Archive for June, 2010

Teaching totalitarianism in the government schools

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

The Reason Americans so easily hand over their God-Given American Rights. 

http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=660

Please visit this site and view the video for an excellent presentation.

The 5 best sentences you’ll ever read:

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

1) You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.   

2) What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.   

3) The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.   

4) When half of the people do not work because the 2nd half takes care of them, then the 2nd half decides not to work so hard because they support others, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.     

5) You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.  

Author:  Every American Citizen

HEALTH CARE HORROR STORY FROM CANADA

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN DickMorris.com June 7, 2010

There are howls of outrage coming from the liberal community in Alberta, Canada.  It seems that some doctors, desperate to protect their patients from the overcrowded and failing socialized medical system in their country, have set up private clinics to treat them.  To circumvent Canadian laws, which prohibit charging for medical care, they have set up private, membership clinics where, for $2,000 a year, patients can access well staffed and equipped clinics and avoid the long waits and compromised care of the public system.
   

The leading Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, reports that “critics say that the clinics are taking physicians away from the public system making it even harder…to find a family doctor.”  David Eggen, executive director of a group that supports the Canadian socialized system, Friends of Medicare, said that it’s already hard to find a family physician in Canada and that clinics like these, springing up in several Canadian cities, could make it even harder. 

It does not seem to have occurred to defenders of socialized medicine that the system itself is causing the doctor shortage.  Cuts in medical fees, overcrowding of facilities, shortages of equipment and space, and bureaucratic oversight have all combined to drive men and women out of family medical practice.  Now, with a critical shortage looming, those who can afford to pay for adequate care are opting out of the public system and, literally, taking their lives into their own hands.
    

But it is illegal to make patients “have to pay a fee to gain access to health services” that are provided free by the government system.  So patients and doctors are forming membership-only groups to avoid the legal penalties that could potential stop them from getting or giving the care that they need.  This is where the United States is headed.  Socialism dries up the supply of medical care and forces ever stricter rationing of the available resources.  As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “Eventually socialism runs out of other peoples’ money.”
   

With the full implementation of Obamacare and its likely cuts in physician reimbursement, more and more doctors will choose to opt out of Medicare and charge their patients for their care.  The elderly who need specialized care will have no choice but to take out insurance, not to fill gaps in Medicare coverage, but to overlay the system with private coverage so they can get the care Medicare now provides to all seniors.   If you want to see a family doctor, it will be rough unless you are paying for the care privately.   And to see a specialist, at the low reimbursement rates afforded by the program in the future, will be well nigh impossible.  Medical care for the elderly will become like public housing or public education in the inner city.  Those who can afford to go elsewhere will.  Those who can’t will be left to fend for themselves in overcrowded public facilities that will be, at least, free.   And then, as in Canada, liberal critics will rail, not against the system that dried up the resources in the first place or against the socialist rules that drove doctors out of medicine, but against the private clinics for resources from the public sector.
   

By plunging our excellent medical care system into this new world of regulation, fee cuts, and care rationing, the U.S. is going down the disastrous road Canada has taken.  Unless we can elect a Republican majority in November and a GOP president in 2012, this is our future. 

Obama’s kinder, gentler ‘death panels’

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

May 27, 2010 Jane Chastain © 2010   WorldNetDaily

Truth is in short supply in Washington. That is why recent statements made by Donald Berwick, President Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are both refreshing and chilling. Here’s what Dr. Berwick had to say in a 2009 interview with Biotechnology Healthcare: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.” Berwick made that statement while discussing the council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which was tasked with researching and evaluating the cost of medical treatments and their outcomes. It was part of the $787 billion stimulus package and one of the building blocks Obama wanted in place before the health-care takeover bill was passed. This statement is refreshingly candid, to be sure, but chilling when you consider that, if Obama has his way, this man will directly control the health care of a third of this nation’s citizens and indirectly control the health care of our entire population.  

