Against Socialized Health Care

Yesterday I attended the Tea Party against socialized health care.  Everyone should!  Our eyes need to be open regarding the Healthcare Proposal that President Obama is trying to pass through Congress.

Dr. Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York State was there.  After reading the proposal, she pointed out some salient features which are downright scary.  Because it is so poignant, I am going to report it in her own words.

“This bill will rob you of your liberty, your health, and if you are in healthcare, your jobs.

The first thing we should say is this…You tell Schumer, Gellibrand, Ackerman, Maloney, McCarthy, to stop kowtowing to President Obama and his Chicago style arm-twisting and to start representing the people of the state. 

Let me say a few words about this bill because it is so different from what we’ve been told.


You’ve been told that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.  If you have one of those Blue Cross plans that let you go to the doctor whenever you want, get a diagnostic test, see a specialist, let me tell you, this bill makes it very clear that would be history. 

This bill forces you into managed care with limits on access to specialties.  It says if you get your health care through your employer, as many people do, your employer is required to switch you out of your current plan to a managed care style plan after a grace period. If you get your own health care insurance rather than getting it from work, you don’t even have that grace period.  You’ve got to do it any time your current insurance contract changes, like the copay, the deductible, things that generally change at least once a year.  If you go to file your taxes, and if you can’t prove that you’ve joined this government qualified plan, you will be fined thousands of dollars (found on page 146)

And then you will be enrolled in a randomly selected plan.

Seniors, really bear the brunt under this bill.  Think about it.  This bill is paid for in half with tax hikes.  But it’s also paid for with a 500 billion dollar cut to Medicare within the next ten years.  That is a 10% decrease in Medicare funding at a time when the enrollment is going up 30% to accommodate all of us baby boomers that are entering Medicare.  That’s going to mean fewer hip replacements, fewer knee replacements, fewer bypass surgeries, fewer angioplasties, the basic procedures that have enabled all of us to really enjoy our later years, instead of being stuck in a wheel chair, because we’re too out of breath from clogged arteries or trapped in a nursing home bed because we’re crippled with arthritis. 

But in the context of all these cuts and benefits that have enabled seniors to lead good lives, the federal government is going to offer us a new benefit.

Free counseling on how to cut our lives short.  (Pgs 425-430) including how to forgo nutrition hydration and the use of antibiotics.  The government is going to push its way into a hospital room and talk to your parents about things that you don’t even want to discuss with them.  Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, has been chosen to be advisor to the President on healthcare.  He writes, people who have incurable illnesses like Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, dementia, shouldn’t be entitled to even basic healthcare services since they don’t contribute to society anymore.  What do you say when your mother has Alzheimer’s?

What do you say when your child has cerebral palsy? 

This is directed specifically at Chuck Schumer.  This bill is going to cause hugh layoffs in New York State.  The President has said that he is going to reduce the annual growth and healthcare spending by 25% a year.  That’s going to mean cuts in hospital budgets, decrease in nurses who will be spread thinner than they already are, hospital equipment, and laying off nurses, therapists, doctors, and the other people who make life livable when you’re in a hospital through no choice of your own.  It’s going to cost a lot of jobs because healthcare is the largest employer in New York outside of government. 

So let me say in conclusion, call Schumer, call Gellibrand, call Ackerman, Call McCarthy, let them know that its time they stopped bowing to the President, instead of listening to you.”

Pretty powerful stuff.  It makes you wonder what else is in there and why we can not get a copy of the bill.

It’s no wonder that President Obama wanted to push it through before everyone had a chance to read and analyze it.


Tea Party Against Socialized Health Care

It turns out people are passionate about healthcare reform- both for and against plans proposed by the Obama administration.

This Thursday, a “Tea Party Against Socialized Health Care” is being staged at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville.

The flyer for this has 2 columns- one “If you are Against” and one for “If You Are for”.

Because the flyer is written so well, I will pass on what the 2 columns state.

The flyer by the way was made by

If You Are Against

·      Rationed Medical care…

·      Limiting your freedom to choose your own medical doctor and make personal medical decisions…

·      Government making your health care decisions regarding procedures, treatments and hospital needs.

·      Limited disbursements of drugs, especially Cancer and HIV drugs…

·      Limited or No radiation therapy.

