Restoring Accountability in Medical Practice, HealthCare, Government and Society:
The National Center for Policy Analysis, John C Goodman, PhD, President, who along with Gerald L. Musgrave, and Devon M. Herrick wrote Lives at Risk, issues a weekly Health Policy Digest, a health summary of the full NCPA daily report. You may log on at www.ncpa.org and register to receive one or more of these reports.
We could spend our entire gross domestic product on health care in useful ways. In fact, we could
probably spend the entire GDP on diagnostic tests alone—without ever treating a real disease. --Goodman
Pacific Research Institute, (www.pacificresearch.org) Sally C Pipes, President and CEO, John R Graham, Director of Health Care Studies, publish a monthly Health Policy Prescription newsletter, which is very timely to our current health care situation. You may signup to receive their newsletters via email by clicking on the email tab or directly access their health care blog.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University (www.mercatus.org) is a strong advocate for accountability in government. Maurice McTigue, QSO, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar, a former member of Parliament and cabinet minister in New Zealand, is now director of the Mercatus Center's Government Accountability Project. Join the Mercatus Center for Excellence in Government.
The National Association of Health Underwriters, www.NAHU.org. The NAHU's Vision Statement: Every American will have access to private sector solutions for health, financial and retirement security and the services of insurance professionals. There are numerous important issues listed on the opening page. Be sure to scan their professional journal, Health Insurance Underwriters (HIU), for articles of importance in the Health Insurance MarketPlace. The HIU magazine, with Jim Hostetler as the executive editor, covers technology, legislation and product news - everything that affects how health insurance professionals do business.
The Galen Institute, Grace-Marie Turner President and Founder, has a weekly Health Policy Newsletter sent every Friday to which you may subscribe by logging on at www.galen.org. A study of purchasers of Health Savings Accounts shows that the new health care financing arrangements are appealing to those who previously were shut out of the insurance market, to families, to older Americans, and to workers of all income levels.
Greg Scandlen, an expert in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), has embarked on a new mission: Consumers for Health Care Choices (CHCC). Read the initial series of his newsletter, Consumers Power Reports. Become a member of CHCC, The voice of the health care consumer. Be sure to read Prescription for change: Employers, insurers, providers, and the government have all taken their turn at trying to fix American Health Care. Now it's the Consumers turn. Greg has joined the Heartland Institute, where current newsletters can be found.
The Heartland Institute, www.heartland.org, Joseph Bast, President, publishes the Health Care News and the Heartlander. You may sign up for their health care email newsletter. Read the late Conrad F Meier on What is Free-Market Health Care?.
The Foundation for Economic Education, www.fee.org, has been publishing The Freeman - Ideas On Liberty, Freedom's Magazine, for over 50 years, with Lawrence W Reed, President, and Sheldon Richman as editor. Having bound copies of this running treatise on free-market economics for over 40 years, I still take pleasure in the relevant articles by Leonard Read and others who have devoted their lives to the cause of liberty. I have a patient who has read this journal since it was a mimeographed newsletter fifty years ago. Be sure to read the current lesson on Economic Education.
The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, www.cahi.org/index.asp, founded by Greg Scandlen in 1991, where he served as CEO for five years, is an association of insurance companies, actuarial firms, legislative consultants, physicians and insurance agents. Their mission is to develop and promote free-market solutions to America's health-care challenges by enabling a robust and competitive health insurance market that will achieve and maintain access to affordable, high-quality health care for all Americans. "The belief that more medical care means better medical care is deeply entrenched . . . Our study suggests that perhaps a third of medical spending is now devoted to services that don't appear to improve health or the quality of care–and may even make things worse."
The Independence Institute, www.i2i.org, is a free-market think-tank in Golden, Colorado, that has a Health Care Policy Center, with Linda Gorman as Director. Be sure to sign up for the monthly Health Care Policy Center Newsletter.
Martin Masse, Director of Publications at the Montreal Economic Institute, is the publisher of the webzine: Le Quebecois Libre. Please log on at www.quebecoislibre.org/apmasse.htm to review his free-market based articles, some of which will allow you to brush up on your French. You may also register to receive copies of their webzine on a regular basis.
The Fraser Institute, an independent public policy organization, focuses on the role competitive markets play in providing for the economic and social well being of all Canadians. Canadians celebrated Tax Freedom Day on June 28, the date they stopped paying taxes and started working for themselves. Log on at www.fraserinstitute.ca for an overview of the extensive research articles that are available. You may want to go directly to their health research section.
