Very recently, Dr. Hal Scherz asked some tough questions that the American people should expect and deserve to have answered. The op-ed can be viewed here.
I forwarded this piece to may people, apologizing In Advance to three - who had told me 1. They had been "Offended" by some of my emails, or 2. Told me not to write again, or 3. Had told me they were Socialists. I wrote that this was sent in the interests of education. Read one interchange:
"Surprise this is not educational!! Where is the information about a new idea about how to deal with insurance and health care. It is blackballing someone that the republicants don’t like. You think the doctor patient relationship hasn’t ALREADY changed in the last 10 years? Of course it has. This isn’t news. And what is part of the problem, lawsuits and insurance, and what else? You tell me you are the one in the trenches here? Instead of blaming, and calling people names, come up with a solution. Bob Perry, one of the main contributors to this group is a flaming Bushite builder from Texas, a huge anti Obama money man for the republicant party.
Everyone agrees healthcare is a mess. There’s a start. What is going on with insurance and health care did not just start last year when Obama took over. It has been a mess, it is a disaster. So what’s the solution? You’re a doctor, you’re smart let’s hear one idea, all I ever hear from republicants is negative blaming. Like one guy is the problem?! The insurance companies are a huge part of this difficulty.
Tell me your idea for a solution. What’s one good idea that YOU have about how to handle health care and take care of the poor so that the emergency care isn’t where they go for help? Stop talking about who and start talking about what. If you have that idea, call your newly elected tea party representative and get him to fight for it. Put that IDEA out in the newspaper. Wouldn’t it be great if people were spreading ideas instead of hate and propaganda? We might not agree, but at least there would be ideas instead of this hate propaganda."
My response: "I have many surprises in store for you -
1. In a Blog I have been writing since March or April, where I name names and 'call out' members of BOTH parties.
2. To tell you that I have been involved in trying to change things and prevent harm since 1984. (A major medical precept is "above all do no harm.") So - talking about real problems IS important - as well as asking for solutions.
3. H.W. Bush did have solutions I agreed with (as does John Goodman, (NCPA). Republicans have been pushing them since then (I deal with this in my Blog - HSA's, Medisave accounts, Tax equity, allowing the severing of insurance ownership from employment, so you own your personal health insurance just like you own your car insurance policy, etc.).
4. I did not write the Hal Scherz Op Ed, and he did not write it because he hates Democrats. Neither he nor I distributed it because we hate Democrats - although Democrats may have that knee jerk response. Now, having said that, it has been the Democrats who have stymied the ideas in #3 - esp. Ted Kennedy. Are you aware that as of July 1 you need prescriptions to use an HSA account to purchase NON-prescription medication? THAT is Obamacare and it is there to STOP HSA's and Kill that free market idea.
My first ten years in practice, if a patient told me there was a financial problem paying the usual charge, I told them 'Pay What they could Afford' - even if it was nothing. That was what the free market permitted - then. No longer.
The Feds are the reason I am leaving practice VERY soon. I won't be saving any more lives by finding very early melanomas, but I hope to help to save proper health care.
Read my Blogs and then see if you are still so angry. www.Takebackmedicine.com/Truthserum
See the one titled "Infamous Quotes and Anecdotes: Naming Names" and you will see it is non-partisan - in spite of possible preconceptions. There is also one devoted to GOOD IDEAS, as well as educational ones about PROBLEMS. If no one realizes there are problems, there will be no pressure to FIX them.
As planned and designed, Obamacare is beginning to devolve into a single, Government-run health plan, with rationing at its core. Watch this:
Call it what you will (In Government, names are frequently changed to protect the guilty) – Universal Health Care, Single Payor, or Public Option – this will be Socialized Medicine with all of its warts left intact and untreated.
A Democrat who is not toeing the party line, “Gov. Phil Bredesen, D-Tenn., said the economics of dropping coverage are "about to become very attractive to many employers, both public and private." * “Bredesen said last week that employers could save big money by dropping their health plans and sending workers to buy coverage in the exchange. They'd face a fine of $2,000 per worker, but that's still way less than the cost of providing health insurance. Employers could even afford to give workers a raise and still come out ahead, Bredesen wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.”
