"Docs4PatientCare.org is a politically neutral grassroots coalition of physicians. Use of any politically partisan terms does not reflect the position of Docs4PatientCare.org. We do encourage our speakers to express how they feel and we post articles based on their informative content only. Any politically partisan language used does not reflect the group as a whole. Specific party or political allegiances and opposition are not our intent. The goal of D4PC is only to advocate for effective and responsible health care reform."
The American Thinker published a new article on June 30th detailing the comments of a surgeon to his friend (the author). The subject was the surgeon's commentary on ObamaCare which detailed the benefits of a free-market health care system:
The unelected American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (ABIMF) and its unelected proxies are working hard to get doctors to implement the health law by encouraging them not to diagnose their patients too often. The foundation's "Choosing Wisely" campaign is framed as a voluntary program to encourage doctors to cut down on "unnecessary medical tests."
It is designed to give the doctor's seal of approval to Obamacare's practice guidelines and rationing. And it's the blueprint for the campaign ABIMF is underwriting to get doctors to change how they practice medicine in order to bring about the Obamacare revolution.
Although a focus on readmissions may have good face validity, we believe that policymakers' emphasis on 30-day readmissions is misguided, for three reasons. First, the metric itself is problematic: only a small proportion of readmissions at 30 days after initial discharge are probably preventable, and much of what drives hospital readmission rates are patient- and community-level factors that are well outside the hospital's control. Furthermore, it is unclear whether readmissions always reflect poor quality: high readmission rates can be the result of low mortality rates or good access to hospital care. Second, although improving discharge planning and care coordination is a laudable goal, there are better, more targeted policies that are more likely to be effective in achieving it. Finally, because hospitals are expending so much energy on reducing readmissions, they have probably forgone quality-improvement efforts related to more urgent issues, such as patient safety. An evidence-based, holistic approach to quality improvement is far more likely to achieve what policymakers, clinicians, and the public all want: better care at lower cost.
The Obama re-election campaign is mailing out fliers championing his health-care law as a great benefit to women. Sorry: It diminishes women’s freedom and privacy.
The Obama law vastly expands the president’s power over your insurance plan, your doctors’ decisions and your medical records. Not just this president’s power, but every future president. Why are women’s rights advocates so sure they’ll always agree with the person occupying the White House?
Dr. Kenneth Fisher, MD - the President of D4PCs Michigan Chapter - has a new article in which he explains that policymakers focus on healthcare is all wrong. He makes the case that healthcare policy should strive to put patients, not the government, at the center of every healthcare decision.
Advocates of government run healthcare often overlook the fact that there are tremendous non-monetary costs for the policies that they advocate and that those costs have to be born by individuals and the nation as a whole. As Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute notes, "in the end, that very government guarantee ends up leaving people with less purchasing power and undermining the market’s ability to discover cost-saving innovations that bring better health care within the reach of the needy." In addition, government run healthcare tramples on the rights of doctors, nurses and patients.
Dr. Paul Hsieh, a member of D4PC's Colorado chapter, has written an analysis of RomneyCare and how the law includes a series of price controls. Admittedly, Hsieh writes, these price controls may not have been evident when RomneyCare first took effect but over time their impact demonstrates RomneyCare has resulted in price controls.
Ronald Reagan once said that "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: 'If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.'"
Dr. Ha Scherz's latest op-ed was featured on FoxNews.com today, and his perspective is frightening:
"If you have been watching the unraveling of our economy over the past several weeks, then what is coming very soon to health care should really get your attention. The financial world has reacted negatively and punished us for the misguided policies of President Obama and his economic team.
"Simply substitute Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former White House budget direct Peter Orszag with CMS director Donald Berwick, and economic advisor Larry Summers with health care adviser Nancy Ann Deparle, and you get an idea of the types of individuals and the level of competence of those who are now at the helm of the health care system."
Today the Washington Times featured a story by Docs 4 Patient Care member Dr. Mark Neerhof:
"In a chapter titled 'Who, Whom?' from his classic book 'The Road to Serfdom,' F. A. Hayek warned of the universal problem of a socialist society: 'Who plans whom, who directs and dominates whom, who assigns to other people their station in life, and who is to have his due allotted by others?'
"The budget battle currently under way in Washington is about much more than money and debt. It is about who we are as a people and what we are to become. This struggle is epitomized in the discussion over Medicare..."
Read the full article here.
"'With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery,'" said Paul (R-Ky.), who is an ophthalmologist.
"Paul, who is the [Senate HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging] ranking member, said he believed that the notion of expanding federally funded community health centers to ensure that everyone had a 'right' to care was not constitutional and would enslave doctors. Doctors, he said, should care for patients because of their own moral code."
Read the full article here.
Analysis of the problems with the two main proposals for bringing down health care costs from the National Center for Policy Analysis. Bottom line: they won't.
"...let me be the first to open Pandora’s box and reveal three unpleasant truths.
"First, health care spending is growing at twice the rate of growth of our income — clearly an unsustainable and undesirable spending path.
"Second, any plan to reduce the growth rate of federal spending on health care without doing something about health care spending as a whole will necessarily shift costs — to the elderly, to the poor, to state governments, and to anybody other than the federal government.
"Third, neither party is offering a serious plan to control health care spending as a whole..."
Read the full column here.
Docs 4 Patient Care is carefully watching the situation in Vermont, where the state legislature has now passed a controversial plan to implement a government-run health care system. We will keep you informed as this situation continues to progress, but it appears that the governor will sign it.
"Major health reform legislation working its way through the Vermont Legislature has won final approval in the Senate, with the House expected to follow suit.
"The bill would put Vermont on a path toward universal health care, but it leaves until later several major decisions about how the program will work.
"Among them: how the system will be paid for, what benefits it will offer, and whether illegal immigrants will be covered by it..."
Read the AP story here, or a more complete article on Medscape.com (registration required).
A sad, if ironic, story from Britain. A former director of the British National Health Services -- Britain's version of government-run health care -- died following a stomach surgery that was postponed for nine months.
"Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
"But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.
"Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust - the organisation where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors."
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