|August 16th, 2012||#121|
The Inevitable Future of Electronic Medical Records
by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD
For the past year now I’ve been using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) and believe the writing is on the wall. These computerized medical records are not about improving health care; they are about control of both the physician and patient.
Beginning in 2013, doctors who don’t prescribe electronically will be penalized financially. Although this mandate is Medicare-driven, Medicare collects statistics for patients of all ages and insurance groups, not just those receiving Medicare benefits. What Medicare requires eventually effects us all.
So what do I foresee? A primary goal of the EHR is the universal availability of your medical records. If you’re in Florida and visit an Urgent Care center while on vacation, "ideally" your records from your Ohio family physician will be readily accessible. With your health records on computer, theoretically the information can be transferred nearly instantaneously. The problem is, there are hundreds of different EHR systems, and they do not communicate with each other, and your doctor may not be able or willing to provide this information in the middle of the night. The easiest solution to this problem is the adoption of a single system used nationwide by all providers.
If only one system is to be used, it will likely be government-controlled. For timely exchange of information, your records will need to be hosted on the Internet (which many already are). This makes it simple for governing agencies to collect data on both patients and physicians. If America ever goes to a single-payer system, you can guarantee data collection will skyrocket.
You will also need a number, a card perhaps, similar to an insurance or Medicare card. But my patients commonly forget to bring these along. What if you show up in the ER without identification? Why, the simplest answer is to have your EHR-access information available in or on your body. Pets are commonly "chipped" with tiny RFID implants, in case they are lost. What about your Granny with Alzheimer’s, or young children, or mental patients prone to wander? They too can be chipped – and so can we all.
If you think this is crazy, consider that Medicare is already collecting data on your body mass index, your tobacco use, your vital signs, diagnoses, and medications. Insurance companies and pharmacies track which drugs I prescribe and whether my patients are compliant with refills. In Ohio, every controlled drug that is prescribed is reported to a database. Last year it was voluntary for me to check my patients. This year I am mandated to check this database on all patients using any controlled drug or tramadol in an on-going basis. Whereas this mandate is to find the few who are abusing medication, it subjects all of us to governmental monitoring. Additionally, this mandate will require dozens, perhaps hundreds, of hours of my time to detect a problem, wasting both time and money. The benefit to society is unproven, but it’s the law. Your name, too, may be in a government database. A few Vicodin after a dental extraction may land you there.
My only patient to refuse the EHR to date is a former citizen of the USSR. What does that say? Does she know something we don’t?
At least for now, you can refuse an EHR record – at least at my office. Other doctors may not be so accommodating. If they have transferred all their records to computer, they may have no means of maintaining a paper record. And if your doctor is an employee, he or she has little if any say-so in the matter.
The EHR amounts to a little-recognized infringement of your personal freedom. Perhaps this article will engender a rebellion against computerized medical records. I’m actually hoping so. My paper records were better organized, easier to access, and definitely more secure.
August 16, 2012
|August 23rd, 2012||#122|
Friedman noted that 56 percent of all hospitals in America were privately owned as for-profit enterprises in 1910.... It took decades, but by the early 1990s government had taken over nearly the entire hospital industry.... Friedman's key contention was that, as with all bureaucratic systems, government-owned or government-controlled healthcare created a situation whereby increased "inputs" such as expenditures on equipment, infrastructure, and the salaries of medical professionals, actually led to decreased "output" in terms of the quantity and quality of medical care.... This kind of result is present in all government-run bureaucracies because of the absence there of any kind of market feedback mechanism. Since there are no profits in an accounting sense in government, there is no reliable mechanism for rewarding good performance and penalizing poor performance. (pp. 26–7, emphasis in original)
|August 23rd, 2012||#123|
The Medical-Pharmaceutical Killing Fields
Posted by Karen De Coster on August 22, 2012 09:04 PM
A must-see documentary this year will be premiered one month from now: Medical, Inc, a movie about "exposing the modern medical monopoly." I hope this film lives up to its potential in exposing the incompetencies, myths, and fraud of the government-medical-pharmaceutical oligarchy.
