Medical Myths

Current Issue

If I don’t have insurance, I am unable to pay for medical care

A patient told my office she couldn’t afford to see me since she didn’t have health insurance. She had applied for ObamaCare and paid the first months premium of $600 but was unable to make the next payment. Therefore, she would be unable to keep her six-month follow up appointment. What she didn’t comprehend was that the two visits to my office per year plus her medications if she purchased them with cash at the discount houses (in Sacramento, these include Walmart, Costco, and Target) would only be approximately $400 per year, less than the first month’s payment on her ObamaCare premium.

Her medical care consisted of management of her mild BP and her anxieties. The discount houses offer nearly 320 drugs for $4 a month or $10 for a three month’s supply. Since she required an anxiety drug which can only be filled for 6 months in California, two medical appointments per year are necessary. At the current rate of $150 per appointment, this would be $300 for the year. The two medications at $20 every three months would equal $80 for the year. Thus her yearly healthcare costs would be only $380 if she paid cash, which was $220 less than the one month of ObamaCare premium she forfeited because she could not make the $600 per month premium for the minimum required three months.

But she replied that didn’t cover her Emergency Room costs which for two visits were $1200 or twice the premium she had to forfeit. Looking over the two ER records indicated that she had no emergency, only anxiety attacks. She didn’t have the presence of mind to take an extra anxiety pill and lay down for an hour to let the anxiety attack resolve itself, which would cost pennies for the extra pill, and would have saved her $1200 of unnecessary ER visits.

She then asked how she could obtain the medicine without insurance. Doesn’t the pharmacy require her to have insurance?

My prescription is your authorization to obtain the medication. Then you have to pay your $10 for a three month’s supply.

She looked at me with unbelieving eyes, shook her head, and said, “Oh well, I’ll have the hospital paid off in six more months.”

Will ObamaCare solve this type of Gluttonous Medical Over Utilization or will the availability of ER & Urgent care visits in their plan just increase the use of after hour conveniences?

Or will the Tax, Spend & Regulate lawmakers (The T, S, & R party) only request more taxes so they can spend more and then regulate the utilization to a minimum?

I’ll wager that the “T S & R” party will continue to dream on.

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Medical Myths originate when someone else pays the medical bills.

Myths disappear when Patients pay Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service.

 

Medical Myths

Previous Issue

Cigarettes

Where there’s smoke . . .

The Economist | From the print edition | Jan 11th 2014 

It was the report that showed, without a whiff of doubt, that cigarettes kill. On January 11th 1964—a Saturday, so to not roil the stockmarket—Surgeon-General Luther Terry released a 387-page document entitled “Smoking and Health”. Ten scientists (all men; half smokers) analysed 7,000 studies to assess the effects of tobacco on the human body. Its conclusions were incendiary. “Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men,” it said. (“The data for women,” it added, “point in the same direction.”)

The report clearly showed how smokers died younger (see chart 1). A year later, Congress required health warnings on every packet. Public understanding of the risks of smoking changed even faster. Ads in the 1950s had claimed that tobacco was good for you; after the report millions of Americans quit puffing. In the past 50 years cigarette consumption per adult has fallen by 72% (see chart 2). The report called smoking a habit, not an addiction. But apart from that, it hit the coffin nail on the head. Read the entire article in The Economist, subscription required . . .

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Medical Myths are hard to repudiate . . . sometimes at great cost.

Myths disappear when Patients pay Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service.

 

Medical Myths

Past Issue

Obama Care: The Truth; The Lies

Health Care: A new survey shows that ObamaCare is less popular with the uninsured than with the public. How is this even possible?

The January Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll shows that just 24% of the uninsured approve of ObamaCare. That’s down from 40% the month before the reform officially launched in October, and it’s a full 10 points below the public’s overall favorable rating.

Incredibly, more than twice as many uninsured say they’re worse off because of ObamaCare than say it’s helped. What’s more, just 7% of the uninsured say they tried to get coverage through an ObamaCare exchange. Nearly 60% say they hadn’t done anything to get coverage over the previous six months.

Given that Democrats claimed to have specifically tailored it to help the uninsured, these results make absolutely no sense.