The president’s selection of Berwick to oversee Medicare and Medicaid is not a surprise. The surprise is that the White House is no longer trying to hide the fact that rationing is, indeed, one of the ways he plans to control cost. In the run-up to Berwick’s confirmation hearing, the Obama administration put out this statement: “No one is surprised that Republicans plan to use this confirmation process to trot out the same arguments and scare tactics they hoped would block health insurance reform. Don Berwick wants to see a system in which those decisions are transparent – and the people who make them are held accountable.” Oh, I feel so much better now that this rationing thing will be “transparent.” “Yes, Marie Antoinette, you are, in fact, going to the guillotine, not the hairdresser.” That would have made the end result a lot more bearable! Did the French queen have a say in the matter? No, and as long as the health-care takeover bill stands, neither will we. This is one of the happy little surprises we were promised by Nancy Pelosi who said, “But we have to pass the (health-care) bill so that you can find out what is in it.” During the debate on the health-care takeover bill, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and others tried to warn us that there were four rationing bodies embedded in the bill: the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Independent Medicare Advisory board, the CMS Innovation Center and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. What kind of rationing can we expect?

Fortunately for us, Dr. Berwick has a plethora of speeches, books and articles that give us a heads up. Sen. Roberts made two speeches on the Senate floor this month in which he detailed some of Berwick’s remarks. Anyone paying attention? Dr. Berwick: “If I could wave a magic wand (soon he’ll have a big stick) … health care (would be) a common good – single-payer … health care (would be) a human right – universality is a nonnegotiable starting place … justice (would be) a prerequisite to health – equity is a primary quality goal.” When left-wingers like Berwick start throwing words like “justice” and “equity” around with health care, you know he is talking about suppressing the rights of some and elevating the rights of others. Dr. Berwick: “(A)ny health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate.” Berwick is enamored with the British system where age rationing is practiced and cancer survival rates are dismal. Dr. Berwick: “I am a romantic about the (British) National Health Service. I love it!”

Don’t take comfort in the fact that you are years away from Medicare. The building blocks are in place for the CMS director to set the standards for the insurance industry and to define and limit the treatments that are available to specific groups of patients. The British system, praised by Dr. Berwick, uses end-of-life death pathways, which withhold expensive treatment in favor of morphine and hand-holding. Physicians have charged that this leads to premature death for many British citizens. During the debate on the health-care takeover bill, Obama ridiculed those like Roberts who tried to warn us about rationing and Sarah Palin who used the term “death panels.” Now that his administration has admitted that rationing is part of the plan, at the very least, he owes these folks an apology. 

Soaring costs force Canada to reassess health system

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

May 31, 2010 

TORONTO (Reuters) – Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.  Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.  British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.  And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery. 

It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation. Official figures show that senior citizens will make up 25 percent of the population by 2036.  “There’s got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years,” said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.  “We can’t continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.  “At some stage we’re going to hit a breaking point.” 

MIRROR IMAGE DEBATE 

In some ways the Canadian debate is the mirror image of discussions going on in the United States.  Canada, fretting over budget strains, wants to prune its system, while the United States, worrying about an army of uninsured, aims to create a state-backed safety net.  Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded system, which covers all “medically necessary” hospital and physician care and curbs the role of private medicine. It ate up about 40 percent of provincial budgets, or some C$183 billion ($174 billion) last year.  Spending has been rising 6 percent a year under a deal that added C$41.3 billion of federal funding over 10 years.  But that deal ends in 2013, and the federal government is unlikely to be as generous in future, especially for one-off projects.  “As Ottawa looks to repair its budget balance … one could see these one-time allocations to specific health projects might be curtailed,” said Mary Webb, senior economist at Scotia Capital. 

Brian Golden, a professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, said provinces are weighing new sources of funding, including “means-testing” and moving toward evidence-based and pay-for-performance models.  “Why are we paying more or the same for cataract surgery when it costs substantially less today than it did 10 years ago? There’s going to be a finer look at what we’re paying for and, more importantly, what we’re getting for it,” he said.  Other problems include trying to control independently set salaries for top hospital executives and doctors and rein in spiraling costs for new medical technologies and drugs.   Ontario says healthcare could eat up 70 percent of its budget in 12 years, if all these costs are left unchecked.   “Our objective is to preserve the quality healthcare system we have and indeed to enhance it. But there are difficult decisions ahead and we will continue to make them,” Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told Reuters. The province has introduced legislation that ties hospital chief executive pay with the quality of patient care and says it wants to put more physicians on salary to save money.   In a report released last week, TD Bank said Ontario should consider other proposals to help cut costs, including scaling back drug coverage for affluent seniors and paying doctors according to quality and efficiency of care.  