·      Long waits for MRI and CAT scans…

·      6-9 months wait time for surgery (what happens to a tumor during that time?)…

·      Government deciding if you live or die, especially if you are a senior citizen

If You Are For

·      Your Individual Rights

·      More Doctors and More Nurses

·      Encouraging drug companies to pursue new pharmaceuticals

·      Encouraging medical products companies to pursue new equipment

·      Encouraging entrepreneurs to develop new delivery systems & wellness programs

·      Encouraging doctors to stay in this industry & actually practice their love of science and medicine as opposed to being a bureaucrat in a white suit

Government has already proven it cannot manage health care programs i.e. Medicare and VA. Why should we expand their responsibility?

It’s time to stand up and let your voice be heard.

It Will Cost You-A Bundle

Imagine having a plumber come to your home to fix a link under the sink.  While he is there, you ask him to fix a drippy faucet.  When the bill comes you tell him you are only paying him for one thing because he wa there anyway.

Now picture enlisting the services of an attorney.  He works hard to present your case.  You tell him to please represent your partners as well.  When he submits a bill for his services, you tell him you are only going to pay for representing you.  After all, he was already in court- no extra trip.

Preposterous you say?  Well, that is precisely what insurance companies do to physicians.  The time spent for services rendered doesn’t matter.  The difficulty of the procedures doesn’t matter.  You were “there anyway”.  This is called BUNDLING.  

In the effort to keep healthcare costs down, this is a great gimmick!  Would any other profession or vocation accept this practice?

1984 in 2009…Big Brother wants to run the show

Yesterday, John wrote a blog post expressing his fears about the Democrats trying to push through a health care reform before everyone has had a chance to object or really study the ramifications of it.

I agree John that the scenario is quite a frightening one, smacking of Orwellian society.

No one wants to be an ogre and say no to the question of universal health care for the needy but the stakes are too high.

Trying to enact health care reform without tort reform is likewise an impossibility.  If we truly want to decrease health care costs, it MUST be done in tandem with liability reform.  Costs keep spiraling out of control due to liability premiums much more than the few duplicate tests that are done.

If hospitals and medical facilities must raise money for malpractice premiums which rise, and reimbursements are lowered, it only stands to reason that visits will increase in costs.  Too, tests that may not be deemed really necessary will be ordered anyway because to ignore them will prove difficult to defend in a court of law.

Let’s reform the whole picture.  Lawyers can not pick and choose what will affect them and the public.  The entire scenario needs an overhaul.

For your health and wealth,

Barbara Hales

The Medical Strategist

Healthcare Cost Reduction May Be Only a Fantasy- Even After Revamping the System

The neurosurgeon walked into the courtroom to defend his malpractice case.  A patient suffering from a poor result was suing him.

The doctor’s  palms were sweaty, his heart was racing, his head was pounding.  He looked up to see the jury of “his peers”. 

But wait!  A jury of his peers would mean other doctors, nurses, health care providers, hospital personnel. No one fitting that description would be in the jury box this day. Instead, blue collar workers will be deciding his fate.  They will see a surgeon and they will see a day laborer with chronic back pain.

The jury will not understand the technical details of the surgery, nor the possible risks.  They will not understand that very poor results can come about without deviation from normal procedure.  After all, we are not robots but individuals that react and heal in our own special way.  What they will see is someone who cannot work at his chosen field any longer.  Let’s give him an award!

Wouldn’t it have made more sense for the jury to be made up of neurosurgeons who would truly know if the surgery was appropriate and was done well?

And wouldn’t it make more sense if there is to be compensation, for the award to be a training program?

Teach him a new vocation- one that he can do with his new limitations.  He can’t lift heavy objects any more?  Fine…teach him keypunch operating. Give him the new skills that he can use and feel the pride of employability without “having won the legal lottery”.

This is why the tort system must be overhauled along with the health care reform.  Until this is done, the idea of reducing health care costs will be a pipe dream!

Radical Solution to Medical Malpractice Crisis

President Obama desperately wants passage of a healthcare reform policy before Congress goes on summer hiatus next month.  But to date, he has been unwilling to revise  tort reform simultaneously.  He has informed the AMA last month that he is not in favor of capping awards for pain and suffering so as not to penalize the patients who are “wronged” in society.

We can no longer afford such prevelant thinking.  Premium increases have escalated to between 28% and over 50% in the last few years.  This is past on to the consumer of health care.  Not only that, several of the major insurance companies writing policies for medical liability have become insolvent.

