Entries in Berwick (3)
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.
Our President has just placed a pediatrician by the name of Dr. Berwick at the head of CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). This was done as an “interim appointment” to prevent Congress from questioning him in order to decide if his credentials and philosophy merited that important position. The White house wished to minimize any public discussion about this man. You need to understand why this was done. You must educate yourselves about the nature of his philosophy and his intentions for American medicine - including your training as future physicians.
Dr. Berwick was chosen by this Administration to run CMS because he has the will to implement a British Style health care system, which hinges on state mandated rationing of Medical Care. Such a system is based on Federal Budgetary decisions and statistical analyses. It ignores the individual patient at hand. Medical care has everything to do with the patient and individuation of care. That is the Essence and Ethos of the Practice of Medicine. Medical Ethics should be sacrosanct and immutable. They should not be conflicted by the exigencies or will of the ‘State.’
As physicians, whether or not you believe in God, I would hope that, at the least, you believe in Godliness. I trust that you follow the Golden Rule – “Do unto others that which you would have others do unto you” – or, as the Old Testament phrases it, “ Do not do unto others that which you would not have others do unto you.”
Observant Jews are told to remember their teachings by placing them upon their doorposts and by wearing them on their head and on their hand during morning prayers. Those daily prayers, uttered with a bound, outstretched, hand opposite one’s heart, are designed to remind us that we must suppress our personal desires in order to place ourselves in His service. The oaths taken by newly fledged medical students follow these same overarching precepts.
The majority of medical students take the Oath of Hippocrates (460?-377? B.C.). Called the “father of modern medicine,”* he began to remove superstition from the profession by applying logic and reasoning to medicine.
An extract of his oath follows: “I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons and to those of my teachers”…“I will follow that method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.”
The 12th century physician-philosopher Moses Maimonides is reputed to have written an oath of his own. In part, it reads,
“Inspire me with love for my art and for Thy creatures” “May no strange thoughts divert my attention at the bedside of the sick...for great and sacred are the thoughtful deliberations required to preserve the lives and health of Thy creatures.”
“Grant that my patients have confidence in me and my art and follow my directions and my counsel. Remove from their midst…the whole host of…cruel people who arrogantly frustrate the wisest purposes of our art and often lead thy creatures to their death.”
“Should conceited fools…censure me, then let love for my profession steel me against them, so that I remain steadfast without regard for age…because surrender would bring to Thy creatures sickness and death.”
As physicians graduate from Medical School they take either the Oath of Hippocrates or the Oath of Maimonides. In neither case is one asked to consider the needs of The State. Just the opposite.
If, in the future, your medical school does not have you take the Oath of Maimonides or the Oath of Hippocrates, I beg you to do so on your own. Place one or the other near the door of your medical office, and read it daily.
Keep its message in your heart and in your head.
Why such an entreaty, at this time in our nation’s history? The reason is that Berwick’s Statist philosophies are not only being taught in medical schools but they are even being implemented in pre-med curricula.** The earlier such ‘training’ is begun, the easier it will be for the State to have mastery over you, creating conflicts between you and your Art, and sowing distrust among your patients.
Our government knows that physician behavior can be turned on a dime. Should we give two cents for what our government arbitrarily decides are our total heath care resources, and become caretakers for the State as it prepares a Global Budget for Health Care, or shall we continue to advocate for our patients and force those in office to battle us for all of our lives and welfare?
As you contemplate the outcome of the vector sum of your decisions and behavior, remember - All of us are patients. Your future is in your heart and hands.
Joseph M. Scherzer, M.D.
*World Book Encyclopedia
** “Train Physicians to Participate in Health Care Reform,” Skin and Allergy News, p. 12, July 2010.
According to Twila Brase, (President, Citizens' Council on Health Care,1954 University Ave. W., Ste. 8, St. Paul, MN 55104, 651-646-8935
www.healthcarefreedom.us) “the list of appointees to the Minn. Health Care Reform Task Force by Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) reads like a Who's Who of advocates for government data collection, government reporting requirements, government report cards on physicians, and online linking and tracking of patients and doctors through mandatory electronic medical records for all. The only appointee with a history of supporting freedom and free-markets in health care appears to be William Wenmark, former Chairman and Founder of Now Medical Centers.”
Today, Ms. Brase wrote, “President Obama has just announced his recess appointment of the controversial Dr. Donald Berwick, MD as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Members of Congress, concerned about Berwick's support of socialized medicine and health care rationing, had delayed his confirmation since April.” “Some call him "Dr. Death," but the AARP supports him.”
She adds: “Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said today: "Democrats haven't scheduled so much as a committee hearing for Donald Berwick but the mere possibility of allowing the American people the opportunity to hear what he intends to do with their health care is evidently reason enough for this administration to sneak him through without public scrutiny." (POLITICO, 7/7/10)”
If you don’t know much about this man, you should pay close attention to his philosophy. “Romantic” is the way he describes his attitude with respect to England’s National Health Care System, with its well-known delayed testing, treatments, and frank rationing - all intentionally designed by its health care bureaucracy. Not two weeks ago, a patient of mine informed me that his father, who had just passed away in the U.K. of cancer, had had to wait 6 months in order to get a Cat Scan.
Dr. Death indeed.
While Sarah Palin might have chosen less inflammatory verbiage than “Death Panels” to describe ONE of the Evils that arrive courtesy of socialized medicine, she was not wrong.
We need to do all in our power to stop this.
To OUR Health,
Joseph M. Scherzer, M.D.