Could it be that Democrats grossly misunderstood the population they were trying to help? Or had they’d been peddling lies about the uninsured population for so long — as a way to sell “universal health care” — that they’d come to believe their own propaganda?

It’s more likely the latter of the two. Despite the endlessly repeated mantra about 40-plus million uninsured, data have shown for decades the actual ranks of the uninsured were much smaller, and the population less helpless, than Democrats routinely claimed.

As IBD reported, 42% of the uninsured are either non-citizens, eligible for Medicaid, or actually enrolled in Medicaid. Another big chunk earns more than $75,000 a year. And the vast majority of those who lose insurance get it back within a year, about half within months.

Plus, various surveys find that only a tiny fraction — just 5% in the Kaiser survey — say they don’t have insurance because of poor health or age.

But admitting that the real uninsured problem is narrow would have undermined the Democrats’ goal of “comprehensive” health reform. So they routinely withheld such facts — as did the mainstream press, which is equally as enthusiastic about nationalized health care.

These facts help explain the relative indifference among the uninsured to ObamaCare. So far, only about 11% of those who signed up have been uninsured, although nobody knows for how long. The vast majority were just trying to continue coverage they had before ObamaCare came along.

Why should the uninsured bother? Other than threatening a modest tax penalty, ObamaCare gives them little reason to buy coverage. In fact, it practically begs them not to.

First, the plans are far too expensive, thanks to ObamaCare’s regulations, taxes, and benefit mandates. And the subsidies phase out quickly enough that many lower-middle class families will still find they can’t or don’t want to pay the costs.

Second, it won’t take long for those currently uninsured to realize that they are better off putting off the purchase, since ObamaCare guarantees they can get coverage after they get sick, and at subsidized rates.

And third, the law deliberately hamstrings the IRS’s ability to collect the tax penalty, making it a nearly worthless motivational tool.

Ironically, if the uninsured don’t show up at the exchanges, ObamaCare will expose the Democrats’ big lie about them. Then, perhaps, the nation could get busy enacting targeted, market-based health reforms that actually make insurance more affordable, more portable, and more attractive to those who don’t buy it today.

Investor’s Business Daily . . .

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Medical Myths originate when someone else pays the medical bills.

Myths disappear when Patients pay Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service.

 

Medical Myths

Past Issue

Just give me some good cough syrup so I can sleep

In section 2 above concerning the solution to medical errors, the article indicates the following:

Part of the solution [to medical errors] is automation—using computers to sift through medical records to look for potential bad calls, or to prompt doctors to follow up on red-flag test results. Another component is devices and tests that help doctors identify diseases and conditions more accurately, and online services that give doctors suggestions when they aren't sure what they're dealing with.

In another study it was determined that four out of five errors in making a diagnosis were the result of breakdown in the doctor-patient encounter. The leading causes were problems in history taking and lack of a complete physical examination.

It was the latter that was lacking in section 5 above. A focused medical history and a focused medical examination produced a more accurate diagnosis in one office call at a potential savings of $10,000 to $15,000. It appears the emphasis in physician training has been towards technology. If technology is not firmly based on a foundation of accurate medical history and physical findings, it may be pointed in the wrong direction and of little value despite the exorbitant cost.

Cough is one of the two most common causes for a doctor’s visit. However, in our experience it is generally treated with a cough syrup rather than towards the cause. Bronchospasm requires a bronchodilator, not a cough suppressant.

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Medical & Sexual Myths originate in secular temples on campuses.

 

Medical Myths

Past Issue

Universal Intimacy

Why Is There a Hookup Culture?

By Dennis Prager

It is well known that most college students engage at one time or another in what is known as a "hookup" -- an emotionless, commitment-less sexual encounter.

Yesterday, I interviewed Donna Freitas, author of "The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy."

In our dialogue, we agreed that her book subtitle was accurate, but we disagreed as to the cause. Freitas, who holds a Ph.D. in religious studies, blamed it on peer pressure, the sex-drenched social media of young people and the ubiquity of pornography. I blamed three other culprits: feminism, careerism and secularism. 

