Community For Better Health Care

Vol X, No 1, April 12, 2011


In This Issue:

1.                  Featured Article: Breasts will be the First Practical Natural Stem Cell Therapy  

2.                  In the News: Medicaid: Coverage and Costs: 69.5 Beneficiaries; 43% of Health Care Costs

3.                  International Medicine: Universal health care is still just a dream even in Canada

4.                  Medicare: Entitlements are enslaving Americans

5.                  Medical Gluttony: Is only exceeded by Government Gluttony

6.                  Medical Myths: Health Care: A Commonly Misunderstood Concept

7.                  Overheard in the Medical Staff Lounge: Where are political donations most effective?

8.                  Voices of Medicine: Snore and you sleep alone.

9.                  Movie Review: The Gospel According to Hollywood: One Blockbuster per Generation

10.              Hippocrates & His Kin: ObamaCare Health without adequate coverage

11.              Related Organizations: Restoring Accountability in HealthCare, Government and Society

Words of Wisdom, Recent Postings, In Memoriam . . .

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Announcing The 1st Annual World Health Care Congress Latin America, October, 2011 in
São Paulo, Brazil

The World Health Care Congress (WHCC) convenes the most prestigious forum of global health industry executives and public policy makers. Building on the 8th annual event in the United States, the 7th annual event in Europe and the inaugural Middle East event, we are pleased to announce the 1st Annual World Health Care Congress - Latin America to be held in October, 2011, in São Paulo, Brazil.

This prominent international forum is the only conference in which over 500 leaders from all regions of Latin America will convene to address access, quality and cost issues, including Latin American health ministers, government officials, hospital/health system executives, insurance executives, health technology innovators, pharmaceutical, medical device, and supplier executives.

World Health Care Congress Latin America will address escalating challenges such as improving access to quality care, financing and insurance models for health care, driving innovation in health IT, promoting evidence-based medicine and clinical best practices. World Health Care Congress Latin America will feature a series of plenary keynotes, invitational executive Summits, in-depth working group sessions on emerging issues, as well as substantial business development and networking opportunities.

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1.      Featured Article: Breasts will be the First Practical Natural Stem Cell Therapy

All Natural: Why Breasts Are the Key to the Future of Regenerative Medicine

By Sharon Begley| October 20, 2010 | Wired November 2010

To be in the company of Chris Calhoun is to encounter breasts, and encounter the damn things anytime, anywhere—including over a plate of spaghetti in a bustling Manhattan restaurant.

On this spring afternoon, the 44-year-old CEO of San Diego-based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics pulls out his laptop, launches a PowerPoint presentation, and there they are: conical and cantaloupy, As through Ds, beige and pink and taupe and tan, more breasts than you might see in a women’s locker room, never mind in the middle of a lunch table.

A passing waiter does a double take at this lively slide show, but Calhoun is oblivious. He’s talking excitedly about how these women’s bodies led him and his team of scientists to a discovery in tissue engineering, a process that could well be one of the most momentous medical advances of the 21st century: the use of stem cells—specifically stem-cell-enriched adipose (fat) tissue—to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs.  

A few taps on his laptop reveal the unsettling “before” images of these seemingly normal breasts. There: a breast with a divot the size of a plum taken out of the bottom from a lumpectomy. There: a chest as flat as a floor mat from a double mastectomy. There: one so misshapen after a partial mastectomy, it’s possible to determine what it actually is only because of its healthy companion. “We realized that for these women there was a huge unmet need for a disruptive change in technology,” Calhoun says of the work that has consumed his team of researchers and surgeons for the past eight years. “It’s the first practical cell therapy.” He pauses. “And it’s breasts.” Which means cancer victims with breasts mutilated by surgery—as well as women who are simply unhappy with their natural assets—can now grow a new and improved pair, with raw materials harvested from their own body fat.

But breast augmentation is just one development (so to speak) in the company’s more ambitious plan: to introduce stem cell medicine to the mass market—and not using the ethically fraught kind of stem cells from human embryos. Instead, based on almost a decade of trials that Cytori and its academic partners have performed on cell cultures, lab rodents, and now humans, they believe their engineered flab cells can treat more organs than you find in a French butcher shop. Chronic heart disease? Check: In human studies released in May, the cells improved patients’ aerobic capacity and shrank the size of the infarct (tissue killed by lack of blood). Heart attack? Check: A human clinical trial, also reported in May, found that the cells increased both the blood supply to damaged heart muscle and the volume of blood that the heart pumped. Kidney injury as a result of cancer therapy? Check: In recent rat studies, the cells improved kidney function. Incontinence after prostatectomy? Check: Another recent study reported that, by 12 weeks after injection, the cells had decreased the amount of urine male volunteers were leaking by 89 percent. If Calhoun and his scientists succeed, they won’t just create more cleavage. They’ll make practical a whole new field, one that medical visionaries have dreamed of for decades: regenerative medicine.