The government-generated, flawed system of employer-based coverage, in place for over 50 years, has grossly interfered with the free market. It has created perverse incentives by having us spend other peoples’ money all too freely on medical care, thereby driving up costs.
Employer-based coverage is all but dead in the water. It is the proverbial “Dead Man Walking.” Now is the time for a ‘ALL Good Parties’ to ‘come to the Aid of their Men’ – you, me, and every other American. We can use Obamacare as a golden opportunity to reverse this artificially skewed ‘marketplace – If we get a real Conservative majority in place in D.C. Then we could accomplish what Bush senior wanted to do when he was President, and establish Medisave Accounts in conjunction with tax equity. This would allow us to return to a free market in health care by leveling the playing field so everyone wold have the same tax advantage when purchasing heath care – not just employees. At the same time, we must ensure freedom from government restrictions on personal heath care expenditures.
We all need insurance. The vast majority of Americans cannot afford the big ticket items attached to catastrophic health care costs. Whenever a third party pays, as they must in those cases, there will be oversight. Since third parties always drive up costs, we should essay to avoid these middlemen for most routine care. We can – but the Democrats have successfully kept us from doing so because they want to control everything.
Saturday, October 23, there was a Town Hall meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, discussing the Health Care Freedom Act (Arizona SB 106), which would keep us from being forced into any specific insurance plan. Its author, Dr. Eric Novack, chaired the meeting. As luck would have it, a gentleman who Dr. Novack has debated from time to time was in attendance.
I found it remarkable that this man (‘Peter’) actually said that he trusted Government to look out for our best interests more than insurance companies. In the same breath, he admitted that he did not think people should be able to spend their own money on health care! (That remark did not sit well with the audience. Their gasps spoke volumes.)
I imagine Peter believes health care is a 'Right.' I wonder how he mentally squares that philosophy with a mindset forbidding one to spend hard-earned personal funds in the interests of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness??” (Many years ago, I queried former Az. Sate Senator, Dennis De Concini, about government control of health care. Mr. De Concini asked me if I felt “People should be left to fend for themselves?” Clearly, he, Obama, Clinton, and many Liberals think Government needs to do it all. They DO want to keep us from spending our money on our health care!)
There really are Collectivists who truly feel this way, as Dr. Novack wrote in a personal communication: “the thing about the No on 106 group is that, once you peel away the arguments that they have simply made up out of thin air, they are more than happy to talk about their real goals... an America where every health care decision and every health care dollar belongs in the hands of politicians, their cronies, and 'smart people', all of who believe they know more about your life than you do...”
How would I change the Medical Insurance markets if I were King? As per Dr. John Goodman (National Center for Policy Analysis), I would create Tax Equity, eliminating cost-savings for employer-sponsored health insurance. We would own our own insurance policies, and no one would lose their insurance if they changed jobs. I would remove Democrat restrictions on Medisave accounts. These would accrue interest tax free (when or economy recovers under a free market system), with those monies used for day to day expenses while allowing us to purchase inexpensive, high deductible, catastrophic policies.
I would enable us to purchase insurance across state lines. I would eliminate the McCarron-Ferguson Act, so insurance companies can no longer collude legally. We can provide vouchers and refundable deductibles under such a Medisave system for those who need a safety net. [Yes, I believe (as I think most of us do) that we need to help SOME Americans.]
All these changes would foster competition, and help reduce costs, while avoiding one-size-fits-no-one Government control by statistical bean counters who will ration our care by means of unaccountable Death Panels.
This system would still not provide everything for everyone - but it would be a lot better than the current plan.
I can see November from my New House. I hope.
· Will New Health Care Law Put Job-Based Coverage at Risk?
Ricardo Alonso- Zaldivar
I thank all of you who are commenting on my recent Blogs.
It is not necessary to engage your patients in political conversations as you treat them. One of the reasons I have been writing these blogs is so that I can refer my patients to them and let them inform themselves by reading what I have written.