I was in college and graduate school during the heyday of modern feminism. And the central message to women was clear as daylight: You are no different from men. Therefore, among other things, you can enjoy sex just like they do -- just for the fun of it and with many partners. The notion that nearly every woman yearns for something deeper when she has sexual intercourse with a man was dismissed as patriarchal propaganda. The culture might tell her to restrict sex to a man who loves her and might even marry her, but the liberated woman knows better: Sex without any emotional ties or possibility of future commitment can be "empowering."

Feminism taught -- and professors on the New York Times op-ed page continue to write -- that there are no significant natural differences between men and women. Therefore, it is not unique to male nature to want to have sex with many partners. Rather, a "Playboy culture" "pressures" men into having frequent, uncommitted sex. And, to the extent this is a part of male nature, it is equally true of women's natures.

Another feminist message to women was that just as a woman can have sex like a man, she can also find career as fulfilling as men do. Therefore, pursuing an "M-R-S" at college is just another residue of patriarchy. Women should be as interested in a career as men are. Any hint of the notion that women want, more than anything else, to marry and make a family is sexist, demeaning, and untrue.

One result is that instead of trying to find a potential husband, young women are under feminist pressure to show that they couldn't care less about forming an exclusive, let alone permanent, relationship with a man. And this provides another reason for her to engage in non-emotional, commitment-free sex.

The third reason for the hookup culture is the radical secularization of the college campus. The concept of the holy is dead at American campuses, and without the notion of the holy it is very difficult to make the case for minimizing, let alone avoiding, non-marital sex. Sex, which every great religion seeks to channel into marriage, has no such role in secular thinking. The (SET ITAL) only (END ITAL) issues for students to be aware of when it comes to sex are health and consent. Beyond those two issues, there is not a single reason not to have sex with many people.

That's why colleges -- secular temples that they are -- throughout America reinforce the centrality and importance of sex as a mechanical act. There are "sex weeks" at many of our institutions of higher learning that feature demonstrations of sex toys, S&M seminars, porn stars coming to speak, etc.

Feminist teaching about male-female sameness; feminist teaching that women will derive their greatest meaning from career, not from marriage and family; and the complete removal of religious values and teaching from the college campus are, indeed, "leaving a generation unhappy, sexually unfulfilled [certainly most of the women] and confused about intimacy."

But this is not how Dr. Freitas sees it.

As Esfehani Smith wrote in her review of the book for the Wall Street Journal: "In the book's conclusion, Ms. Freitas says that she wants young adults to have 'good sex,' a category that can include, she suggests, hooking up -- as long as students recognize that casual sex is 'just one option among many.' Yet this jars with the nearly 200 preceding pages on the corrosive effects of casual sex."

Kudos, then to Dr. Freitas for delineating the tragedy. But I suspect that it is her very Ph.D. that prevents her from understanding either the roots of this human tragedy or its solution. Both would involve the moral and intellectual rejection of the very institution that granted it to her

Read the entire column http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=278ef6fe-2535-4255-8e54-e9dee622334b&url=why-is-there-a-hookup-culture-n1582306

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Medical & Sexual Myths originate in secular temples on campuses.

 

Medical Myths

Past Issue

Whistle Blowers Keep Doctors in Line?

WASHINGTON, DC . . . the whistleblowers and persons of conscience will hold the fifth annual gathering on Capitol Hill, focused on signature issues of Judicial Accountability, Medical Integrity and expanding education and awareness of whistleblower issues, particularly in light of consideration of the preventable **disasters that have beset the United States. Advocates from around the country to meet in the Nation's Capitol and encourage their lawmakers to pass the protection for whistleblowers.

As the Nation's budget crisis continues to grow, lawmakers must be encouraged to look towards the activities of corporate and federal whistleblowers in assuring proper spending.

Registration and details at
http://internationalwhistleblower.org/

Dear Scoop Readers and Writers,

Scoop has been crucial to the public interest, and in exposing matters of critical interest to the nation. Now, all of us are having a National Meeting to press our agenda to Congress. OEN has consistently pursued the public interest and whistleblower rights. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make our voices heard, and to meet and make the public aware of the crisis in rights

We Need Every Single OEN reader and writer to attend. Please send this invitation everywhere. We need all interested citizens. Please examine:

http://internationalwhistleblower.org/

The IAW is non-political, and non-aligned. The IAW seeks to provide a forum for citizens of conscience to meet, network, and seek new relationships and mentoring in the struggle to bring integrity to healthcare.

