Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Indian Patients Wait Weeks for Treatment—Can You Guess Why?

Indian Patients Wait Weeks for Treatment—Can You Guess Why?

" The pattern is the same everywhere government takes control of medicine: Patients rush to receive “free” (or highly subsidized) care with little regard for need or cost, while government controls drive many of the best doctors from the field, leading to reduced quality, waiting lines, or outright rationing. Consequently, those with the most urgent need for health care often cannot get it."

More here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Human Progress and Earned Wealth

We Stand FIRM: Hsieh Forbes OpEd: Human Progress and Earned Wealt...:

" ...Anyone who has earned money through honest work should take a justified pride in that fact, whether it be through programming computers, repairing furnaces, running a small business, or raising cattle. 

Similarly, we should give those who have earned great wealth honestly the respect and gratitude they deserve for the enormous value they’ve created. That would be real economic fairness..."

More here

Assessing Socialized Health Care In Britain

Assessing Socialized Health Care In Britain

[ In the UK], "The government’s hold over medical practice in Britain is becoming ever firmer; it now dictates conditions of work and employment, the number of hours worked, the drugs and other treatments that may be prescribed, the way in 
which doctors must be trained, and even what should be contained in applicants’ references for jobs.

Doctors are less and less members of a profession; instead, they are production workers under strict bureaucratic control, paid not so much by result as by degree of conformity to directives..."

More here

New medical care over-site and health care rationing bureaucracies in MA merely the precursor of IPAB

Welcome to the new reality of US health care rationing.

Under  new Massachusetts state laws, MA has established and empowered 2 new government agencies of non-medical bureaucrats- the Health Policy Commission and the Center for Health Information Analysis — to:

1)scrutinize all of your own *previously private * medical information - now accessible to them through electronic medical records
2) set fixed, arbitrary state medical budgets- and "best practice guidelines " established by non-doctors of state- recommended and allowable medical care
3) retroactively second-guess and over-rule the individualized medical decision-making and diagnostic and treatment plans of your doctor,
4) "discipline" and  fine your doctor for the crime of non-state-sanctioned medical decision-making

The new government agencies in MA are nothing more than the precursor of the federal "Independent Payment Advisory Board" (IPAB) - a new federal agency authorized under the new ObamaCare legislation to cut Medicare spending.

In an article several months ago, Docs4PatientCare founder Dr. Hal Scherz has the following to say about IPAB:

" ....Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been quoted as saying that the majority of IPAB members must not be medical practitioners.

Though some doctors may be represented, it is unlikely that they will be actively practicing clinicians who care for patients directly. Instead, the board will be populated by economists and other bureaucrats - "bean counters" - who will be given the responsibility of deciding how doctors caring for Medicare patients will get paid. It is anticipated that IPAB will drive payments so low that many doctors will be unable to offer certain services to patients, resulting in rationing of health care, which the administration fervently denies....

IPAB has almost limitless power over Medicare spending. Written into the Affordable Care Act are provisions that essentially make its decisions exempt from congressional oversight and impervious to administrative or judicial review. It is a nearly autonomous agency operating as an arm of the executive branch. Conveniently, this does not occur until after the 2012 elections...."

More here:


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We Stand FIRM: More Massachusetts Danger

We Stand FIRM: More Massachusetts Danger

Medical Fascism Rears Its Ugly Head in Massachusetts

An article by Dr. Sally Pipes re-posted on the Freedon and Individual Rights in Medicine blog reports the yet another giant step down the road to fascist take-over of the US medical care system. 

Will Massachusetts' doctors respond to this latest gross violation of their right to practice medicine?

" In Massachusetts, the state government will be imposing new cost controls enforced by new bureaucracies:
Healthcare providers that don't hit the government's new annual spending targets will face serious consequences. Two new state agencies -- the Health Policy Commission and the Center for Health Information Analysis -- have been created to discipline them.
Physicians who fail to reduce costs can be compelled to file "performance improvement plans." These filings are essentially designed to embarrass struggling hospitals. If providers don't adhere to their improvement plans, the agencies can fine them up to $500,000. And there don’t appear to be any means for appeal or judicial review of these fines.
Encumbering physicians with yet another layer of red tape is no way to reduce costs. Massachusetts Medical Society President Richard Aghababian has voiced misgivings that "the bill's very stringent reporting requirements" will be particularly burdensome to "the smaller medical practices in the Commonwealth," which generally lack the resources needed to shoulder such a hefty administrative burden.
The net result:
When costs go up for healthcare providers, they have to compensate somehow -- perhaps by laying off staff, restricting treatment options, or in the most severe cases, closing up shop entirely.
Ultimately, that leaves patients with fewer providers to treat them -- and thus substantially longer wait times. 