Hand out a single sheet - Yourself - to your patients (as I do). Ask Them to please read it. YOU matter. They will more likely read it if YOU are involved than if you leave it to your staff. You don't have to write much of anything yourselves. Simply INCLUDE THE WEB Address TO Takebackmedicine.com/Truthserum.
How difficult is that?
More Blogs to come.
This poem was written a good many years ago. It bears hard on the issue of the ART of Medicine - an absolute necessity for the delivery of Quality Care. This message is quite relevant to the two Blogs I posted yesterday and today.
Unless a doctor's mind is 'engaged,' all his knowledge will not be brought to bear, no matter how encyclopedic it may be.
In the Knowledge
Lies the Skill
In the Freedom
Lies the Art
Lies the Power
In a Prison
Lies a Heart
Cold and still.
Copyright, 1990 Joseph M. Scherzer, M.D.
Being politically active while practicing medicine is fraught with hazard. That is why the majority of physicians remain close-mouthed during this critical time for their profession. Let me provide a few examples.
One new patient walked out after seeing my T Shirt with the 2012 Penny, and heading saying, “Tax for Nothing” (for NOT purchasing health insurance) (AND, simultaneously, “’Thanks’ for Nothing”) – “Obama, We Don’t Want Your Change.”
Another patient (from the UK no less) told me I was being unprofessional, photographed the sign on my door, and walked out. (They were unaware that Governor Jan Brewer had posted a photo of it on her Facebook page months ago.)
For many years I cared for a wonderful fellow who is a local TV weatherman. Long ago, he made it clear that he favors health care for everyone, which he considers a Right. Over the years, we had a number of honest and calm conversations about this issue. Unfortunately, when I posted a sign on my office door saying that, “If you voted for Obamacare, be aware that I will close my doors before it is fully implemented,” he took personal offense.
Upon seeing that message, upset and comfortable, he walked out the day of his appointment this past April. He wrote, informing me he was sorry that he had to discharge himself from my practice. I, in turn, left a phone message telling him I did not accept his discharge, asking him to call back. I pursued this effort several times until he finally did phone me. As luck would have it, his call came while I was riding in a NYC Taxi on my way to the 4/15/10 Tea Party in the Big Apple.
We had a good chat, telling each other that emotions got in the way for both of us. I admitted that if I had to do it again, I would reword my sign, not mentioning anything about those who voted for the health care bill.
A few weeks later, my patient returned to my office only to find himself overcome by feelings of sadness when he saw the sign that remained on my door. By then I had added two T Shirts to my Anti-Obamacare message.
Almost in tears, he told my back office nurse that he was sorry, but he could not stay. A doctor’s office, he said, should be “Like Church” – and politics should be excluded from it.
Little does he know how intensely we both agree. I wrote him, letting him know how sorry I was that we had parted, and that I had been hoping to welcome him back with a great big Man-hug. There has been no further contact.
I can’t help but wonder if any conscientious Pastor would hold his tongue if Uncle Sam told him what sermons he could read – or not - and how much money should be deposited on the Collection Plate.
After many months of angst, I finally sat down to write this story. I could never imagine that, less than 24 hours after I had written the first draft of this Blog, I would come across the following article (herewith presented in its entirety):
Pastors, not the government, should decide when they can speak about candidates from the pulpit
An important moral voice in American public life was muzzled in 1954, and we are still paying the price.
Before 1954, pastors of churches were free to speak out about candidates and political issues whenever they thought it wise to do so, and many did. But in 1954, Congress amended the Internal Revenue Code to restrict the speech of non-profit organizations. This amendment – spearheaded by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas – required churches to refrain from promoting or opposing any political candidate by name. Apparently Johnson had proposed the amendment to “get back” at two non-profit organizations that had vocally opposed his candidacy. His amendment passed on a voice vote without debate.
Since that time, the IRS has insisted that any speech by churches that deals with candidates for political office, including a pastor’s sermon, could result in a church losing its non-profit, tax-exempt status. This law has suppressed the valuable moral guidance that American pulpits could be contributing to our political process.