And no, the gentleman speaking in the opening scene of the trailer (and in other snippets) is not a regime figure in the Third Reich - he is a former spokesperson for the AMA. As one chiropractor in the film notes, "Medicine is not health care; it is sick care. And when you take sick care and provide it through a culture like health care, then you end up with a sick culture."
|August 23rd, 2012||#124|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Did you see that from fees, taxes, penalties and fines that the health care bill, the so-called Affordable Health Care Act, will cost nearly 900 billion dollars over the next 10 years, apart from its 900 billion price tag?
Amazingly, the Supreme Court allowed this bill to stand in its entirety and considered all of these onerous and Unconstitutional coercions on people to buy and provide certain varieties of health care as "taxes." This system is garbage.
|September 13th, 2012||#126|
[no idea if this is true]
Golden Dawn Beat Up Doctor Who Demanded Bribe to Treat Sick Patient
Posted by Cheradenine Zakalwe
Scanning the Internet for an interesting offbeat story we stumbled on this one. It is actually a little horrific, but at the same time we actually said "yioupiiii" and sighed with relief. (Sorry... but its true)
According to an article in the Patras daily "Allagi" members of the GD party attacked a doctor at the Hospital of Rio who had the audacity to ask a very sick patient for a "fakelaki" so that he would perform his duties! The incident, according to the article, occurred three days ago and a vocal complaint was made immediately to both the management of the Hospital and the 6th Health District.
According to the publication, the relatives of the patient were annoyed and insulted by the coercive behavior of the doctor. They wanted help and skipped turning to the hospital management or the police in fear that their case would be placed on the back burner and they instead called on the "Golden Dawn" party for help. Almost immediately members of Golden Dawn flooded the Doctor's office and he was attacked. They left undisturbed after the incident. (Reference in Greek - Taxalia)
Editor's Note - No we do not agree with violence... but we cannot hide our satisfaction knowing that the little guy struck a blow to the corrupt State system. The focus should not be on whether the Golden Dawn party has bullies amongst its ranks, which it might, but rather that our brothel of a public sector continues to thrive even in a cash-strapped Greece! Especially State doctors. They continue to ask -or rather demand- for an envelope -or fakelaki- every time we need their services without one ounce of remorse. To them this is a given. Without it... expect to be treated months later, not to be treated at all and if you are treated and do not also give a second "fakelaki" to the nurses then expect to sleep on soiled sheets and smell like a soiled toilet until you leave the hospital. Unfortunately this is the pitiful truth. Obviously this activity thrives because Greek society supports it of course and State healthcare workers take good advantage of it. In some sadistic way the public sector has forced citizens to believe that they will not be serviced if they do not sweeten their pockets first. We actually smiled when we read this story... and no... we did not pity the doctor at all. In fact we bet our bottom dollar that this particular doctor will never ask for a fakelaki again! LOL...
|October 2nd, 2012||#127|
The Obamacare Lobster Trap
by Bill Butler
According the Affordable Care Act’s ("ACA") website, ACA is:
THE ACA LOBSTER TRAP: THE "EXCHANGE"
As a condition to implementing ACA, ACA requires that every State (and, interestingly, the federal territories) establish a health care "Exchange." The Exchange is a computer database of programs and designed to implement ACA within the States. Through the Exchange, authorized health care providers, participating employers and individuals and payers (insurers and the federal and state governments) will input information designed to create a "market" for health care services.
In order to create a market, however, ACA needs "information." Specifically, it needs information on the people who will be demanding services from this market – the lobsters. What if the lobsters are too smart to enter the trap themselves? ACA demands that the States to throw the lobsters into the trap by populating State Exchanges with their personal, private financial and health data without any lobster first giving their consent. ACA can never go anywhere without complicit State actors.
An example of the information that will become part of each state’s Exchange is found in Exhibit D of the State of Minnesota’s $41-million Exchange Contract with Virginia-based "Maximus" corporation. Governor Mark Dayton entered into the Exchange Contract through the executive fiat of an Executive Order without legislative action. In Exhibit D, Governor Dayton authorized the State of Minnesota to provide Maximus with the following information on its citizens: private data, health records, chemical health records, HIPPA-protected health information, Electronic Health Information and federal tax information.
Not only has no Minnesota lobster consented to allowing the State of Minnesota sharing his personal, private health and financial data with the ominous-sounding Maximus, no Minnesota legislator has passed a law permitting Governor to establish the Exchange. Yet over $41 million in funds will flow through the Minnesota State treasury to Maximus.
