Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The American Public Health Association: Traitors

APHA, the association of American public health professionals, has signed on to HR 3200 as well. This comes as no surprise to me.
Public health is becoming to this administration what Josef Goebels was to the Third Reich. They are a rubber stamp, giving the illusion of scientific credibility to the outrageous claims made by democrats. It is one filthy hand washing the other: public health funded entirely by government ensuring that government always has plenty of your money with which to fund them. I speak from experience.
I am currently studying public health, working to earn a Master's degree. What I've discovered is that it should actually be a Master of Arts degree: the art of bilking taxpayers out of their hard-earned money to fund ridiculous, frivolous, and unhelpful studies (oh, and paying yourself a healthy salary in the process). At least I have learned how to debunk their unscientific studies a little more effectively.

The American Psychiatric Association: Traitors

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), the national credentialing group for American psychiatrists, has expressed full support for HR 3200, the House of Representatives' socialized medicine bill.

I'll let you insert your own punch line here.

American Osteopathic Association: Traitors

The American Osteopathic Association, the country's credentialing board for D.O.s (Doctors of Osteopathy), after nearly 100 years of struggling, chips securely on their shoulders, to be respected as equals to M.D.s, have put the debate to rest at last by stupidly signing on to HR 3200, the House of Representatives bill that would destroy American Medicine and patient choice.
Like the ACS, they base their support largely on their mistaken belief that being rid of the SGR as the index that determines Medicare reimbursement will somehow solve all of our problems. They apparently believe that by allowing their support to further propel this anti-American bill through Congress, they will gain a seat at the imaginary table where "changes will be made" that will ultimately make medicine in this country whole again.
Want some advice, D.O.s? (1) Leave the chakra adjustments to the Buddhists, and (2) Never trust the government. They don't plan to involve you or me. They plan to destroy us, and our patients along with us. They want to make you, me, and all our patients so dependent upon them that we can't live or breathe without them (or without paying a tax for the privilege). You shame yourselves by going along with this charade.

American College of Surgeons: Traitors

In a particularly idiotic move, the American College of Surgeons recently expressed their support for HR 3200, the socialized medicine bill authored by the socialist House of Representatives. They based their support on a one-dimensional line of complaint, namely the use of the SGR or "sustainable growth rate" as the index to be used to calculate reimbursement rates through Medicare. HR 3200 promises to scrap the SGR as the index of importance.
Just a couple of problems, though. First, who has ever known Congress, when dominated by either party, to keep promises? Do the 70,000+ members of the ACS seriously believe that this bill will keep anybody in Washington honest? If they do, then this naivete would cause me to seriously question their credentials to perform surgery on kitchen toasters, much less human victims.
Secondly, there is the issue of the utter stupidity of trading one onerous regulatory policy for another, sure-to-be more onerous one, considering that the authors of both strategies have historically shown themselves pathologically incompetent and unwilling to hear logical arguments.
So let me get this straight. The ACS doesn't like the way government decides reimbursements by fiat, so they lend their support to giving more power to that government, so that it is even more capable of deciding reimbursements by fiat. Nice one, ACS. You should be so proud.

American College of Physicians: Traitors

Reading this press release from the American College of Physicians (ACP), the certification board for U.S. Internal Medicine doctors, it becomes clear that they, like many of the other groups on the traitors list, believe that it is better to jump on to the socialized medicine bandwagon now, in the hopes that they can negotiate with the Chicago mobsters for some pittances or indulgences in the future. In short, they sold you and me out for self-interest.

The House of Representatives' socialized medicine bill (HR 3200) is so clearly and fundamentally flawed that it would take an absolute idiot to fail to see that it paves the way for the destruction of American Medicine and the private health care market. And since I have more respect for my fellow doctors than to think them idiots, I have to believe that ACP knowingly and callously allowed their name and their reputation to serve as evidence that doctors were behind this legislation. This gives momentum to this bill that it shouldn't have, or, if you prefer, provides comfort and welfare to our common enemy. For that, the ACP have shown themselves to be traitors.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The AMA: Traitors.

I don't have much to say about the American Medical Association. I think it will say it all if I let you in on a little bit of MOCKBADOC "inside baseball".
When I was preparing my "Consequences" entry, I had to put a good bit of thought into whether I should include the AMA in this group. I had intentionally excluded unions and self-reported communist organizations from the list of "traitors", and the AMA qualifies as both a union (of specialist physicians) and a self-professed communist organization.
In the end, though, I decided to place them in the traitors group because of their undeserved national prominence, and the fact that there are still a few people who haven't gotten the memo on this socialist advocacy group.
Well done, AMA. You made it on the list!