However, the IRS has never actually followed through on their threat to revoke a church’s tax-exempt status! I think there is a reason for that: They know that the law is unconstitutional.
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Christian legal defense organization, has recently questioned the validity of this IRS policy because they believe that the policy is an unconstitutional violation of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. ADF attorneys believe the Johnson amendment violates the freedom of religion found in the First Amendment by requiring government to excessively and pervasively monitor the speech of churches. By restricting the content of sermons it places a significant burden on a church’s ability to exercise its religion.
The Johnson amendment also violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment because it requires the government to discriminate against speech because of its content. In other words, some speech is allowed, but other speech is not. The U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated this type of speech discrimination for decades. The amendment also violates the Free Speech clause because it conditions the receipt of a tax exemption on refraining from certain types of speech.
ADF is not recommending that pastors should routinely endorse or oppose various candidates in political elections. Many pastors might decide never to do this. But whose decision should it be? There may be times when the moral and religious issues on which candidates differ are so blatant and so clearly supported or opposed by biblical principles that pastors should have the freedom to speak out on various candidates when they believe it is wise for them to do so. The pastor, with wise counsel from mature leaders in the church, should be the one to make that decision. It should not be made by the government.
Last month, on Sept. 26, ADF sponsored the third “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” to directly challenge the Johnson amendment. Dozens of pastors across America preached sermons publicly endorsing or opposing specific candidates and stating from the pulpit why there are biblical and moral grounds on which to base these positions. As in previous years, many of the sermons were then sent to the IRS with a notification that it was the intent of the pastors to challenge the Johnson amendment!
Some Christians might object to intentionally disobeying the IRS regulation in this way. After all, the Bible tells Christians, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1), and therefore Christians generally think they should obey the laws. But in this case, I think these pastors are obeying Romans 13:1. They are being subject to the authority by using the proper legal process to appeal to the highest authority in the land, the Constitution. Because of the peculiar status that tax law has in the United States, bringing such a “test case” is the only effective way that ADF lawyers can challenge the constitutionality of such an IRS rule.
ADF hopes that the IRS will follow through and try to revoke the tax-exempt status of one of these churches. If the IRS does so, ADF will immediately file a lawsuit to test the constitutionality of the Johnson amendment. If this ever comes to trial, ADF attorneys are confident that the amendment will be struck down as unconstitutional.
I agree with this effort and support ADF and these pastors in this challenge. The government should not be dictating to pastors and churches what they can and cannot preach about. Because of the Johnson amendment and an entire atmosphere of fear and excessive caution that have surrounded it, the crucial voice of the church in society has been muzzled for too long. It is time for the courts to overturn this law in accordance with the ringing declaration of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.”
The problem we doctors and patients face is that Politicians and Politics HAVE invaded and defiled the almost sacred setting of the medical office. My view is that I am fulfilling my professional obligations to the fullest as I try to save my valued profession by writing and talking about these problems. By these actions I hope to preserve the best care for my patients – myself included.
I took similar action, on my own recognizance, in the 90’s, when America faced the threat of the Clinton Plan. At that time, some of my colleagues actually complained that I was discussing such issues with patients.
I have quoted Robert Heinlein in the past, but I must do it again since his message is so valuable: As he once wrote, “It is socially unacceptable to be right too early.”
There are times when we NEED to be right ‘too early.’ This was one of them.
In many respects, the current health plan is worse than the one the Clintons promulgated. Now, face to face with the demise of private practice and individuation of care, more doctors are finally speaking out about Obamacare. [You may have read a Wall St. Journal opinion piece by Dr. Hal Scherz (no relation) titled, “Dear Patients: Vote to Repeal Obamacre” (9/1/10, P. A15).]
Fellow Physicians, during WWII, many Jews and Christians alike risked their lives – and many lost them – to save Jews from the Gas Chamber. Is it asking too much to risk losing some patients to save our Profession?
