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.
AND NOW WE’VE LEARNED THAT THE PERSON THAT DESIGNED ROMNEY’S SOCIALISTIC MEDICAL PROGRAM WAS THE SAME PERSON DESIGNING OBAMACARE. HE THOUGHT PEOPLE WERE TOO STUPID TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IT REALLY WAS. HERITAGE FOUNDATION--YOU CANNOT MAKE SUCH SOCIALISTIC MISTAKES AND SAY THAT YOU PROMOTE PUBLIC POLICIES BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF FREE ENTERPRISE, LIMITED GOVERNMENT, INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, TRADITIONAL AMERICAN VALUES AND A STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE WHEN YOU SUPPORTED MITT ROMNEY AND OBAMACARE LITE IN MASSACHUSETTES ENSLAVING A ONCE NOBLE PROFESSION. YOU HAVE TO DO DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE MAKING SUCH A DISASTROUS MOVE.
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.
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 of Sir William Osler
The modest country doctor
may furnish you the vital link in your chain, and the simple rural practitioner is often a very wise man.
I would speak of the general practitioner’s failure to realize first the need of a lifelong progressive personal training. And secondly, the danger lest in the stress of practice he sacrifice that most precious of all possessions, his mental independence.
The incessant concentration of thought upon one subject however interesting, tetherers a man’s mind in a narrow field.
In no profession does culture count for so much as in medicine, and no man needs it more than a general practitioner.
Mike Nichols was a learned man who loved his work and was in love with the world
He died last week at 83, I’m grateful this Thanksgiving just to have known him, and been his friend.
Declarations | By Peggy Noonan | The Wall Street Journal | BiographyPeggy Noonan
I wrote of this two summers ago: Updated Nov. 28, 2014
There was a 7-year-old boy who came over from Germany on the SS Bremen, traveling with his younger brother. They were fleeing the Nazis. The Bremen anchored on Manhattan’s west side on May 4, 1939, and the children were joined by their father, who was already in New York. They stood on deck watching all the bustle of disembarking when the boy saw something: “Across the street from where we were, and visible from the boat, was a delicatessen which had its name in neon with Hebrew letters,” he later remembered.
He was startled, then fearful. A sign in Hebrew letters—that would be impossible back home. He asked: “Is that allowed?”
“It is here,” said his father.
The little boy was Mike Nichols, the great film and stage director, who went on to do brilliant things with all that America allowed.
He died last week at 83, at the top of his game and still in the thick of it. I’m grateful this Thanksgiving just to have known him, and been his friend.
He was a great man.
We all know his work but it must be said he had such range. Everyone noted the past week that he did it all—directing on Broadway, in film, brilliant comedy act with Elaine May, comedy albums. And he had another kind of range. He had perfect pitch for the tale of a lost, affluent college graduate in the heart of Los Angeles in the 1960s, perfect pitch for a striving Staten Island working girl who wanted to make it in America in the ’80s, perfect pitch for the Midwestern working people whose story was told in “Silkwood.” He understood people! He saw their sameness, their hungers and hopes. He bothered to understand the country he first glimpsed from the Bremen.
He once told me he didn’t direct movies, he cast them. In a way it was a line and a typically modest one—it wasn’t him, it was them—but it also wasn’t. He was saying he picks actors who have the quality and depth to do what he wants, and he trusts them to come through. That is a great thing, when an artist trusts his paint.
There was something in the home that he shared with his wife, his beloved Diane Sawyer , that I always looked for when I visited. He kept a big, faded pillow on the living-room couch. It bore the words “Nothing Is Written.” When I first saw it I pointed. “You know what that’s from?” he asked. Yes, I said, “ Lawrence of Arabia, ” Robert Bolt ’s screenplay. He clapped his hands with delight. To know it was to honor what it meant—that no outcome is dictated, no impediment is insuperable; you can wrest life from its ruts, its false limits.