More here:

More Massachusetts Danger

Monday, August 20, 2012

Canadians Still Waiting for Services in their Utopian Single Payer System

"The single payer advocates like to give testimonials of why we need a single payer health care system. What many don't know is that universal access to health care can be better provided for all Vermonters, but a hybrid system, rather than

a single payer system. We can achieve the goal of universal access with a hybrid financing system that has both public and private financing, rather than rely only on public financing as in the single payer systems.

The article linked below has many examples in the comment section of how bad things can be in a single payer health care system. Here are a seven of many comments posted in response to this article.

1) People have no idea actually how bad the healthcare system is until they need it. My husband waited 6 months for a PET CT scan in BC and he was supposedly at the top of the list and priority.We eventually went out of province and country for treatment and diagnostics as it was a joke in BC. I have no doubt in my mind that his life was saved due to us leaving the BC healthcare system. 
Most people are blisstfully ignorant to the fact that the state of healthcare in Canada might actually cost you your life as you wait for tests or surgery..It's more than not having a family doctor or being on a wait list....I just try and keep as healthy as possible so I won't need to acess medical services......I guess ignorance is bliss....

[The single payer activists point to the surveys showing how happy many Canadians are with their health care system. Those that are healthy and have not had to use the system much, are the ones that view the system more favorably. Those that have to wait for prolonged periods of time to get the care they need feel differently. 
The 36 year old Canadian woman with blood in her stool who was told she would have to wait 9 months for a colonoscopy to see if she had colon cancer was not so happy. She did have colon cancer.

A gentleman who was told he would have to wait over 4 months for an MRI to see if he had brain cancer, was similarly not satisfied with the Canadian health care system.]

2) Thanks to Immigration Canada, we have been accepting hundreds of thousands of seniors the last 30 years under the family reunification program, those who never contributed a penny to Canada, and tens of thousands of bogus refugees, no wonder those who paid all their lives to the system can't have access to the health care system. Furthermore, why are these people eligible to receive Old Age Security and Supplement income when they never contributed a penny to Canada?

[Some worry that Vermont will have a similar problem with medically needy patients moving to Vermont for what is perceived as low cost or free care, particularly for high cost services such as organ transplantation and cancer treatments.]

3) and one more thing... I don't know about you, but my doctor's appointments are scheduled for a maximum of 10 minutes. 10 minutes! AND not only that, but I have been instructed by the doctor to stick to one problem per visit. So, if I want to talk about a different issue than the one I made the appointement for... 
I need to somehow get to the doctors office on another day for another appointment.
Unless you're retired, or your doctors office is close to where you work... it's a big hassle.

[It is even worse in the single payer health care system in Taiwan, where doctors spend only 2 to 5 minutes with each patient. Taiwan's system was devised by the same person who devised Vermont's single payer system - William Hsiao.]

4) Here's a wait time story for you all to enjoy.

I was originally booked to see an Opthamologist here in St. John's about one year ago in June of 2011. My appointment was for May 2012. Sure I get he's a busy guy. To take it to a whole new level, I was called about 2 months ago and I was told the doctor is going on vacation and they're not sure when he will be back. They had to push my appointment off 3 months until August. A 3 month vacation?!? Must be nice. So at this point if everything goes well and I see this doctor in August, my wait time will have been about 14 months. Not good enough.

[When the global budget runs out of money, doctors are sent on holiday until more funding becomes available in Canada.

Vermont's single payer system will similarly use global budgets to control health care costs. When the money runs out, but the health care needs continue, delays will occur, as in Canada.

5) Among the reasons for increased wait times for patients are:
* Nursing staff cuts. The CEOs in all Canadian hospitals have cut professional nursing (R.N.s) staff numbers significantly. This has effected many senior experienced nurses specifically because of the salary they are/were earning as well as their pensions. 
Only skeleton nursing - type staff remain; reduced R.N. positions have been replaced with nursing aids and other less qualified health employees. This situation contributes to increased wait times because by the time very ill patients are admitted the care service they require is so immense that it impacts other patients on the ward. 
This is sometimes dealt with by discharging patients well before they are ready to cope at home which contributes to a re admission. This whole "inadequate - care" cycle contributes to a back log of patients which impact wait times for all.