Studies analyzing the effects of tort reforms reveal that capping non-economic damages decreased insurer’s losses by up to 17% and that states with caps up to $350,000 saw premium rates increased by 20% as opposed to states without a cap going beyond 45% increase.

A radical solution would be the following:

  • physicians found to incur a bad result would be made to go for further order azithromycin canada training before being allowed to continue practicing the same procedure
  • injuries sustained by patients would be paid for government backed disabiity payments or social security payments
  • Unfortunate results while tragic, are just that-unfortunate but the patient should not be rewarded for it.  Rather than financial windfalls, the patient would receive grants in compensation in lieu of direct money payment that would finance further training and related items that he/she would need to improve the quality of life. 
  •  No malpractice premiums

If a physician is found to detour from accepted medical practice, he/she would be censored from practicing and would be sent back for further training or barred from practice.

The financial relief that the medical community would experience from trying to find the money needed for malpractice insurance would be passed on to the community in lower health costs.

Instead of trying to come up with many creative ways to squeeze the medical community for health care  cost reduction, let’s address the real issue and acknowledge the 800 pound gorilla in the room!

Republicans Late to Policy and Perception

It seems to me, like most Americans, that the passage of the Health Care Bill is a fait accompli.

So, as I wrote in my blog yesterday,  it was quite a surprise to find a survey mailed out by the Republicans. They asked  if the public is concerned about the Health Care Bill in general and various aspects of it like governmental interference.

It was also no great surprise to open the New York Times today and read on the front page “Health Care Bill Passes First Test on Capitol Hill”.  

Though the Republicans in general do not approve the proposed bill, Democratic proponents have figured a way to pass it without bipartisan support.  Though there are some Democratic Finance Committee members seeking a consensus with Republicans and voiced concern that the bill should be rushed through without proper regard to content.  This attempt is especially evident in the efforts of Kent Conrad from North Dakota and Charles Schumer from New York.

Even Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who has supported Democrats to pass health care bills in the past, agrees that the new bill is “totally partisan”.

The New York Times article rehashes the price tag that accompanies the new Health Bill which by the way, we CANNOT afford.

Republicans can no longer be just naysayers.  It is no longer acceptable to just say, “we don’t like your proposals”.  They must come up with a strong proposal of their own.

And, they need a better public relations team!

Republican Health Outcry- Too Little, Too Late

Today, the Republican National Committee sent out an email campaign survey regarding the Obama health plan that democrats want to push through within three weeks, before Congress goes on summer hiatus.

Verbiage of the survey borders on the sensational as it asks whether you are concerned that the health plan calls for government coming between you and your physicians. To answer no is shear folly.  The Republicans are espousing less governmental control.

Survey questions depict an Orwellian system where Big Brother is deciding on your health care and few if any choices would exist other than governmental dictates and then asks if you are concerned.  There are a dozen questions, all along these lines.  The end of the survey asks for donations.

Written to get your hackles up and raise righteous indignation, the Republicans are provoking you into putting up money for defense and to be heard.

Yet where was the Republican National Committee when the policies were first being debated and formulated?

Many of the Republicans sat on the same side as the Democrats when they shook their head in agreement stating that there is a health care crisis and an overhaul is not only long overdue but also a fiscal necessity.

Hopefully, their run for interference will be successful but to truly be successful, the Republicans need to also come up with an alternative plan.

Eat Better….See Better

Lutein is one of those ingredients that you see on the back of your vitamin bottle.  Yet few people know what it actually does.  Why is it included in daily supplements?

A crucial nutrient for the health of your vision, lutein does the following:

  • Protects the eye from direct sunlight effects
  • Neutralizes free radicals in the lens and retina to protect vision
  • Contributes to retinal pigment
A bonus benefit is the fact that lutein decreases cancer and heart disease by stopping free radical damage.
Like to take your supplements in food?
Look for your lutein in egg yolks, peas, oranges, squash and red grapes.

Color Me Healthy

Lycopene which we have heard much about of late,  is the pigment in many vegetables, most notably tomatoes, but also in peppers, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit.  

Benefits of lycopene include:

  • prevention of macular degeneration by neutralizing free radicals
  • prevention of coronary artery disease by keeping the bad cholesterol (LDH) from oxidation
  • Reduction of prostate and pancreatic cancer risk by fighting free radical damage.

This is the season when fruits and vegetables  are found in abundance.  What a wonderful time to enjoy them and good health simultaneously.