I can’t think of a better attitude for an artist, or any other professional for that matter.
His closest friends this week marveled at the depth of the impression he made on all whose lives he touched. “He’d make you feel you were better than you believed—smarter, funnier, more alive,” one said.
It was his way not only as an artist but as a human being to turn things on their head. A friend of his son, Max, wrote to remind him of a birthday party they’d attended years before, when she was a little girl. They had gone to see “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” In the middle of it she ran out into the lobby, terrified. Naturally a parent would be expected to follow and comfort her by explaining it wasn’t real, there was nothing to be afraid of. But it was Mike who followed her out, and he asked, “Is being scared always such a bad thing?” A soothing philosophical discussion commenced. . .
A thing that distinguished Mike professionally is that he thought he had to know things. He came up in a generation that thought to know the theater you have to know the theater. They read. He read, all his life. He knew the canon—his Chekhov, Ibsen and Molière, his Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard.
He learned his stuff in part for the sheer pleasure of learning, but in part because you have to know what has been said and thought and given to the world, you have to know what’s a cliché to be lost and what’s an ever-present truth to be resurrected or enlarged upon. Mrs. Robinson was, in fact, Phaedra. He knew, said a friend, that “every great story is a tremor from those dynamics that stretch back way over time.”
To make great art you have to know great art. And so his learned, highly cultivated mind. He dropped out of the University of Chicago and sought to teach himself through great books and smart people.
Great writers and directors have to start as great readers or it won’t work, nothing needed from the past will be brought into the future, and art will become thinner, less deep, less meaningful and so, amazingly, less fun, less moving and true.
The makers of American culture should return to this old style, which isn’t really old and yet is being lost.
Mike Nichols cared deeply—this was apparent in his later years—about keeping the American culture a thing of stature and height and radiance. It was the subject of our last long conversation, late this summer.
When he directed “Death of a Salesman” on Broadway two years ago he was, in fact, rescuing a classic and making it new again for those who had never seen or even known of this great play. He did a lot of rescue work. He wasn’t stuffy or old fashioned—that’s the last thing he was!—he loved the new, the breakthrough, the brave moment that he’d never seen before. But he wanted very much for us to retain and maintain the excellence of American theater and film.
An anecdote, about a friend who really got him:
The morning after Mike’s death, a friend of the family called those who had been in touch to invite them to a small gathering in New York the next afternoon. Among them was the actress Emma Thompson, who knew of his death and was bereft. Now, told of the gathering, she was crestfallen. She was in London, there was a big event months in the making the very next day, it wasn’t possible. Of course, she was told, we understand. Mike would understand.
The next day the gathering began, and first through the door was Emma Thompson. “Where else would anyone who knew him be?” she said.
Lucky us, that the Bremen came here.
This Month in History - November
November traditionally is “Religion in American Life Month.” It is the month of Thanksgiving, the month when we start selling Christmas Seals, the month when a worldwide Bible reading observance gets under way. But for a month of spiritual remembrance, it has some rather surprising anniversaries.
On the very day when the month begins, we have the anniversary of the attempt by a group of Puerto Rican nationalists to assassinate President Truman in 1950, the beginning of the Algerian revolution against the French, and the anniversary of our nation’s test explosion of an H-bomb.
The message of Religion in American Life Month is that a faith worth keeping is worth fighting for.
On this date, Nov 1, 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first observations. It wasn’t called the weather bureau then, because it was a service of the Signal Corps of the U. S. Army. On this day reports were telegraphed from 24 places around the U.S. and the national weather service was born. History does not record how accurate these early forecasts were. They are best remembered when they are spectacularly wrong.
On this date, Nov 1, 1952, the United States conducted a test explosion of a hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Island in the Pacific that began a new era of military power for the U.S. It was so awesome that it probably strengthened the resolved of sensible people everywhere never to come to the point of having to employ such a weapon.
After Leonard and Thelma Spinrad