The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/, founded in 1973, is a research and educational institute whose mission was to formulate and promote public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense. - However, since they supported the socialistic health plan instituted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, which is replaying the Medicare excessive increases in its first two years, and was used by some as a justification for the Obama plan, they have lost sight of their mission and we will no longer feature them as a freedom loving institution and have canceled our contributions. We must always be alert to RINOs such as Romney & Christie. They can do the real harm to health care, our patients, in addition to our formerly free society.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute, Lew Rockwell, President, is a rich source of free-market materials, probably the best daily course in economics we've seen. If you read these essays on a daily basis, it would probably be equivalent to taking Economics 11 and 51 in college. Please log on at www.mises.org to obtain the foundation's daily reports. You may also log on to Lew's premier free-market site to read some of his lectures to medical groups. Learn how state medicine subsidizes illness or to find out why anyone would want to be an MD today.
CATO. The Cato Institute (www.cato.org) was founded in 1977, by Edward H. Crane, with Charles Koch of Koch Industries. It is a nonprofit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institute is named for Cato's Letters, a series of pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution. The Mission: The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Ed Crane reminds us that the framers of the Constitution designed to protect our liberty through a system of federalism and divided powers so that most of the governance would be at the state level where abuse of power would be limited by the citizens' ability to choose among 13 (and now 50) different systems of state government. Thus, we could all seek our favorite moral turpitude and live in our comfort zone recognizing our differences and still be proud of our unity as Americans. Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute's Director of Health Policy Studies. Read his bio, articles and books at www.cato.org/people/cannon.html.
The Ethan Allen Institute, www.ethanallen.org/index2.html, is one of some 41 similar but independent state organizations associated with the State Policy Network (SPN). The mission is to put into practice the fundamentals of a free society: individual liberty, private property, competitive free enterprise, limited and frugal government, strong local communities, personal responsibility, and expanded opportunity for human endeavor.
The Free State Project, with a goal of Liberty in Our Lifetime, http://freestateproject.org/, is an agreement among 20,000 pro-liberty activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property. The success of the Project would likely entail reductions in taxation and regulation, reforms at all levels of government to expand individual rights and free markets, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world. [It is indeed a tragedy that the burden of government in the U.S., a freedom society for its first 150 years, is so great that people want to escape to a state solely for the purpose of reducing that oppression. We hope this gives each of us an impetus to restore freedom from government intrusion in our own state.]
The St. Croix Review, a bimonthly journal of ideas, recognizes that the world is very dangerous. Conservatives are staunch defenders of the homeland. But as Russell Kirk believed, wartime allows the federal government to grow at a frightful pace. We expect government to win the wars we engage, and we expect that our borders be guarded. But St. Croix feels the impulses of the Administration and Congress are often misguided. The politicians of both parties in Washington overreach so that we see with disgust the explosion of earmarks and perpetually increasing spending on programs that have nothing to do with winning the war. There is too much power given to Washington. Even in wartime, we have to push for limited government - while giving the government the necessary tools to win the war. To read a variety of articles in this arena, please go to www.stcroixreview.com.
Hillsdale College, the premier small liberal arts college in southern Michigan with about 1,200 students, was founded in 1844 with the mission of "educating for liberty." It is proud of its principled refusal to accept any federal funds, even in the form of student grants and loans, and of its historic policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. The price of freedom is never cheap. While schools throughout the nation are bowing to an unconstitutional federal mandate that schools must adopt a Constitution Day curriculum each September 17th or lose federal funds, Hillsdale students take a semester-long course on the Constitution restoring civics education and developing a civics textbook, a Constitution Reader. You may log on at www.hillsdale.edu to register for the annual weeklong von Mises Seminars, held every February, or their famous Shavano Institute. Congratulations to Hillsdale for its national rankings in the USNews College rankings. Changes in the Carnegie classifications, along with Hillsdale's continuing rise to national prominence, prompted the Foundation to move the College from the regional to the national liberal arts college classification. Please log on and register to receive Imprimis, their national speech digest that reaches more than one million readers each month. This month: Choose recent issues. The last ten years of Imprimis are archived.
How well do you know the Constitution?