A former member of the AAPS, Nino Camerdese, M.D., whose memory I cherish (although I have not seen him for over15 years), escaped from Mussolini’s grasp, immigrated to America, and fought for Private Practice for many years as he watched American Medicine go “to Hell in Cadillacs” (his own words).
Doctors, YOU KNOW what is at risk, while most of your patients are untutored or even duped by government lies. It is FAR from EARLY.
Where do you stand?
A little over a week ago, the Arizona Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons met in Phoenix to hear what an attorney from the Goldwater institute discuss Obamacare. He spoke about lawsuit which have been initiated against the bill, the prospects for defunding, repealing or defeating the bill, as well as what some if its provisions might mean to all of us.
In the Goldwater Institute’s own words, “Why Are We Suing? – President Obama’s health care bill represents the greatest expansion of federal involvement in medicine since the creation of Medicaid and Medicare. If left unchallenged, the health care bill redefines some provisions of [the] US Constitution that have existed for more than 220 years. There will be virtually no limits on the power of Congress and federal agencies to control the lives of individual Americans."
During the discussion, the Goldwater attorney expounded upon those last two sentences – the last one in particular. He did not mince words.
The health care bill, we were informed, has been designed in such a way that Congress has a mere Two Week Window to vote DOWN a most singular provision in the bill. The time slot for that window has also been crafted to occur at a very inopportune time for such a vote.
Congress, which usually moves very slowly (if it is not gridlocked), needs to know what I am about to share. We – and THEY – must be sure it does not become law.
If Obama has his way, his bill will establish a 16-man board, immune from Judicial or Congressional review, which can make any rules it so chooses.
ANY RULES. Not just those pertaining to Health Care. Its powers would be plenary.
Emphasizing his concern, our speaker used the phrase, “Tiananmen Square,” to make his fears crystal clear.
Let your Senators and Congressmen know YOU know about this provision in the ‘health care’ bill – and vote out ANYONE who voted Obamacare IN.
To their credit, Arizona Congressmen Jeff Flake, Trent Franks, and John Shadegg are among the plaintiffs in the Goldwater suit V. Obamacare.
Maybe the new Congress will read a bill before voting on it.
If there IS a New Congress.
For more information about the Goldwater Institute’s challenge, contact Le Templar, Communications Director, at Itemplar@goldwaterinstitute.org
Or (602) 462-5000, X 228.
In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I would like to dedicate this poem to survivors of all kinds - everywhere.
I place my fingers on the scars you bear
And lovingly caress them where
Your nipples, tensioned, rested
On the softest sacrements of womanhood
Before the scythe removed them
All but memory
But memory will do
Constricted by your fate
And late at night
We hold the world away
Within our arms,
Love locking in
The joys we share
And out the cares
We gently bear
Copyright, Joseph M. Scherzer, M.D.
I am borrowing heavily from a column written by Dr. Eric Novack (ObamaCare: The Used Car Contract of Lawmaking, 923/10), the author of Arizona’s Health Care Freedom Act, which will be on the November 2nd ballot in Arizona (Proposition 106). If passed, it would insure a basic right to spend your own money on legitimate, legal health services.
According to Dr. Novack, “Buried deep in the 2,400 pages of the President and Democrats’ health care bill, in the fine print of ObamaCare - in Section 2713, to be exact, is a “no cost sharing” provision for preventative health services. That piece of the new health care law, which went into effect September 23rd, drastically curtails patients’ ability to spend their own money for legal health care services.
“No cost sharing” is yet another way ObamaCare seizes control of health care decisions away from patients, families and their doctors and places it in the hands of obscure, unelected bodies.
When Dr. Novack sparred with Texas Democrat Gene Green about such issues, Rep. Green stood up for limiting patients’ ability to spend their own money on health care. That same “government knows best” perspective has been echoed time and again. [Years ago, soon after the Feds forced price-fixed fees on doctors, requiring us to bill Medicare directly and accept its payment (while threatening us with Draconian fines for failing to honor and obey novel ‘Rubik’s Cube’ puzzling rules), former Senator Dennis DeConcini (D- Az.) told me the same thing in a private meeting. He didn’t think patients (Us) should ‘fend for themselves’ - Ed.]