* Physicians in surgery/emergency and triage areas across Canada are and have been questioned and taken to task by hospital CEOs in regard to whether or not a patient(s) should be admitted based on their health acuity as decided by the physician NOT the CEO. Over the past 6 months many physicians have threatened to withdraw services if their diagnostic expertise continues to be argued by CEOs. This ongoing hastle contributes to increased wait times for all.

[This is what happens when bureaucrats focus on cutting costs for the systems needs at the expense of the patients' needs. In Ontario, bureaucrats charge doctors for tests when the bureaucrat decides it was not needed.

In single-payer Taiwan bureaucrats exploit nurses, doctors and other health care staff. As a result, only 40% of licensed Taiwan nurses are still in the nursing profession.

The Green Mountain Care Board will similarly have unprecedented powers over health care workers. The question is, will these health care workers leave the state to work in other states where work conditions are more favorable, than under the government controlled single payer system. And if they do, wait times will be even worse.]

6) Been on a list for a family doctor for 3 years, still haven't heard a word. Never had one, probably never will.
Long Live National Health Care
 [There is already a shortage of primary care doctors in Vermont. Many are skeptical that the single payer system will improve this situation, particularly when there is a growing nation-wide shortage of doctors.]

7) I live on the Island PEI and glad that I am not in need of future selective surgery to have performed on my self, I feel for the other seniors who are waiting for their turn to get treatment, it is not the fault of Health PEI, but from Health Canada to not recognize our aging POPULATION REGARDLESS OF WHICH PROVINCE YOU LIVE IN REQUIRES MORE ADEQUATE MEDICAL PROCEDURES ARE NECESSARY, MAKING PEI A NICE PLACE TO VISIT , BU THOSE DECIDING TO MOVE HERE AND BECOME RESIDENTS OF THIS PROVINCE, THINK TWICE ABOUT DOING SO .

[If Vermont's single payer system, that bears a striking resemblance to Canada's health care system, develops the same prolonged wait times, as some have predicted, Vermont may become a less desirable state for retirees, particularly if Medicare gets rolled into the single payer system as planned.]

There are many other testimonials in the comment section from Canadians who are not happy with their health care system. Some have pointed out the superiority of some of the European health care systems that have both private and public financing of their health care systems, and wish Canada would adopt a similar system so as to improve their waiting times. Currently paying for private health care services in Canada, to avoid the long waiting times is illegal in most of Canada.

Read the article from which these testimonials were extracted:"

The photo in this post is a couple of years old, from an earlier article.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dr. Hal Scherz: ObamaCare and Demonizing Doctors

We Stand FIRM: Scherz: ObamaCare and Demonizing Doctors:

Dr. Hal Scherz of Docs4PatientCare has an excellent new piece
" Obama Says: Doctor, You Did Not Graduate From Medical School..."

"The healthcare system is being turned upside down with the federal government in charge of deciding who gets what kind of care, by whom, where and how much they will pay for it. Those who engineered Obamacare believe that they can do this because they feel that they own a piece of every doctor in America and that the government has a right to this work.
It becomes easier to do this by convincing Americans that healthcare is an entitlement, and consequently, someone has to provide that care for them. It becomes easier for people to feel that sense of entitlement, if they believe that their doctors are not the compassionate individuals that they thought they were, but rather, greedy opportunists like the President has depicted them.
On the current path, the worst is yet to come. Doctors are quitting in anticipation of government controlling their practices. Doctor shortages are here, but will soon reach epic proportions. Covert rationing of care is coming because there will not be enough doctors to see patients...."