ACOG: Traitors.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) may be the blindest supporter of all. Their leadership is dominated by leftists, and most of their members probably don't even realize it. They are selling their support to the members by claiming that 1/5 of women of childbearing age and 1/7 of pregnant women are uninsured or underinsured. I guess they are trying to make the case that mandatory, government-issued "coverage" of these women will help their members' bottom-line.
As someone who has delivered babies and cared for many women patients myself, many of them uninsured and more of them insured by some sort of government agency, I'd like to ask ObGyns this one simple question:
How is that reimbursement from the government working out for ya?
After pondering that question, ask yourself if you'd like the other 4/5 of the currently privately-insured women of childbearing age and the other 6/7 of the currently privately-insured pregnant women to have the same kind of "insurance" that is notoriously late with payments and consistently cuts your pay without the chance of any kind of appeal. Then make your voice heard with your traitorous Board.

American Academy of Nursing: Traitors.

The AAN goes so far as to have a whole page on their site dedicated to their support of HR 3200. This gives us a rare opportunity to see just how ridiculously blind many of these socialized medicine supporters are to the realities of the bill they just signed on to.
I personally know many nurses who are appalled at the provisions in the bill. Are you a nurse? Are you employed by a doctor or a hospital? This bill puts your job at risk. Oh, of course the government will be more than happy to employ you once your doctor has had to shut his or her doors. Their arms will be wide open to embrace about 1/2 your current salary.

AARP: Traitors.

The website that allows you to join the 50+ savings club known as AARP has this little nugget on the bottom of their main website. Describing what they're about, they say:
I defy them to explain how the mission of "enhancing quality of life" is accomplished through a bill that (1) paves the way for euthanasia as a cost-cutting measure, (2) destroys a patient's ability to choose their doctor, (3) rations care and medications in order to cut costs, (4) virtually ensures a shortage of doctors for the aging baby-boomers through draconian reimbursement cuts and (5) creates waiting lists for appointments and procedures.
This one is easy. Have an AARP membership? Cancel it. They sold you out.

AAFP: Traitors.

The American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) supports destroying health care. I find their press release on the subject to be a laughable attempt to be "part of the debate". They have played with the fire, and now are being burned.
I, for one, as a family doctor, will not forget that they allowed their name to be used in support of a bill that would do more in a season to destroy American Medicine than all of the insurance companies combined have not been able to do in nearly 100 years.
To my family medicine colleagues: there is another family medicine board that has not, as yet, identified itself as traitorous to our profession and our Liberty: The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). I strongly suggest that those of you in family medicine switch your allegience. Your board has sold you out.


Now that the truth about the socialized medicine bills coming out of Congress is out, the future of this latest attack on our Liberty is uncertain, at best. I am encouraged by the number of responsible citizens who have taken the time to actually sit down and read the 1000+ pages released by the U.S. House. I am even more encouraged to see that they are horrified by what those pages contain. Say what you will about the blogosphere - they are doing what the "real" media are not. They are researching and reporting facts.

(Kinda makes you wonder what is involved in getting a 4-year degree in journalism entails, if it doesn't include stressing the importance of research and reporting, doesn't it?)

But now to the point. Without regard to the outcome of this battle, it is time for those of us who believe in Liberty to name names. There is now a list of the groups who have come out in support of House Resolution 3200, which, it is now clear, would result in the destruction of personal liberty in health care choices, would ration health care, and would decimate American Medicine.
Some of the names on this list come as no big surprise. Many are unions, and as such, would benefit personally from this anti-American bill. Unions have always been, and continue to be, a smoldering ember of outright communism that we have always allowed to exist within us, smoldering, always with the risk that it will burst into a full-blown socialistic fire to destroy us. Nevertheless, they are what they are, and their support of a bill that would basically guarantee their ability to sell their votes for free health care for life (the exact cause of the recent problems at GM and Chrysler, incidentally) can be taken in stride.

Many of the others are similarly excluded, because they are notoriously socialistic in their missions. At least these organizations make no secret of their leftist designs on government - to make the majority suffer for their special pet projects.

Now, though, we come to the painful part. We have to decide what to do about the following organizations who signed on to this bill. Their support is being used to push it along, and therefore, their support should be seen as their endorsement of all that it says. We must not listen to their ex post facto excuses about their reasons for supporting it. The support of this bill says it all.