In this critical year for America, it’s more important than ever that EVERYONE understand our Constitution and its importance to liberty. That’s why Hillsdale College is offering a new, absolutely free, online course:
Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution
Register at https://online.hillsdale.edu/course/con101/register
John and Alieta Eck, MDs, for their first-century solution to twenty-first century needs. With 46 million people in this country uninsured, we need an innovative solution apart from the place of employment and apart from the government. To read the rest of the story, go to www.zhcenter.org and check out their history, mission statement, newsletter, and a host of other information
Medi-Share Medi-Share is based on the biblical principles of caring for and sharing in one another's burdens (as outlined in Galatians 6:2). And as such, adhering to biblical principles of health and lifestyle are important requirements for membership in Medi-Share. This is not insurance.
PATMOS EmergiClinic - where Robert Berry, MD, an emergency physician and internist, practices. To read his story and the background for naming his clinic PATMOS EmergiClinic - the island where John was exiled and an acronym for "payment at time of service," go to www.patmosemergiclinic.com/ To read more on Dr Berry, please click on the various topics at his website. To review How to Start a Third-Party Free Medical Practice . . .
PRIVATE NEUROLOGY is a Third-Party-Free Practice in Derby, NY with Larry Huntoon, MD, PhD, FANN. (http://home.earthlink.net/~doctorlrhuntoon/) Dr Huntoon does not allow any HMO or government interference in your medical care. "Since I am not forced to use CPT codes and ICD-9 codes (coding numbers required on claim forms) in our practice, I have been able to keep our fee structure very simple." I have no interest in "playing games" so as to "run up the bill." My goal is to provide competent, compassionate, ethical care at a price that patients can afford. Private Neurology also guarantees that medical records in our office are kept totally private and confidential - in accordance with the Oath of Hippocrates. Since I am a non-covered entity under HIPAA, your medical records are safe from the increased risk of disclosure under HIPAA law.
FIRM: Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine, Lin Zinser, JD, Founder, www.westandfirm.org, researches and studies the work of scholars and policy experts in the areas of health care, law, philosophy, and economics to inform and to foster public debate on the causes and potential solutions of rising costs of health care and health insurance. Read Lin Zinser’s view on today’s health care problem: In today’s proposals for sweeping changes in the field of medicine, the term “socialized medicine” is never used. Instead we hear demands for “universal,” “mandatory,” “singlepayer,” and/or “comprehensive” systems. These demands aim to force one healthcare plan (sometimes with options) onto all Americans; it is a plan under which all medical services are paid for, and thus controlled, by government agencies. Sometimes, proponents call this “nationalized financing” or “nationalized health insurance.” In a more honest day, it was called socialized medicine.
Michael J. Harris, MD - www.northernurology.com - an active member in the American Urological Association, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Societe' Internationale D'Urologie, has an active cash'n carry practice in urology in Traverse City, Michigan. He has no contracts, no Medicare, Medicaid, no HIPAA, just patient care. Dr Harris is nationally recognized for his medical care system reform initiatives. To understand that Medical Bureaucrats and Administrators are basically Medical Illiterates telling the experts how to practice medicine, be sure to savor his article on "Administrativectomy: The Cure For Toxic Bureaucratosis."
David J Gibson, MD, Consulting Partner of Illumination Medical, Inc. has made important contributions to the free Medical MarketPlace in speeches and writings. His series of articles in Sacramento Medicine can be found at www.ssvms.org. To read his "Lessons from the Past," go to www.ssvms.org/articles/0403gibson.asp. For additional articles, such as the cost of Single Payer, go to www.healthplanusa.net/DGSinglePayer.htm; for Health Care Inflation, go to www.healthplanusa.net/DGHealthCareInflation.htm.
Dr Richard B Willner, President, Center Peer Review Justice Inc, states: We are a group of healthcare doctors -- physicians, podiatrists, dentists, osteopaths -- who have experienced and/or witnessed the tragedy of the perversion of medical peer review by malice and bad faith. We have seen the statutory immunity, which is provided to our "peers" for the purposes of quality assurance and credentialing, used as cover to allow those "peers" to ruin careers and reputations to further their own, usually monetary agenda of destroying the competition. We are dedicated to the exposure, conviction, and sanction of any and all doctors, and affiliated hospitals, HMOs, medical boards, and other such institutions, which would use peer review as a weapon to unfairly destroy other professionals. Read the rest of the story, as well as a wealth of information, at www.peerreview.org.