See more here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

“Capitalism and the Moral High Ground” by Craig Biddle

A multiple choice test for the November 2012  election. Which sort of government would you rather live under?
a) “Under communism, the government forces individuals and businesses to act against their judgment for the sake of the ‘workers’ or the ‘community’; hence the term ‘communism’ (e.g., the USSR).
b) Under socialism, the government forces individuals and businesses to act against their judgment for the sake of the ‘collective’ or ‘society’; hence the term ‘socialism’ (e.g., present-day Sweden).
c) Under theocracy, the government forces individuals and businesses to act against their judgment in obedience to ‘God’s will’—or whatever His earthly ‘representatives’ deem His will to be; hence the term ‘theocracy,’ which means literally ‘rule by God’ (e.g., present-day Iran).
d) Under fascism, the government forces individuals and businesses to act against their judgment for the sake of the ‘nation,’ the ‘race,’ the ‘people,’ the ‘elderly,’ the ‘poor,’ or some other ‘group’; hence the term ‘fascism,’ which means literally ‘group-ism’ (e.g., Mussolini’s Italy).

e) “Under capitalism (which has yet to exist), the government is forbidden from forcing individuals or businesses to act against their judgment. In a capitalist society, everyone is legally free to act on his own judgment for his own sake. The government serves only to protect individuals and businesses from physical force by banning it from social relationships and by using retaliatory force as necessary against those who initiate its use.”
More here:

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice" by Craig Biddle

"Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice" by Craig Biddle

"The fundamental political conflict in America today is, as it has been for a century, individualism vs. collectivism. Does the individual’s life belong to him—or does it belong to the group, the community, society, or the state? With government expanding ever more rapidly—seizing and spending more and more of our money on “entitlement” programs and corporate bailouts, and intruding on our businesses and lives in increasingly onerous ways—the need for clarity on this issue has never been greater. Let us begin by defining the terms at hand.
Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice
Individualism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs to him and that he has an inalienable right to live it as he sees fit, to act on his own judgment, to keep and use the product of his effort, and to pursue the values of his choosing. It’s the idea that the individual is sovereign, an end in himself, and the fundamental unit of moral concern. This is the ideal that the American Founders set forth and sought to establish when they drafted the Declaration and the Constitution and created a country in which the individual’s rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness were to be recognized and protected.
Collectivism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs not to him but to the group or society of which he is merely a part, that he has no rights, and that he must sacrifice his values and goals for the group’s “greater good.” According to collectivism, the group or society is the basic unit of moral concern, and the individual is of value only insofar as he serves the group. As one advocate of this idea puts it: “Man has no rights except those which society permits him to enjoy. From the day of his birth until the day of his death society allows him to enjoy certain so-called rights and deprives him of others; not . . . because society desires especially to favor or oppress the individual, but because its own preservation, welfare, and happiness are the prime considerations.”1
Individualism or collectivism—which of these ideas is correct? Which has the facts on its side?" 

Find out here:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Impending Collapse of American Medicine

Reflections on a Medical Career by Robert S. Dotson, M.D.

The Impending Collapse of American Medicine

Just as is every issue in the US, Obamacare and the wider question of the state of American health care are obscured by propaganda and disinformation. In the article below, Dr. Robert S. Dobson looks back on a lifetime of medical practice and provides facts and insights that might help us to understand our situation.

How to Catch Wild Pigs & The Meaning of the 2012 Election

Government run health care (ObamaCare) is nothing more than free corn for the people. All 4 sides of the fence are up. This election will determine whether the gate is shut or whether we, as Americans, will still have a chance to get out.

You can choose to be suckered into the desperate, though impressive diversionary strategy of deception, propaganda and manipulation of the prolific Obama Smear campaign. 

You can waste your time, your energy and your brain cells as his syncophants in the main stream media lead you on a wild goose chase after one arbitrary fabrication/accusatiion/ allegation/ distortion / twisted characterization after another of Romney as a tax evader, a murderer, a child pornographer, a drug addict, a baby killer, an insider trader, an out-sourcer, a racist, a woman-hater, a greedy rich fat cat billionaire, a heartless soul-less mean-spirited uncaring dollar-chaser, etc, etc, etc

It certainly keeps the 24/7 MSM news machine going and does a great job distracting from the real issues. Alternatively, you can choose to change the station and tune it out and keep focused on the fundamental political, economic and philosophic issues:  Obama's 4 -year relentless track record of economic stagnation, rising unemployment, sky-rocketing federal spending, ballooning government expansion, potentially life-threatening power grab over your own health care decisions and Marxist world view.

I think we would all be much better served to go by the "KISS" principle ( Keep It Simple, Stupid).

In a sense, the 2012 election is very simple.

A vote for Obama in November- or a non-vote, or a vote for any candidate that splits the opposition and facilitates or results in another 4 years of Obama =  A vote for socialism. 