A spokesperson for the opposition to Dr. Novack’s Arizona Prop 106, “when asked point blank, “Do you believe that the government or a private health insurance company should have the right to prevent American families from spending their own money to get access to legal health care services?” said “yes” “– without hesitation.
“Think about what such an edict might mean for your health care future.
“With out-of-pocket spending banned, an extra preventative test recommended by a doctor or desired by a patient might not meet the guidelines created by Washington bureaucrats. End result? You’re banned by federal law from getting the test, even if you’re willing to pay for it [per Dr. Novack’s read of Obamacare – Ed.].
“Meanwhile, doctors who accept so much as a single dollar could well face career-ending federal investigations under the guise of government cracking down on “fraud and abuse.” Access to personalized, patient-centered care could also be dealt a death blow.
“Efforts like the Arizona proposition and similar constitutional amendment votes in Colorado and Oklahoma should clarify the legal standing and the intent of those who believe health care decisions belong to patients, and politicians.
“As for the President and his allies, proudly touting the “great deal” they struck on health care while hiding the fine print, the American public continues to see through the hype. “”
In case you still doubt Dr. Novack, there is a CAP on how much one can spend personally on health care: $5000 per year for individuals, and $10,000 a year for families.
Preventing us from spending our own funds on our personal health care is exactly what the Clinton plan attempted to do. Over 15 years ago, the Wall St. Journal published a letter to the editor of mine about the shameful bureaucratic sham that was the Clintons’ “Universal Coverage” plan. (Obama calls it ‘The Public Option.’ )
Some option. No wonder the Democrats are running for cover about this hidden lack of Coverage. The ‘covers’ are coming OFF.
I asked then, and I ask now, “Is this the American Way?”
You know the answer.
Vote Them OUT in November.
For our Health.
If you have not read Glenn Beck’s book, “The Overton Window,’ you are thinking, “What on earth is he talking about?” You have no clue. I will explain. But, before I do, let me tell you why I thought of it.
Yesterday, a patient asked me why on earth would recent articles suggest that women refrain from breast self-examinations? Until today, I hadn’t realized that the explanation had been provided by Beck in his recent novel. But first, this.
A few weeks ago, I attended a fundraiser luncheon (in Arizona) for Carly Fiorina, who is trying to oust Barbara Boxer (D) from her California Senate seat. I was incredibly impressed with Fiorina; she has poise, a wonderful business background that can be put to use to try to staunch the fiscal hemorrhage in D.C., the brains to accomplish it, and gumption, to boot. I really liked her answer to a question about HOW can we truly reduce the burden of bureaucracy? The answer, in part, would be to publicize the budgets for agencies, to see where there are duplicative and/or excessive services, and to CUT them. But I digress.
What impressed me above all was this. Carly told us, very matter of factly, that After she decided to run for the Senate, and two weeks following a Negative mammogram, she found a lump in her breast. She subsequently underwent surgery and chemo for the breast cancer she discovered on her own. In spite of this setback, after talking the matter over with her husband, she decided to continue her bid for the senate – because it was that important for the country.
She knows that the reason our country is suggesting we don’t need to perform routine mammograms as early as age 40 is for budgetary reasons. Carly knows better than to allow herself to be a statistic, and I daresay she will fight for the right for anyone who feels the same way. As for the ‘unnecessary trauma’ that some bureaucrat suggested would accrue to women ‘subjecting’ themselves to self-examination, she adroitly commented, “I can handle the trauma!” That produced a good laugh from the audience.
Why, though, should the government be arguing Against self-examinations? There is no cost involved. Not directly. The answer is “The Overton Window.”
“The concept of the Overton Window was first developed in the mid-1990s by Joe Overton of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy” (From “An Introduction to the Overton Window of Political Possibilities” By Nathan J. Russell | Jan. 4, 2006). Some now call his thesis the "Overton Window of Political Possibilities." In essence, if one views Political philosophy as a spectrum, running along a sliding scale from left to right, there is a narrow ‘reference frame’ (the “Window”) positioned somewhere along this spectrum. While one cannot shift public opinion or perception from one extreme to the other all at once, by education one can reposition this frame of reference bit by bit, so that public opinion can slowly be moved closer to the acceptance of a different understanding and/or viewpoint. Once PUBLIC perception has shifted, astute Politicians, who know how far they can ‘push the envelope,’ will be more willing to acquiesce to that reframed perception.