WINNERS AND LOSERS  

The losers could be drug companies and pharmacies, both of which are getting increasingly nervous.   “Many of the advances in healthcare and life expectancy are due to the pharmaceutical industry so we should never demonize them,” said U of T’s Golden. “We need to ensure that they maintain a profitable business but our ability to make it very very profitable is constrained right now.”   Scotia Capital’s Webb said one cost-saving idea may be to make patients aware of how much it costs each time they visit a healthcare professional. “(The public) will use the services more wisely if they know how much it’s costing,” she said.   “If it’s absolutely free with no information on the cost and the information of an alternative that would be have been more practical, then how can we expect the public to wisely use the service?”   But change may come slowly. Universal healthcare is central to Canada’s national identity, and decisions are made as much on politics as economics.   “It’s an area that Canadians don’t want to see touched,” said TD’s Burleton. “Essentially it boils down the wishes of the population. But I think, from an economist’s standpoint, we point to the fact that sometimes Canadians in the short term may not realize the cost.

Britain’s National Health severly rationing surgery, read on

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

NHS ‘preparing to cut millions of operations’: Patients will lose out to ensure £20bn savings this is the headline from Daily Mail in United Kingdom.  Obama’s chief man implementing Obamacare “is in love with the NHS in Britain”.  Follow the link to see what is in store for US Citizens.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1283873/NHS-preparing-cut-millions-operations-Patients-lose-ensure-20bn-savings.html

 

Procedures to be axed or cut back:

-Hernia treatment

-Joint replacements for obese

-ear procedures

-nose procedures

-varicose vein treatments

-cataract surgery

-gallbladder procedures

-carpal tunnel treatment

 

 

Justice Dept. forces price controls on Docs.

Friday, June 4th, 2010

drgrcevich, MD, Psychiatry/Mental Health June 2, 2010Get a load of this case from Idaho:http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Mises-Economics-Blog/2010/0531/Justice-Department-declares-war-on-doctors

This case is a watershed for two reasons:First, until now the Federal Trade Commission, not the Justice Department, has taken the lead in prosecuting physicians. Since 2000, the FTC has brought about three dozen cases against physicians (all but one of which settled without any trial). But the FTC only has civil and administrative jurisdiction; the Antitrust Division has civil and criminal jurisdiction. The Sherman Act makes no distinction between civil and criminal “price fixing,” so in a case like this, it’s entirely a matter of prosecutorial discretion whether to charge the doctors with a civil or criminal offense.

Based on the descriptions in the Antitrust Division’s press release, there’s certainly no reason they couldn’t have prosecuted the doctors criminally and insisted upon prison sentences — and there’s little doubt such threats were made or implied to obtain the physicians’ agreement to the proposed “settlement.”The second reason this is a landmark case is that the Justice Department has unambiguously stated that refusal to accept government price controls is a form of illegal “price fixing.”

The FTC has hinted at this when it’s said physicians must accept Medicare-based reimbursement schedules from insurance companies. But the DOJ has gone the final step and said, “Government prices are market prices,” in the form of the Idaho Industrial Commission’s fee schedule. The IIC administers the state’s worker compensation system and is composed of three commissioners appointed by the governor. This isn’t a quasi-private or semi-private entity. It’s a purely government operation.What’s more, the Antitrust Division has linked a refusal to accept government price controls with a refusal to accept a “private” insurance company’s contract offer. This lives little doubt that antitrust regulators consider insurance party contracts the equivalent of government price controls — and physicians and patients have no choice but to accept them

#1 of 7, Added By: JR.CARBON, DO, Other Clinical, 2:59PM Jun 02, 2010

It looked like, sounded like, smelt like, felt like, tasted like and propriocepted like…… communism years ago!Yeah fools…… free “universal health care” for all!

Ya gotta love it!  

#3 of 7, Added By: An_14703997, MD, Psychiatry/Mental Health, 7:32AM Jun 03, 2010

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.This is truly chilling. Good luck to patients and physicians alike. When the government uses such strongarm tactics, it will severely damage patient care. Perhaps the government is prepared to jail thousands of physicians, but again that will result in compromised patient care. To all the leftists who supported the health care bill, this is a sign of things to come – and it’s not pretty. 

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

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Comment #1   Mrs. Gore

I have quite a few comments I want to make, I just have to wait till after the cash settlement.

Tipper Gore

Comment #2   Sen. Clinton

Call me lets do lunch,  we have to talk.

Hillary