, He is just expressing his opinion and making a point. Not refusing pt care.
    Hopefully he will inspire other physicians to make pts aware of devastating changes to come.
    In 4 years if you get dx with cancer and need a specific chemo tx. Your Dr. will have to call the goverment to approve your treatment. Do you know how long is going to take for them to respond? You may never know because you may be dead by the time they reply.
    So I ask you. Are you doing something about it? or just sitting there like the rest for a scary future. At least Dr. Cassell is doing something... ...

    April 3, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  21. George

    Having always had respect for the medical profession, I cannot believe what I heard from Mr. Jack Cassell. He should never be allowed to pratcice anywhere. Just when I believed that United States was headed in the direction of other advanced countries, towards universal health care, out comes this person.

    American students who study aboard, travelling without health insurance, have often been treated by their advanced host countries without charge. Surely Americans want no less for their all citizens.

    April 3, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  22. Patricia

    The doctor is a mover. What a clever man he is. How many of us out there are thinking the same thing? How is this "rushed" National Health "dare" Plan going to truly pay for itself? Dr. Cassell is the only one right now who is making us think of how a socialistic health dare plan is going to effect our freedom to choose and practice medicine in a democracy.... Dr. Cassell keep your private practice and your freedom of speech. Keep us informed! Communication,communication,communication! Remember it only takes one person to make a difference, and if Caesar Chavez could do it then you will too!

    April 3, 2010 at 3:55 am |
  23. J.V.Hodgson

    This man ( calling him a Doctor of Medicine is an insult to his profession as a whole) who has a Phd does have the right to freedom of speech.
    So my challenge to his integrity, profession, Hypocratic oath and his Professional bodies ethical guidelines ( and to the blogger who says he thinks many practitioners don't know all those ethical rules, the answer is you are bound by them because just like the law ignorance is no excuse!!) Is why do you choose to write INSTEAD OF SPEAK YOUR VIEWS? Which equals to me having the courage of your convictions.
    Hiding behind a piece of paper is the action at least of a disingenuos person to be kind, or of coward.
    The whole tenor of your defence Including that of freedom of speech is an insult to your intelligence and those of your colleagues.
    Since when can an outright denial of any persons equally inalienable and constitutional right of equality allow you on political grounds to tell them to go elsewhere? It is clear you have no respect for those with whom you disagree.
    This is a major problem in America today, a total lack of civility and respect for those who do not share your specific opinion.
    Dr Cassell. A very famous Philosopher once said: " I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend until death your right to say it".
    Dont WRITE it SAY it to your patients or potential patients ( voters) Republican and Democrat alike who I heard some (R'S) voted for Obama!!
    Left to me, you would be booted from a truly great profession, for at least the next 5 Years for this outrageous act. You cannot possibly be a true christian either.

    April 3, 2010 at 3:33 am |
  24. Ann

    This story is absolutely astounding! Since when does a "professional" do such a repugnant thing??? It has nothing to do with free speech. Too many people of evil character are hiding behind the "free speech" issue – as if ANYTHING GOES – NO MATTER WHAT! Well, first I hope his landlord kicks him out for causing an adverse image to his property; then, I hope he is stripped of his medical degree & liscense to practice!!! It is stressful enough for men & women to undergo a urological visit – the last thing anyone needs is more stress up on that table.

    April 3, 2010 at 3:30 am |
  25. Abi E

    Seriously folks, do you honestly think he is checking voter registration records before he sees a patient? Don't ask don't tell. This is just his way of exercising free speech. And I doubt people are staying away as a Urology Office is usually appointment only and he would notice any no shows.

    April 3, 2010 at 3:20 am |
  26. Rob

    I am a Canadian an am really surprised at the negative attitudes against the Health Care. We have a great system here and without it I wouldn't be alive without it.
    There are so many scare tactics being put out by Dr's, pharmaceutical companies and Insurance companies it's sickening. I would contend that most of all the negative things written on Blogs like this are people who belong in one of those three groups.
    To the comment from Barbara from IL. You are saying that Dr's and Clinics will have the right to not see you if they don't like your insurance company. Well there are a lot of insurance companies right now that you can only go to certain Dr's and clinics. Plus there are also so many people out there that can't afford insurance that they have no one to be able to go to unless they have the money. So what is better the ability to see some Dr's or none at all.
    I am a Conservative here in Canada and am shocked at the Republicans. How can you not vote for your constituents being healthy and living longer so they can vote for you.
    Some of you really confuse me on your thinking.