I strongly suggest that you consider making a list of these organizations. We must not forget their names. We must not forget this moment - when a group of people sold us out for their own self-interest. By their support, they said that the well-being of their organization meant more than your security and more than your Liberty. I, for one, plan to make it my mission to prevent one penny of my hard-earned money from ever going to any of the following traitors:

American Academy of Family Practice
American Osteopathic Association
American Psychiatric Association
Tell them how you feel. Let them feel how you feel. If this is a battle (and I believe that it is) then this is a list of new ideological enemies. These are some of the people who have banded together against you. It is time for us to band together against them. It is time for consequences.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Evidence-Based" Medicine - the Sword Cuts Both Ways

Want to see how effective Obama's health care plan will be? Look to the much-vaunted British Health System for guidance.
One of the major elements of the democrat plan is the so-called "Pay for Performance" or P4P provision. The lie is that when doctors are payed based on a government algorithm that grades their success, they practice better, cheaper medicine.
That has now been conclusively proven to be false. I wonder if anybody will listen, or if they are too blinded by ideology to respond to reason. I'm sure that they won't let the facts get in the way of a good vote-buying opportunity.
You see, the objective is not to make health care delivery better, or cheaper, or more equitable. The objective is to increase our dependency on the government for everything - even our very survival.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I feel dirty.

I have spent the majority of my adult life pursuing and practicing medicine. I think I'm pretty good at it. I certainly try to be, at the very least. I feel sure that I've helped some people. I feel relatively sure that if left alone, without somebody hovering over my shoulder, watching my every move and scrutinizing my practices to ensure that I am using their particular version of "best practices", I'd still treat my patients like I'd want to be treated. I practice medicine the way it was taught to me - as an art as well as a science.
Want to know a secret? Picture this: two patients, about the same age, with about the same complaint. Ready for the shocking medical truth? I may not treat these two people exactly the same. Infinite variables exist, which guide the decision-making with regard to the way I speak to the two different patients, the medicines I may prescribe, the education I provide to goes on and on. That's why medicine can only be properly practiced by a living, breathing human doctor.
This is surely offensive to those who believe that medicine can be reduced to a series of algorithms; who believe that the best treatment for a particular condition must necessarily be the one that is cheapest and most efficient for the collective. By this logic, the most "efficient" medical care would undoubtedly be practiced by a computer, which can stick to the now-worshipped "evidence-based" algorithm with a ruthlessness that can never be approximated by even the most devoted human practitioner of "cookbook medicine".
Because I reject this notion wholesale; because I believe that what I do matters; because I want to help my patients to live better lives, even if it is expensive sometimes; and because I have spent my life trying to be worthy of the kind of trust I see in the eyes of a terrified mother with a sick infant, in the eyes of an elderly person gasping for air, in the eyes of a family who knows that one of their loved ones is dying - because of all this and more, I feel dirty, violated, and sickened when I hear our President saying the things he presumed to say tonight on TV.
To suggest that a typical doctor, faced with a child with a sore throat, would seriously contemplate subjecting him or her to a tonsillectomy simply to secure a higher reimbursement is the most disgusting sort of lie. I shouldn't be surprised. He has never been afraid to lie to accomplish his infernal objectives before. But this time it was more personal. He's been very careful not to alienate doctors in the past. He is counting on us to be good little soldiers, taking whatever he decides to give us for our work, and make this big socialist vote-buy possible. He tipped his hand.
What he feels about us is now painfully clear for all who will care to listen to his words. Left to our own devices, we doctors are opportunists - seeking to parlay our education and skill into filthy lucre even at the expense of our patients' safety...especially at the expense of our patients' safety. The mere suggestion should be disgusting to any decent doctor. That this sort of suggestion would be made in the context of his attempts to undermine our hard-won relationship with our patients so that he can ram his socialist agenda down our throats is more than "politics as usual". It is a violation of the most hideous sort. Pot, meet kettle.

Friday, July 17, 2009

NASA: Your Tax Dollars at Work

I have always been a bit of a NASA nerd. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, like many others. I wept when the Challenger exploded. I dreamed of going to "Space Camp". Sadly, when I grew up, I came to realize that it is a miracle that the bureaucratic government bozos at NASA can launch Microsoft Windows, much less a spacecraft.

This week gave us our greatest glimpse in years into their mind-numbing incompetence. First they grounded the entire Shuttle fleet after the liquid fuel tank shed foam once again, once again damaging the orbiter. The jury is out on how damaged, exactly.

Then, on the 40th anniversary of the much-celebrated moon landing, they admitted (to the nearly audible "AHA!" of conspiracy theorists worldwide) that they had "lost" or even perhaps "recorded over" what were the previously-unreleased and reportedly the best film evidence of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

I am undecided about this issue. I must admit, though, that it looks a bit suspicious after this week's revelations. Great job, NASA. If this is the best that our government's "best and brightest" can do, it heralds disaster for health care.

I'm running out of room in my "Government Incompetence" file, but maybe I can stuff this one in there.


The socialist health care advocates have scored perhaps their greatest victory. They have reduced the once proud members of America's once noble medical profession to self-serving cannibalism.