Americans would be wise to heed the warning in the parable below and choose very carefully in November

“The Forgotten Man of Socialized Medicine”–and us

“The Forgotten Man of Socialized Medicine”–and us

"Instead of bickering about the price tag of Obama-care, it’s time to fight the battle against socialized medicine on moral grounds. It’s time for doctors to defend their moral right to practice medicine free from government interference. And it’s time for their patients to defend their moral right to purchase health-care on a free market."

Who cares about the doctors?

Who cares about the doctors?

A few questions to ponder:

* Are you content to have your doctor’s professional judgment second-guessed and regulated by politicians?

* Should our legal system treat doctors like civil servants who are obligated to place their skills and intelligence at the service of every individual who happens to need medical care?

* When America’s doctors have finally lost all freedom to treat patients as their professional judgment dictates, who will be left to provide health care in this country?

Read the whole essay here:

Who cares about the doctors?

Health Care Fascism in MA : A Harbinger of Our Future

The WSJ recently wrote an excellent piece providing an update on how the health care situation has been playing out in Massachusett's several years after the institution of RomneyCare. As we are all aware, the state-wide initative there provided the blueprint which ObamaCare essentially copied and applied on a national scale.

Consequently, it should not come as a  suprise to anyone when the logical consequences of the implementation of ObamaCare turn out to be no different.


RomneyCare 2.0 

With costs rising fast, Massachusetts moves to dictate medical care.

From the article:

"....The same plan enacted in Massachusetts has resulted in "surging [health care] costs, price controls, physician shortages" and a lot more, including their new plan to hold their doctors hostage by means of their state medical licenses:

"...Under the plan, all Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure—that is, permission to practice. ...

An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017, and 0.5 percentage points lower thereafter. ...

No registered provider is allowed to make "any material change to its operations or governance structure," the bill says, without the commission's approval. The commission can also rewrite the terms of provider contracts with insurers and payment levels and methods if they are "deemed to be excessive....

In other words, the commission is empowered to control the practice and organization of medicine."

Take a good hard look, folks: This is what fascism looks like:

The dictionary definition of fascism is: “a governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.), emphasizing an aggressive nationalism . . .” [The American College Dictionary,
New York: Random House, 1957.]

Under fascism, citizens retain the responsibilities of owning property, without freedom to act and without any of the advantages of ownership. Under socialism, government officials acquire all the advantages of ownership, without any of the responsibilities, since they do not hold title to the property, but merely the right to use it—at least until the next purge. In either case, the government officials hold the economic, political and legal power of life or death over the citizens."


 What is particularly interesting here is that the text, the scope and intent of the government take-over plan mimics almost word for word, the text of Directive 10-289 in Ayn Rand's 1957 epic novel, Atlas Shrugged- with a few minor modifications as follows:



“In the name of the general welfare to protect the people’s [health care] security, to achieve full equality and total [health care] stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national [health care] emergency that-

All [doctors and health care providers] of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the [ Health Policy Commission ]  , such board to be appointed by the Bureau Of Economic Planning and National Resources.....

Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any [health care good or service] whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as is, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more or no less. The year is to known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification board.....

All [health care] wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive. (But taxes will be allowed to increase as needed for the public good)....

 All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the [Health Policy Commission], whose decisions shall be final...."

See the full text of Directive 10-289 here:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Federal Government's War On Medical Innovation

We Stand FIRM: Hsieh Forbes OpEd: The Federal Government's War On...:

In this article, Dr. Paul Hsieh discusses how the government is hampering the development of life-saving medical technology through two methods: new taxes and FDA regulation.

Here is the opening;

"The federal government is waging a stealth two-pronged war on medical innovation. And it will cost not just American jobs, but American lives.
The first prong is through new taxes. Recently, the Cook Medical company announced that it was canceling plans to open new factories because of the impending ObamaCare tax on medical device manufacturers scheduled to take effect in 2013. The 2.3% tax on total sales (not profits) will cost Cook $20 million dollars a year. As a result, the company will not be opening five plants that would have employed up to 300 people each.
Cook is not the only medical device company affected by the tax. Stryker (which makes artificial joints) will cut 5% of its workforce. Medtronic has announced the tax will cut into its investments in future products. Jonathan Rennert, chairman of Zoll Medical (which makes advanced cardiac defibrillators) has stated that the tax will mean “less innovation, fewer jobs, and fewer lives saved.”
The second prong of the war on innovation is through regulations..."