April 1, 2010 Recent News





I am putting most of the healthcare information under news since as of this writing it has not become law and therefore not legislated.

The Democrats are attempting to not have to put up or shut up.  They want to attempt to pass healthcare bills in the House without actually voting so they can lie to their constituents when they are up for re-election.  This is a legal maneuver that has been used by both parties in the past but not for something that is as divisive and controversial as reform.  This also goes against Obama's diatribes about giving reform a up or down vote.

Also Obama and the House want to give everything to everybody and that costs money.  In order to get reconciliation the House will have to come close to the Senate bill that will, according to the CBO, reduce the deficit by over $100 Billion over the next decade.  This will be a major problem for the House.

It is a shame that the feds don't look at their predecessors.  Those who do not look at history are doomed to repeat it.  First look at England.  The Democrats want a commission to make the tough decisions so they won't have to vote.  England has such a commission called NICE.  In two recent articles NICE has been scandalized for allowing people to die due to not paying for meds. The Independent states that thousands of cancer patients are being denied access to costly therapy.  When NICE reviews new cancer drugs the process is taking 21 months instead of the pledged six months.  Another London paper states that the drugs disallowed are in use in Europe and the USA and are rejected on the basis of costs only.  Look closely at the similarity between NICE and the Congressional mandate.

Continuing in England, the primary care physicians are miserable at diagnosing and following through on cancer diagnosis.  The hospitals are not much better.  Two articles came out about the thousands of misdiagnosed or late diagnosed people.  Tests were delayed or misplaced due to staff and equipment shortages.  This was all reported by the NIH.  

Look closer to home.  The People's Republic of Massachusetts has had a Universal Health experiment going for several years.  This has, in this small state, broken the bank.  They have had to look to the feds for a bailout.  Query: Who does the fed look to when their experiment goes broke?  The Republic is now looking to capping all medical payments.  This means a per patient annual fee to cover all the patient's ailments.  This is the full HMO which is the step just prior to bankruptcy.

The Republic's Democratic Treasurer has stated the Republic's health care is bankrupting the area. He goes on to state that this will also be what happens to the country if reform is passed nationally.

California feels the Federal Reform could cost the state $2 Billion to $3 Billion annually.  This is due to the Federal mandates to the states regarding Medicaid.  The Feds are not going to pay what they have been paying to the states.  It will be significantly less.

The New York Times has an article about the impending lack of access to primary care physicians.  These physicians are already seeing more patients than they should in order to keep their income steady.  The Bill has an increase in income for the newly insured being seen by the primary care physicians.  The increase is up to Medicare rates.  A big whoopty do.  There continues to be a disproportionate few that go into primary care.  The medical schools do not believe that primary care is prestigious and discourage their brightest from entering this form of medicine.  

Nationally, there has been a reduced amount of payment for medical care.  This has, according to the New York Times, caused physicians to drop their Medicaid patients.  This also limited access for those on Medicaid and increases emergency room visits.

In California a group of Cardiologists have instituted a pre payment of between $500 to $7500 before they will see Medicare patients.  This is because of Medicare's new rules regarding payment for all the high tech machinery that is used in the cardiology offices.  The new fees will cover direct email and notification of non urgent lab test results.  Those who don't pay the fee will still be able to be seen but will not be allowed to obtain phone consultations unless there is an emergency.  They will need to make office visits to get the results of their tests.  This is a nine person practice in Santa Monica.

It's not just physicians.  Walgreens in Washington has announced it is no longer filling prescriptions for Medicaid new patients due to low fees. 

Large companies will be hard hit be the new laws.  They will lose the tax advantages of providing drug plans for their retirees.  Guess who will soon be dropped onto Medicare for the pharmaceutical needs?  Guess who will not be happy campers when this occurs?  Remember the AARP supported this.

CNN Research conducted a poll of 913 voters and found the 56% disapproved of the bill and 47% said a repeal was in order.  There were 53% either displeased or angry about the passed bill.  Only 22% of responders felt they would be better off under the new bill, however, almost half felt others would be better off under the bill.  Less than half of the respondents felt that this was a major victory for Obama.       Top


The New England Journal has an article telling of the stupidity of ranking physicians on cost.  The Rand Corporation found that 25% of Massachusetts' physicians ranked by insurers was inaccurate.  They state that the errors lead to no monetary savings and irreparable damage to the patient physician relationship.   

A study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology states the majority of inappropriate CT and MRI scans come from primary care physicians.

A survey of national CFOs state that the standard physician adds about $1.5 million to each hospital's bottom line.  Neurosurgeons topped the list with $2.8 million followed by invasive cardiologists at $2.2 million and Orthopods at $2.1 million.  The lowest were peds at $856,000.         Top


The California Nurses Assn. has endorsed Jerry Brown for Governor in the upcoming election.  The reason has nothing to do with his qualifications.  They stated the reason was "his record of union advocacy when he was governor from 1975-1983."        Top


  DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.