The American Medical Association has endorsed the House health care reform bill; they were placated by promises not to cut the wages of specialists in order to increase the wages of primary care doctors.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has endorsed the House bill; I have no idea why they would have done so, unless they are banking on improvements in their bottom line once the rolls of the uninsured are artificially shrunk. Another possibility is that they were simply too chronically sleep-deprived to actually read what the bill says.

Most personally devastating, the American Academy of Family Practice has also endorsed the bill. I shouldn't be surprised - the AAFP has been leaning progressively socialist for the past few years, and I guess have finally succumbed to the perpetual brow-beating about health care entitlement being the new civil rights fight of our time or something.

So the AMA gambles that specialists will be able to defeat primary care, the AAFP gambles that the government will give us a largely symbolic recognition of the things we've done for years without being reimbursed by them, and ObGyn gambles that being reimbursed a pittance for the relatively small number of uninsured people they see will be worth losing money on the majority who are currently insured. The growing rift between our specialties is now official. Just as they planned, the government has broken our backs by pitting us against each other. We can't all be winners, of course. And experience suggests that we'll all lose.

These groups have now dug their own graves. Instead of serving as the lone voices of reason in the struggle to save the doctor-patient relationship, these groups have instead thrown their support behind a 1000+ page bill that ensures that none of us will ever be free to practice real medicine again. Now we will be nothing more than unwitting tools of the socialist left, as they buy votes with our labors.

This bill makes buying or selling private insurance illegal. Once it's in place, our income and ability to practice medicine the right way will be at the mercy of the same intellectual giants who have responded to a lack of money by printing more worthless money, have doggedly refused to slow the largest cause of expensive health care - uncontrolled frivolous litigation - and openly admit that the new public "option" will be based on the same flawed Medicare model that has largely contributed to this whole mess in the first place.

Well done, guys. It will actually be sardonically hilarious to watch as the realization sets in that *gasp* Nancy Pelosi can't be trusted. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trusting Your Gut

Why do the Democrats want this health care plan so badly? You've got to wonder. Polls show lukewarm support at best for this idea. Now David Axelrod, asked about the growing opposition to this plan, even in the current generally-sympathetic Democrat-controlled Congress, is quoted as saying "This isn't about a process. It's about results".
Excuse me, Mr. Axelrod. I think it is very much about the process. In fact, it is all about the process. That's the whole point of our form of government. It is designed to be a stumbling block to would-be tyrants like you and your boss who desire to impose their self-serving will on an unwilling people.
So why is this such a big deal? Why is it so important to them to get it done before the end of the year? Whatever your opinions on the state of American Medicine, you have to admit that it's a bit unsettling to have your elected leaders trying so hard to cram this through. Disagree? Try putting the shoe on the other foot.
If roles were reversed, and a Republican President and two Republican houses of Congress, both with unstoppable majorities, were pushing something you weren't entirely sure about, I would expect you to be a bit alarmed. I would be, too.
Unfortunately, the "fair-weather patriots" who protested loudly every time GWB scratched his face are nowhere to be seen. Their hypocrisy cries out for notice, but no one says a word. Their opposition to large government, to war in foreign lands, to illegal wiretapping, to imprisoning and torturing terrorists - all has gone silent.
They say you can be known by the kind of people you call your friends. I believe the same is true for those you oppose. If that's true, then those of us who oppose this administration's actions are probably just about right in our thinking. At least we call it like we see it, unblinded by ideology.
Nobody likes a pest. And in my experience, when somebody continues pushing something well beyond the point of uncomfortability, there is usually some ulterior motive. Just as the ultimate cynic (and well-known racist) President Lyndon Johnson used support of the civil rights movement to "ensure the [black] vote for the next 50 years", this promises to make an already government-addicted public powerless to remove these socialists from power.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Michael Moore: Mister Invisible

Funny. I thought Michael Moore, the self-proclaimed champion of the blue-collar classes, would be all over this. I guess unemployment is only bad when there is a handy conservative to blame.
At least they'll all have the same crummy health care as their working counterparts, unless a miraculous return to common sense occurs.
Well done, Mr. Moore. Your self-righteousness has helped doom a fifth of your Michigan neighbors. Not that you care, of course. You'll remain conspicuously silent as your hero's deranged policies ensure slow (or no) recovery. Cap and trade will make the U.S. a hogtied nation, competing with India and China with both hands tied behind our backs.
Remember when you were so excited about "owning" GM and Chrysler? Remember your mocking laugh when imagining their factories being converted to make wind turbines? Didn't exactly work out that way, did it? Oh, well. I'm sure nobody will hold you accountable. Nobody ever does. So sleep well. There are still 4/5 of your fellow Michigan residents who are gainfully employed.