    April 3, 2010 at 3:01 am |
  27. lauragsinclair

    How dare we critizice one of the only Presidents to receive the Noble Peace Prize so soon in his service! I love you President Obama! You show it and do something about it! Continue the good work we can all be proud of!

    April 3, 2010 at 2:58 am |
  28. Dr Lyn Pestana

    Mr Cassel's doesn't deserve the title of physician. As a physician
    who voted for Obama, I would gladly serve with love and
    compassion any human being who enters my clinic. Be they
    Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green etc. My only
    duty is to alleviate suffering and hopefully heal the sick.
    This so called doctor is a embarrassment to my profession.
    He should remove his shingle and label himself as what he
    really is – A quack.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:56 am |
  29. lauragsinclair

    The administrators of the South Hadley High School should be ashamed of them selves! Resign now and hire people who care.Did they not learn from years ago, when that woman died while all those people ignored her sceams for help? Have we not evolved after all those years? How long will it take for us to learn? How many more inocent deaths? These our leaders we should look up to? I am so sad about another useless death.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  30. Robbie

    I believe this man is immoral and unethical. He doesn't say anything
    about the healthcare plan. The message is that if you supported the President he doesn't want you as a patient. This is one good example of why it's better that you don't have to declare to everyone in the country who you're voting for. I would leave his door and never return. I don't know how you could feel safe – he might not like your religion – or someone else in your family

    April 3, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  31. sue

    Stand up for America!!! Thank you Doctor.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:38 am |
  32. elizabeth

    this doctor needs his license yanked!!! do you mean to tell me no republican voted for this law? why do they blame Obama? this should NOT be about political parties, but about the people. please think about the people who clean the restaurants you eat at, the nursing homes your parents are staying, the schools your children attend. they may not get the same kind of insurance you have, but this is a start. WHY CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG?

    April 3, 2010 at 2:33 am |
  33. Chris Schupp

    The key thing to watch for is the Doctors wording of the sign he put up in his window. He did not say "People who voted for Obama will not be seen/treated." All I can see is he gave his future/current patients an ultimatum. No where does it say a certain race or gender is not allowed to get his care. We the people have the choice to choose our doctors. My opinion is my opinion. Bottom line is this is not Illegal, boarderline yes, Illegal? no.

    God bless our military men and women.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:32 am |
  34. M. Hendeson

    Sometimes I think individuals go just a little bit too far with the "fredom of speech" excuse for saying whatever comes to their mind. Some of the thoughtless remarks that are being accepted makes me wonder how far people are going to go before something is done to stop the outrageous insults. The AMA should never tolerate a sign being displayed that discourages patients from entering a medical facility.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:31 am |
  35. Sherry

    There are many of us disappointed Democrats out there. We just don't like what the administration is doing . This isn't Democracy. I understand the doctor, and it has nothing to do with racism. We're angry because we're not being heard and the administration is doing what they want to do, but not what we want.


    • When we are trillions in debt, borrow more.
    • When the jobs are gone, bring more goods from overseas.
    • When our soldiers are attacked at home (Ft. Hood), bring over more radicals through an executive order signed by the president on February 1, 2009.
    • When all thoughts and innovation drifted to other countries, cut education. After all to keep an autocracy, one must assure that the population consists of idiots.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:28 am |
  36. sue

    The Doctor has the right to freedom of speech Just like all of you getting on line calling This man a loser. Maybe we should be looking closer at this health care bill. I back him and America, Land of the Free!!! No goverment should be able to pass a bill this big with out a vote from the people.. WHY ARE THEY NOT WORRIED ABOUT JOBS IN THE USA.