It makes sense to apply Cytori’s technology to enhance breasts instead of, say, repair urinary sphincters as a strategic way to move the patented technology out of rats and into people as soon as possible. Hearts, kidneys, and even sphincters have to work in order for us to survive. But we can live just fine without breast tissue, and, outside of feeding offspring, breasts don’t have to do much. The fact is, the scientific and regulatory hurdles to getting Cytori’s cells into clinical use will be easier to clear for breasts than for other tissue: Breasts simply aren’t as necessary as other organs, so the bar for proving to regulators that the technology works will be lower.

It’s also a booming market. In 2009, women forked over $964 million to plastic surgeons for breast augmentation, which edges out nose jobs as the most commonly performed plastic surgery in the US.

More is driving that trend than just media-hyped views of beauty. Breast cancer is a major factor. Incidence of the disease has risen from 105 per 100,000 women in 1975 to 125 per 100,000 today (though it peaked at 141 per 100,000 in 1999), and the survival rate has increased: 75 percent of women diagnosed in 1975 lived at least five more years, compared with 90 percent today. That means more women will live more years after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Most of these survivors would just as soon live those years with something that resembles what they had before, thank you very much. Yet only 30 percent of women facing mastectomy are even offered a consultation with a plastic surgeon, notes Michael McGuire, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and an associate professor of surgery at UCLA. And only 25 percent of women who lose a breast to cancer get a new one. (In 2009, there were 86,424 breast reconstructions.)

There is also demand from a burgeoning demographic no one would have predicted 15 years ago: young women choosing bilateral prophylactic mastectomy after testing positive for mutations in genes—known as BRCA1 and BRCA2—that increase the risk of breast cancer by a factor of five compared with that for women without the mutations. Others are diagnosed with cancer in one breast, have a mastectomy, and decide to have the healthy breast removed as well. In a 2009 study of women undergoing all forms of surgery for breast cancer, published in Annals of Surgical Oncology by researchers led by surgical oncologist Todd Tuttle of the University of Minnesota, 29 percent opted for this “contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.” Among just mastectomy patients (that is, excluding those who had a lumpectomy or other breast-sparing surgery), the rate of taking out the good with the bad was an astounding 56 percent—even though studies find no survival advantage in removing the healthy breast. Yet Tuttle hears it all the time: I never want to go through this again. “Younger and more- educated women are the ones choosing to go this route,” he says. And despite the improvements in silicone implants, they’re still vulnerable to ruptures and may eventually need to be replaced. What’s more, inserting a single implant after cancer surgery can leave a woman asymmetric: It stays put while the surviving breast sags. It’s no wonder, then, that women all over the world are desperate for a better option.

Here’s the weird thing about breasts: They are a point of obsession, vulnerable to the mercurial whims of mass culture. But one thing remains constant: In every era, a whole lot of women are convinced they have the wrong kind.

For better or for worse (mostly for worse), science, or a rudimentary facsimile thereof, has always been eager to help. European women of the 16th century applied a cumin-seed paste with a cloth soaked in water and vinegar to their breasts to keep them small and firm. In the late 1800s, the Princess Bust Developer consisted of a cream and a nifty device resembling a toilet plunger to increase cup size. Starting in the 1940s pinup era, there were liquid silicone oil injections for breast enlargement (bad idea: leakage, inflammation, granulomas) followed, in 1962, by silicone-filled implants.

Given this history of far-fetched augmentation schemes, it’s not entirely unfathomable that a plastic surgeon would one day realize the secret to enhanced breasts was hidden in a pair of love handles. In 1999, Marc Hedrick, then an assistant professor of surgery at UCLA, was doing yet another liposuction, and not a little suck-out-a-few-ounces-around-my-thighs-please-doctor procedure, either. He vacuumed 8 liters—more than 2 gallons—of fat from his patient. Scientists had long wondered whether fat tissue might contain stem cells. “If it does, then here we are, stupid plastic surgeons, doing the stupidest procedure on the face of the earth,” says Hedrick, 48, now sitting in the La Jolla, California, offices of Cytori, which he cofounded in 2002. “I’d just taken 8 liters out of some woman and dumped it in the trash. I asked myself, are there really stem cells in there?” . . .

Read the entire stem cell research oriented article in WIRED . . .
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2.      In the News: Medicaid: Coverage and Costs: 69.5 Beneficiaries; 43% of Health Care Costs

Fiscal Health Hinges on Containing Costs of Care  | By DAVID WESSEL | WSJ

Prepare to hear a lot (more) about Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for the poor.