Now is the time for all public minded and enlightened citizens to band together. The International Association of Whistleblower Caucus will be held in Washington, DC:

Included in the IAW Caucus are many signature panels and events:
1. A ceremony to Honor Absent Heroes; a "empty chair" panel will represent four outstanding whistleblowers that cannot attend the meeting because they are in prison or are deceased:
a)    Martin Salazar, former Dept. of Energy employee
b)    Bradley Birkenfeld, former UBS banker
c)    Mordechai Vanunu, former Israeli nuclear technician
d)    Karen Silkwood, Kerr-McGee technician (deceased)

Other absent heroes will also be honored in a roll call of those lost while serving the nation's interests.

2. Atlanta Whistleblowers will discuss the alarming problems in Georgia including the eruptions of scandals in schools, hospitals and courts. Dr. Helen Salisbury and her colleagues will ask: "Can the Patient Quality Care Project Bring Integrity back to Medicine?"

3. Medical Whistleblowers will report on need for improvements at the nation's for-profit hospital chains.

4. A special session will be provided by OpEdNew's own Rob Kall and Joan Brunwasser and Tapping the Power of Media "How can we use the power of story, and new internet media, to promote social justice?

More events can be seen on the IAW website. Whistleblowers from all walks of life are welcomed. Membership is being enlarged. The IAW will also host social events and booksignings. Every single person attending will have the opportunity to have their story recorded for U-tube.  This event is "of, by and for the whistleblower."

"Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known."

We encourage all 264 organizations and corporations that signed the Whistleblower letter to join us! We are already bonded by a shared principle that "whistleblower protection is a foundation for any change in which the public can believe. It does not matter whether the issue is economic recovery, prescription drug safety, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, national health insurance, or foreign policy."

http://www.internationalwhistleblower.org/whistle-blower-news/

Medical Truth: Whistleblowers will restore integrity in medicine by bringing hospitals in line.

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Medical Myths originate when someone else pays the medical bills which eliminates Market forces.

Myths disappear when Patients pay Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service. This returns utilization and pricing to their lowest level as determined by market forces, essentially halving costs and utilization.

 

Medical Myths

Past Issue

The Tax, Spend, and Regulate (TSR) Party can’t manage city finances either

Detroit faces a takeover by an emergency manager. The move by Michigan's governor would take control of the state's largest city out of the hands of elected leaders. Detroit, with an annual deficit of $327 million, the state of Michigan is taking on one of the most difficult turnaround projects ever attempted: a rescue of a sprawling city with $14 billion in debt, a depleted tax base, a legacy of government corruption—and very little time left to avert financial collapse. The city is on pace to run out of cash by June and, in the eyes of the state, unfit to govern itself. Gov. Rick Snyder said the financial manager would bring Detroit new promise.

The governor's decision represents a turning point for a city that was once the industrial capital of America and an engine of its growth. Six decades ago, Detroit was a city of nearly two million people brimming with factory jobs that offered immigrants from the South and abroad a pathway into the American middle class. Today, it is a city of just over 700,000 residents, confronting widespread poverty, blight and diminished municipal services.

The manager will have sweeping power to set the financial direction of the city. The appointee will also have the ability to break municipal labor contracts starting later this month when a new state law takes effect. Elected leaders in Detroit could lose their jobs, but the emergency manager could also retain some of them by setting new salaries and modifying duties.

When President John F Kennedy lower tax rates in the 1960s and improved tax revenue in the process, we thought this would educated the TSR party that raising tax rates would be counterproductive. But it only lasted one term.

Some of us forgot that JFK also allowed government workers to unionize. This eliminated all thoughts of fair taxations and allows government unions to destroy our heritage with incessant irresponsible taxation and spending increases. This has now lasted for 50 years.

When Washington is shown to be unfit to govern, who would be able to be the manager of the United States of America and re-introduce fiscal responsibility?

To read more, see MATTHEW DOLAN, WSJ,

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Fiscal Myths originate when TSRs take over the government and not worry over finances.
Myths disappear when the Constitutional party is in charge of fiscal responsibility.

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