    April 3, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  37. Sue

    After watching this "doctor" being interviewed, I wondered how he made it through medical school. As a progressive, I've had a lot of debates with conservative doctors. They were very professional and would never put such a sign in their own doorways. What a sleezeball!

    April 3, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  38. Tina

    Physicians spend eleven to seventeen plus years of their lives post-high school in education and grueling training and sacrifice invaluable time with their families and friends in order to help others and provide for your health. This physician is trying to provide some stimulus to people to actually inform themselves about the Obama health plan first-hand rather than just learning about it from misleading headlines and politically skewed rhetoric. Rather than passing judgment and jumping on the bandwagon of hate and mean politics, just do yourselves a favor, read the plan, and come up with your own informed conclusion. Rep. Grayson is not looking out for his constituents; he is just inflaming the situation and playing mean politics. He should spend his time actually helping, not hating.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  39. Robert

    Im sick of doctors taking advantage of medicare, i cant believe that these people get rich on it and still complain about getting more.
    The average salary for a doctor in the US is over $200,000, yet they still want more.
    Ive yet to meet a poor doctor in the US.
    I hope they do everything they can do to stop this doctor from practicing.
    One would think a dotor would be smarter then that to put a sign like that up.
    Lets hope the AMA will do something, but I will not count on it.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  40. April

    This is clearly unethical no matter how he tries to wiggle his way out of this. His number one priority should be helping patients not playing sides in the political arena. Doctors still take the Hippocratic Oath don’t they? I hope he gets his license pulled!

    April 3, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  41. KARYNE

    U.S is not the only and first country to make health care affordable to its citizens. For instance, France and Canada have great medical care for everyone. We elect leaders to solve problems, U.S. health care was a problem that needed to be fixed, the Obama bill is not perfect but it is much better than nothing. We need to come as a nation to go over our differences about this.
    Karyne Pompilus

    April 3, 2010 at 2:21 am |
  42. John Weldon

    I wanted to comment on the dr with the note telling voters to go away if the voted for Obama. I live in the south and there is convience stores down here that say no shoes or shirt no service. He is not being racist in any way he is just stating his dislike for the for the the new health care plan. He is just exercising his right of free speech.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:20 am |
  43. Karie H.

    I understand his disgust at what has occurred with the Obama administration and the health care reform. He has the right to say what he feels and you as a patient have the right to either continue to seek his care or not. He's not denying anyone care. He simply wants his patients to know how he feels about Obamacare, afteral, Obama used doctors for photo ops and made claims about doctors agreeing with him.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  44. pasquale

    This doctor should be more focused in his patients needs than who his patients voted for. what happen to just doing your job.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  45. Ally

    Hysterical how the congressman tried to spin this as a race issue...unbelievable!!!

    April 3, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  46. Debbie

    First of all, that sign is NOT helping his cause. A letter explaining why or how this healthcare bill is harming America would be helpful. But I am sure he has NO clue, just following the lies that are being told on the talk shows.
    Second, the man maybe a Dr. but I think he will need a good lawyer to get him out of this one. How soon do you think it will be before the first malpractice suit if filed against him by someone CLAIMING they were treated wrong or misdiagnosed because he found out about their political beliefs. I think the good doc just committed career suicide.
    Not to mention his employee can now claim undue stress in the work place.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  47. pasquale

    This doctor should be more focused in his patients needs than who his patients voted for. what happen to just doin your job.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  48. E. J. McElhaney

    Dr. Cassels displays two big American problems:
    1. Disrespect for our duelly elected President
    2. Selfishness that has become ingrained in our medical system.
    His arrogance is a big part of the very reason that we have been demanding change in the system.
    (independent voter with a wait-and-see attitude)

    April 3, 2010 at 2:17 am |
  49. tmacka

    If I were his patient, I would actually be glad that he demonstrated his quackiness so openly so that I could seek more competent care. What is he afraid of? Probably his beloved profit margin! Hope his stupidity hurts his business. Wish I lived nearby, I'd picket his office for being un- American, completely against democracy and the idea that everyone should be treated equally.

    April 3, 2010 at 2:17 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6