President Barack Obama is trying to protect the expansion of Medicaid built into his health-care law. Governors from both parties are trying to slow rising costs of Medicaid, which accounts for an average of 22% of state spending. House Republican budget point person Paul Ryan is trying to reduce future federal spending on Medicaid by converting it into block grants to the states. Read more…

The U.S. government can't put itself on a sustainable fiscal course without doing something to slow health spending. It can't slow health spending costs without treating Medicaid. And it can't treat Medicaid without confronting the fact that it has become the long-term-care insurer of last resort for an aging society.

Medicaid was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 alongside the bigger, and politically better defended, Medicare program for the elderly. It's big: Medicaid will cost a projected $465 billion this year, roughly equal to the annual output of Norway and Denmark combined. About 57% is currently paid by the federal government, the rest by states. More than one in five Americans will be enrolled at some point this year, and that's before the Obama health law expansions. Medicaid pays for 40% of all births in the U.S., and children comprise half its beneficiaries. But kids are cheap when it comes to health care: They account for only 22% of the costs.

Which brings us to two often overlooked facts about Medicaid.

Medicaid pays 43% of America's long-term care bill, including bills for around 60% of nursing-home residents.

One third of all Medicaid spending goes for long-term care, a chunk of that for people who once thought of themselves as middle class but outlived their savings.

There are two time-tested ways for Washington to save money on Medicaid. One is to pay doctors and other health-care providers less. The problem with that is they already are paid so much less for seeing Medicaid patients than others that many refuse to see Medicaid patients. . .

And that’s before ObamaCare places another 35 million Americans into the worse coverage ever.

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3.      International Medicine: Universal health care is still just a dream even in Canada

Canada Still Working Towards Universal Health Care
By: John R. Graham | Pacific Research Institute

You probably didn’t notice, but Canada will have a federal election . . . It’s a big deal up there — and the number one issue is — you’ll never guess — health care! It’s eleven percentage points more critical than jobs and the economy, according to this poll.

Canada, of course, is the model for so-called single-payer, government monopoly health care. But the polls tell us that all is not well. The monopoly has been effectively closed since 1984, when the federal government prevented doctors who operated in the system from balance billing or operating outside the system. If any country should have gotten its act together on ensuring access to adequate care, surely it would be Canada.  

Or, it would be if government planners could bring about such outcomes. In fact, five million Canadians have no access to a primary care physician. (That’s about 15 percent of the population.) Remarkably, the Canadian people’s response to this astounding government failure is to support government-run health care by a ratio of nine to one.

The real question here is how any politician (Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Rick Scott) could resist promising “universal” health care – the resulting dependency is embraced by the people it victimizes, and vastly increases politicians’ power.

The Liberal Party of Canada, which introduced “universal” health care, has learned its lesson well. Its big campaign promise for next week’s election? A National Food Policy! Canadians have done without one for centuries. I wonder how long it will take for five million Canadians to go hungry, after the Liberals impose their National Food Policy?

Read this enlightening post about 5 million Canadians not having access to medical care . . .
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Canadian Medicare does not give timely access to healthcare, it only gives access to a waiting list.

--Canadian Supreme Court Decision 2005 SCC 35, [2005] 1 S.C.R. 791

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4.      Medicare: Entitlements are enslaving Americans.

The US Federal Budget: Political Grandstanding versus Real Advances for Freedom

It is becoming more apparent every day that the US federal government is in need of urgent, radical budget cuts if the American people are to avoid a downward spiral into interminable indentured servitude. Americans are about to be condemned to generations of suffering due to colossal interest on the national debt, rising taxes, and what can only be called a true crime against humanity: inflation.   The shift in the fiscal discussion in Congress from unquestioned massive spending increases to serious consideration of budget cuts is a positive development. However, it leaves much to be desired in its actual conduct and implementation. Moreover, it should lead thoughtful advocates of liberty to consider what the best path toward achieving individual freedom and genuine limited government might be.

After a federal-government shutdown was narrowly avoided on April 8, 2011, Congress appeared to reach a "bipartisan consensus"—a phenomenon always to be approached with skepticism and caution—comprised of approximately $38 billion in "cuts" to the budget proposed by President Obama. Yet, as even mainstream media sources acknowledge, these cuts are mostly sleights of hand, accounting and semantic manipulations. Most are either (i) cuts from proposed spending increases (less of an increase is still an increase), (ii) redistributions of unused funds of federal agencies or formal elimination of funds that would never be spent anyway, and (iii) applications of nonsensical federal accounting rules that, if tried in any other sector, would result in their practitioners' prompt imprisonment. Most substantive cuts that would have actually saved taxpayers money were abandoned for being too controversial. These are the measures that would have had even a remote chance of accomplishing substantive improvements. Some federal agencies, including the sinkhole for money and lives known as the Pentagon, actually received funding increases. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues, with no accountability, to bestow far vaster quantities of money on well-connected financial interests and even relatives of well-connected financiers. Black is white, and increases are cuts. The Party officials in Orwell's 1984 would be proud.