How does this bear on a Federal Agency’s admonition against breast self-examinations? In my view, it helps shift the public toward the acceptance of less testing. The suggestion ‘nudges’ the window a bit.
Carly Fiorina understands this. VERY well.
Let me close by adding more names to the list of doctors running for office:
Dr. Joe Heck, from Nevada, is running for the House.
Charles Boustany, MD (R-LA, District 7, a cardiac surgeon) is running to continue serving in the House.
This is truly a Revolutionary moment in our country’s history. Be There for it.
I am asking that those of you who read this Blog help make it and the last two go VIRAL.
To Our Health.
Last week, I posted a Blog titled “Paying Doctors for Quality.” Today, this message arrived via email from the American Academy of Dermatology: (I will refrain from using all the expletives that come to mind when I read this ‘hogwash.’)
“Massachusetts Reviving Plans To Revamp Payments For Doctors, Hospitals.
The Boston Globe (9/27, Kowalczyk) reports that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's (D) administration "is reviving the state's ambitious plan to change how doctors and hospitals are paid, aiming to hand the Legislature a specific proposal by Jan. 1 and end months of disagreement over how to control health care spending." The state secretary of HHS convened a meeting earlier this month to draft a blueprint for "scrapping" the current "fee for service" system, in which "doctors and hospitals are typically paid a negotiated fee for every procedure and visit." This system "is widely viewed as lacking coordination and encouraging unnecessary tests and procedures." Instead, officials are looking at a system called "global payments," which "would require doctors, hospitals, and other providers to band together into groups" that "would split the payments and better coordinate patient care, thereby improving quality."”
Since I do not expect to practice much longer (based on the path Medicine is taking), my comments and efforts to share my thoughts in these Blogs do NOT stem from attempts to maintain my ‘bottom line.’ I am writing from the point of view of a VERY well informed and very worried patient. You DON’T want doctors and hospitals to be laden with disincentives for care. We patients will suffer the consequences. The difference between most non-medical patients and doctors-who-are-patients, is that we doctors have a fighting chance of knowing when we are being screwed. The rest of you won’t know what you do not know. You may become ‘history.’
Massachusetts has been “leading the way” as an experiment in Obamacare, and the experiment has been failing (no matter what former Gov. Romney may try to say). This payment scheme, designed to save costs, will NOT improve quality, but will hasten American Medical Care along the road to destruction.
There are 19 medical candidates running for the House. Vote for Americans that actually know something about healthcare.
Please support them (if you can) and spread the word.
AZ-01 Paul Gosar - Dentist,
CO-01 Mike Fallon - ER Physician,
IA-02 Mariannette Miller-Meeks - Ophthalmologist,
IL-07 Mark Weiman - Dentist,
IN-08 Larry Bucshon - Cardiothoracic Surgeon,
MA-7 Gerry Dembrowski - Primary Care,
MD-01 Andy Harris - Anesthesiologist,
MD-2 Marcelo Cardarelli - Cardiothoracic Surgeon,
MI-01 Dan Benishek - General Surgeon,
MI-15 Robert Steele - Cardiologist,
NC-02 Renee Ellmers - Nurse,
NC-04 BJ Lawson - Neurosurgeon,
NV-03 Joe Heck - Osteopath,
NY-28 Jill Rowland - Dentist,
NY-19 Nan Hayworth - Ophthalmologist,
TN-06 Diane Black - Nurse,
TN-04 Scott DesJarlais - General Practice,
TX-16 Tim Besco - Nurse,
TX-25 Donna Campbell - Ophthalmologist.
Watch for the Next Blog: Carly Fiorina – A Woman Who KNOWS the Medical ‘Score.’