Semmelweis Society International, Verner S. Waite MD, FACS, Founder; Henry Butler MD, FACS, President; Ralph Bard MD, JD, Vice President; W. Hinnant MD, JD, Secretary-Treasurer; is named after Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, MD (1818-1865), an obstetrician who has been hailed as the savior of mothers. He noted maternal mortality of 25-30 percent in the obstetrical clinic in Vienna. He also noted that the first division of the clinic run by medical students had a death rate 2-3 times as high as the second division run by midwives. He also noticed that medical students came from the dissecting room to the maternity ward. He ordered the students to wash their hands in a solution of chlorinated lime before each examination. The maternal mortality dropped, and by 1848, no women died in childbirth in his division. He lost his appointment the following year and was unable to obtain a teaching appointment. Although ahead of his peers, he was not accepted by them. When Dr Verner Waite received similar treatment from a hospital, he organized the Semmelweis Society with his own funds using Dr Semmelweis as a model: To read the article he wrote at my request for Sacramento Medicine when I was editor in 1994, see www.delmeyer.net/HMCPeerRev.htm. To see Attorney Sharon Kime's response, as well as the California Medical Board response, see www.delmeyer.net/HMCPeerRev.htm. Scroll down to read some very interesting letters to the editor from the Medical Board of California, from a member of the MBC, and from Deane Hillsman, MD. To view some horror stories of atrocities against physicians and how organized medicine still treats this problem, please go to www.semmelweissociety.net.
The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (www.AAPSonline.org), The Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943, representing physicians in their struggles against bureaucratic medicine, loss of medical privacy, and intrusion by the government into the personal and confidential relationship between patients and their physicians. Be sure to read News of the Day in Perspective: Don't miss the "AAPS News," written by Jane Orient, MD, and archived on this site which provides valuable information on a monthly basis. Browse the archives of their official organ, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, with Larry Huntoon, MD, PhD, a neurologist in New York, as the Editor-in-Chief. There are a number of important articles that can be accessed from the Table of Contents.
The AAPS California Chapter is an unincorporated association made up of members. The Goal of the AAPS California Chapter is to carry on the activities of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) on a statewide basis. This is accomplished by having meetings and providing communications that support the medical professional needs and interests of independent physicians in private practice. To join the AAPS California Chapter, all you need to do is join national AAPS and be a physician licensed to practice in the State of California. There is no additional cost or fee to be a member of the AAPS California State Chapter.
Go to California Chapter Web Page . . .
Bottom line: "We are the best deal Physicians can get from a statewide physician based organization!"
PA-AAPS is the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a non-partisan professional association of physicians in all types of practices and specialties across the country. Since 1943, AAPS has been dedicated to the highest ethical standards of the Oath of Hippocrates and to preserving the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship and the practice of private medicine. We welcome all physicians (M.D. and D.O.) as members. Podiatrists, dentists, chiropractors and other medical professionals are welcome to join as professional associate members. Staff members and the public are welcome as associate members. Medical students are welcome to join free of charge.
Our motto, "omnia pro aegroto" means "all for the patient."
Words of Wisdom & Aphorisms
Sir William Osler: Aphorisms, from his bedside teachings and writings.
Collected by Robert Bennett Bean, MD (1874-1944)
“He was a keen observer, a brilliant clinician. His contributions to medicine and medical education were important. He was a great teacher. But his main strength lay in the singular and unique charm of his presence, in the sparkling brilliancy of his mind, in the rare beauty of his character and of his life, and in the example that he set to his fellows and to his students. He was a quickening spirit . . . He taught us that the treatment of the patient was the most important element in the treatment of disease, that the patient not the disease was the entity.” –Thayer
The great republic of medicine knows and has known no national boundaries.
In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.
It is strange how the memory of man may float to posterity on what he would have himself regarded as the most trifling of his works.
There is no more potent antidote to the corroding influence of mammon than the presence in the community of a body of men devoted to science.
Modern science has made to almost every one of you the present of a few years.
Thucydides it was who said of the Greeks that they possessed “the power of thinking before they acted, and of acting, too.”
Eduard Shevardnadze, Soviet foreign minister and then president of Georgia, died on July 7th aged 86
The Economist |Jul 12th 2014 | From the print edition
THE obscure provincial leader was at first sight an unlikely choice to be foreign minister of the world’s largest country. Eduard Shevardnadze did not even want the job: he spoke only his native Georgian and heavily accented Russian, had no important foreign contacts, and had barely travelled abroad. But Mikhail Gorbachev was immovable. The new Soviet leader wanted big changes—and the “Silver Fox”, his friend since the 1950s, to make them. . .
Deeds matched the words. He ended the Soviet Union’s proxy wars in Africa, Latin America and Asia, hurrying the Red Army home from its futile and bloody mission in Afghanistan. At arms-control talks with America knotty negotiating problems unraveled overnight. The danger of nuclear war abated. He buried most of the Soviet empire in Europe, and played midwife to a united Germany, saying allies were better than subjects: “It is time to realise that neither socialism, nor friendship, nor good-neighbourliness, nor respect, can be produced by bayonets, tanks or blood.”
