Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Well as everyone is trying to get to where they need to be and settle in for the Holiday, our Senators are working really exceedingly hard pulling in some long hours. I know they have some really great health benefits, administrated for most by a private sector company. I used to be a Federal employee and work for the VA, the largest "socialized" health care system in the country. I know the Federal Employee Health Benefits I had (FEHB) were awesome. I know they cost a fraction about 90% less of what I now pay for my health benefits as a private practice physician. Nothing like being penalized severely for not being in a "large pool". We must always shift the cost somewhere right?
As a "consumer" a patient, I like to think that overall at 48 I am in pretty good health. The Health Care legislation and the political history that will be made, frankly scare me half to death as a patient.
As a physician it demoralizes me. Things are bad now, I can't practice medicine to much without a bureaucratic entity telling me what I can and can;t do even in private practice. I can't prescribe the correct and appropriate medication to help a patient without begging some non-medical person for permission and fighting through stacks of paperwork and forms, meant to break down the doctor so you give up and prescribe something less than optimal. (Cost Containment)
My innate and 20 years of clinical wisdom and experience are not rationally challenged but instead are beaten down daily. My ethical sense is constantly urged to be compromised every day, yet I keep fighting for my patients. Maybe to no avail.
I am told who I can and can not refer a patient to regardless of if I know whom the best person is. The insurance company does that, regardless of whom is the best.
I am used to that. From what I can see (although like everyone else including many of the Senators I did not read the thousands of pages of the bill), that is NOT going to change. It may even get worse. It most likely will get worse. It really does not seem like REFORM. It is hard to follow S. 1796 America's Healthy Future Act.
Check it out at open congress introduced by Senator Baacus from Montana back in October.

Then there is Harry Reid. I heard him addressing the senate the other night and he cited some really sad stories of patients scenarios in Nevada, and not being able to access health care. He sounded really sad for these people like he cared.

According to wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Reid

"Reid is a first generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[56] Reid and his wife, who was born to Jewish parents, converted to Mormonism while Reid was a college student.[3] He stated in an interview with Brigham Young University's Daily Universe that "I think it is much easier to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat than a good member of the Church and a Republican." He went on to say that the Democrats' emphasis on helping others, as opposed to what he considers Republican dogma to the contrary, is the reason he's a Democrat.[57] He delivered a speech at BYU to about 20,000 students on October 9, 2007, in which he expressed his opinion that Democratic values mirror Mormon values.[58]"

And to think I thought it was not progressive to interface religion and politics. So which is it?

How did this happen? Is this America's Christmas present? Read all about it. I actually was able to follow this story.

Oh well God Bless America.
I hope it gets better for patients. I wish I could practice medicine ethically unhindered. Do we really need doctors anymore? Can't we just get by with administrators, and nurses and nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and lots of techs and lots and lots of mid-level providers, and lots more technology and electronic means perhaps a lot more federal employees and bureaucracy? I mean there is a doctor shortage in many parts anyway? whats the difference? Doctors are too expensive right?
Isn't it doctors that have driven up the cost of health care? Or Wait maybe we collectively as Americans are done playing that mantra record.
As Americans we can just sit back and wait.
Oh well God Help America.
Merry Christmas.

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Talking about the book with the Lake Superior wind....... a calm day