THE REALITY OF THE ACA "MARKET"
ACA will in fact create a "market." But the market will be a federally controlled and federally regulated oligopoly and will therefore resemble the Soviet Union bread market. Government will determine who is an authorized provider and will therefore determine (and therefore limit) supply. Government will also determine who is an authorized payer (only authorized insurers and the government itself through Medicare and Medicaid) and therefore limit "demand."
Although the hapless lobsters who enter the trap based on the promise of "improved health care" will think that it will serve their "demand" for health care, it will not. ACA is to stop the gushing of red ink from federal Medicare and Medicaid. The only way to do this is to for the federal government to get control of costs. The only way to do this is for the federal government to complete control of the market and deny payment, deny services or exclude providers who, according to the federal government, "overcharge." This is already happening and ACA is not even off the ground. Just look at the recent actions of Massachusetts Governor and Obama acolyte Deval Patrick. He has signed a "cost containment" law that will limit state ACA expenditures. Moody’s reports that the law is "credit negative" for hospitals as will "limit revenue growth" and "reduce their operating flexibility."
The reality of ACA is that the very wealthy and the independent thinkers will avoid the lobster trap and will seek free-market health care outside of ACA and will obtain real, discerning, market-based holistic health care. The poor lobsters who enter the allopathic ACA trap will soon realize that it will not and cannot provide the services they need. They will wake up to the fact that the ACA system resembles the Bataan Death March more than the health care they once enjoyed. That is when the hapless lobsters will discover what the federal government really means by "universal" health care – there is no way out.
The great Murray Rothbard commented that the "State is a gang of thieves writ large." Nowhere is this more evident than in ACA and government involvement in health care generally.
For example, Minnesota has its own diluted version of ACA called "MinnesotaCare." In order to get the dollars that flow from the federal and state Medicare and Medicaid troughs, a group of politically connected University of Minnesota physicians established a company called "UCare." The idea behind UCare was to make UCare one of the preferred providers for MinnesotaCare: to get first in line at the trough. In 2011, UCare quietly "gifted" $30 million to the State of Minnesota. This gift in fact represented sums that UCare had overcharged the State for Medicaid services. State Health and Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson suggested to the UCare cronies that they characterize the payment as a "gift" so that the State of Minnesota (Crime Family No. 2) would not have to share the overcharges with its partners in crime, the federal government (Crime Family No. 1). Leader of Crime Family No. 1 Senator Chuck Grassley, however, discovered the lack of honor among thieves, demanded payment and got it.
And so will be the fate of ACA. The free market price mechanism has a way of keeping people honest. Free market prices did not exist in the Soviet bread market and do not exist in ACA Exchanges. The winners in the ACA system will the UCare’s of the world: socialist cronies who can steal $30 million in full public view and then avoid prosecution by calling return of the ill-gotten loot a "gift."
A TAX? REALLY? IS IT REALLY CONSTITUTIONAL?
In the United State Supreme Court’s decision regarding Obamacare, turncoat Justice John Roberts avoided a "commerce clause" challenge by calling the ACA’s penalty for non-compliance a "tax."
Exposing the lobster trap nature of ACA, its opponents properly pointed out to Justice Roberts that the ACA cannot be a tax, because the penalty will apply to everyone who refuses to purchase health care insurance through the Exchange. Taxes that apply to everyone are "direct" taxes and the United States Constitution does not allow "direct" taxation without apportionment (division in accordance with state population). Unapportioned federal taxes can only be lawful if they are indirect, excise taxes. Indirect, excise taxes are constitutional because they can be avoided. The federal 19 cents per gallon gas tax is an example. Don’t want to pay the tax? Ride a bike.
Peter Schiff explains the difference between a constitutional indirect tax and an unconstitutional indirect tax here.
Justice Roberts response? Here it is:
Then he no-so-deftly admits that the penalty applies to everyone (that is, it is an unconstitutional direct tax), but it is only "triggered by specific circumstances." That circumstance is being lobster who may have unwittingly entered an ACA Exchange by accessing its medical care and then later earning "a certain amount of income."
That is when the lobster discovers the trap.
Murray was right.
October 1, 2012
Bill Butler [send him mail] is a Minneapolis attorney and the owner of Butler Liberty Law.
|libertarianism is jewish|