Even hawkish Americans realised that the Soviet Union truly wanted to end the cold war. Mr Shevardnadze forged notable friendships with his American and German counterparts. The hardliners back home, with their grumbling jargon and rigid mindsets, were a greater obstacle.
Seemingly, he was cut from the same cloth. He had joined the party at the height of the Stalin era. A ferocious local official, he brought even the sybaritic Georgians to follow Party discipline. A possibly apocryphal story relates how he called a show of hands on some anodyne motion at a meeting of senior officials, on his first day as anti-corruption chief there. As the grey-clad arms went up, he inspected every wrist—and remarked caustically how strange it was that the servants of the proletariat could afford pricey Western watches. Other tactics were tougher: mass arrests, beatings, torture and executions. He jailed dissidents and cracked down on those trying to defend Georgian language and culture from Russification.
It worked well, for him. Having shown the Kremlin the extent of corruption in Georgia, he was given the republic to run. Control of the best food, wine, scenery and hospitality in the Soviet Union proved a fine way to forge important friendships.
But behind the outward appearance of sycophantic loyalty to a brutal system was a different man. Yes, he had been a true believer, but he also knew that his father had narrowly escaped death in Stalin’s purges. His beloved Nanuli was the daughter of an enemy of the people, but he risked his career and married her anyway—declining to “sacrifice love to hatred”, he wrote later. He secretly shared his despair over the Soviet Union’s failures with the young Mr Gorbachev, his counterpart in the nearby Russian province of Stavropol. Both men saw that only radical change could avert catastrophic collapse.
But unlike Mr Gorbachev, the Georgian went further. Back home he had allowed the making of “Repentance”, an explosive allegorical film (banned by censors) about the crimes of Stalinism. His experiments in economic liberalisation in Soviet Georgia had been successful, but they made him conclude that socialism was unworkable, not reformable. He saw far more clearly than his boss the danger of a hardline backlash. Their friendship frayed. As the shadows darkened over Moscow in the winter of 1990, he spectacularly resigned, with an emotional speech warning of looming dictatorship. For many, that marked the real end of the era of glasnost and perestroika.
After the Soviet collapse in 1991 Mr Shevardnadze headed home to Georgia, where independence had brought bloody strife and economic collapse. Though he became the only politician to have been foreign minister of one country and head of state of another, his record was at best mixed. He eventually ended the fighting, jailing two of the warlords who had put him in power, sidelining the third, and escaping several assassination attempts. . .
There were some successes. New east-west oil and gas pipelines across Georgian territory helped break Russia’s export monopoly, and put the country on America’s map. He encouraged bright young Georgians to study abroad; one of them was his later nemesis, a brash, polygot lawyer called Mikheil Saakashvili. Egregious election-rigging in 2003 sparked the “Rose revolution”, in which an indignant mob, led by the glitzy young English-speakers, hustled a bewildered and indignant “Silver Fox” into retirement. Too much democracy, he said crossly, was a mistake.
This Month in History - September
On September 1, The Labor Day Season begins. As we approach the end of the rites of summer, we celebrate the big Labor Day Week-end ending on the first Monday of September; we salute the working people of America. But what it has become principally is a celebration of the end of the formal vacation season and a signal that it’s time to go back to work. It has also been a traditional occasion for the kind of oratory that goes with bunting, flags, parades and picnics.
On September 1, 1939, World War II began when Germany invaded Poland. The world of Sept 1, 1939 fell apart and had to be put back together again with blood, sweat, toil and tears. What does that have to do with our world today? That’s a broad question which future historians will have to put together for the next generation since we are unable to understand the present world in real time.
On September 1, 1910, Nan Aspinwall became the first woman to ride across the United states on Horseback, making it from San Francisco to New York City.
On September 1, 1958, a U.S. spy plane was shot down for violating Soviet airspace. George P. Petrochilos and sixteen other crewmen were downed by Soviet MIGs as the plane skimmed the Soviet border.
On the same day in 1983, a Soviet jet fighter shot down a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 passenger jet over the Sea of Japan. The plane had violated Soviet airspace, which cost 269 passengers and crew their lives.
On September 1, 1969, Colonel Moammar Ghadafi overthrew the Libyan government in a bloodless coup.
After Leonard and Thelma Spinrad