Even more detestable was the game of political brinkmanship played by both sides in the buildup to the Orwellian cuts. A deal was reached a mere few hours before 800,000 federal workers, but not the members of Congress deciding their fates, would be furloughed without pay. While some of them, such as the TSA officers who routinely go beyond even their agency's invasive protocols to grope and molest innocent travelers, would have deserved it, most are simple functionaries of a vast administrative machine dominated by a small, concentrated class of rent-seeking elites and their comrades in high federal office. The workers who would have suffered most have no real power and bear little to no blame for the detestable abuses, waste, and coercion within the federal government. They were and remain mere pawns in the political elites' cynical, manipulative game. Their inability to carry out routine governmental functions, rightfully appropriated by the federal government or not, would have harmed numerous private citizens who did nothing wrong. Millions of people would have become poorer, unable to receive promised tax refunds (refunds of their own money), obtain permission for home loans to clear (and the requirement to obtain such federal permission would not have been suspended), or even visit the "public lands" for whose upkeep they have unfailingly paid their tax dollars. A federal-government shutdown would not have reduced the scope and power of the federal government in any real way. It would simply have made many Americans poorer by denying them whatever scraps of their wealth and freedom the federal government would have otherwise deigned to throw back at them. . .

Read the entire article in LE QUÉBÉCOIS LIBRE by Gennady Stolyarov II. . .
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 Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.

- Ronald Reagan

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5.      Medical Gluttony:  Is only exceeded by Government Gluttony

Demolishing the Debt Mountain

By Benjamin Domenech | The Washington Examiner | Nov 27, 2010

On Capitol Hill last week, I ran into former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY), of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Lean, sharp, and crustyas ever, Simpson chatted with me for a few moments about his experience returning once more to the debate about deficits and entitlements.

"I remember being in this same building back in the 1970s," Simpson said, smiling as he shook his head, "and we were talking about the same dang things.  And if nothing changes, so will you!"

Joined by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Simpson has spent the past few weeks advocating for a draft proposal on America's deficit problem. Responses from Capitol Hill ranging  from dismissive to outraged. But if America wishes to avoid the fate Simpson predicts, Congress would be wise to seriously consider several aspects of this proposal.

True, the commission has advanced several ideas that are anathema to both sides. The left side of Congress contends the commission’s suggestions are naïve and irrelevant, and the right maintains they are an attempt to run interference for a massive tax hike. . .

For example, the commission calculates that enacting comprehensive medical malpractice reform—a Republican amendment that was repeatedly rejected—would save $64 billion over the next decade. Expanding cost-sharing in Medicare and creating a cap on catastrophic costs (a better policy than Obama’s top-down cuts and price controls) would save an estimated $85 billion. Limiting Medigap cost-sharing coverage, placing dual-eligible individuals in Medicaid managed care, and increasing nominal co-pays in Medicaid would save an estimated $76 billion.

The commission also recommends a cap on Medicaid’s long-term-care allotment—a proposal included in the 2009 Patients’ Choice Act, introduced by Senate Republicans Tom Coburn (OK) and Richard Burr (NC) and House Republicans Paul Ryan (WI) and Devin Nunes (CA). This would save taxpayers roughly $89 billion over the next 10 years.

These proposals would reduce spending by $314 billion over the next decade. In addition, the commission endorses a gradual increase in the retirement age to help Social Security’s solvency, and further savings could be achieved by eliminating the Medicaid expansion and subsidies and insurance regulation changes in Obama’s health care law. . .

Consider, for example, the huge number of Americans who pay little or no taxes, which allows a majority of non-taxpayers to vote themselves benefits from a minority of taxpayers. The primary cause of this big number of non-taxpayers is the $500 child tax credit instituted by the 1997 Republican Congress. Until 1998, fewer than 20 percent of federal returns had no tax liability—but after 2002 that figure jumped to more than 25 percent; it’s now above 35 percent after the credit was dramatically expanded under President George W. Bush. . .

Members on both sides of the congressional aisle should realize that demolishing the debt mountain will require bipartisan dedication—and rejection of the falsehoods peddled for too long by irresponsible politicians.

Benjamin Domenech ( is a research fellow at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News.  He previously served on President Clinton’s White House summit on Social Security.

Medicare itself is the most gluttonous form of health care ever envisioned.

Entitlement medicine always is.

Treat people like children and the only answer is more . . . more . . . more . . . more candy, daddy!

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Medical Gluttony thrives in Government and Health Insurance Programs.

It Disappears with Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service.

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6.      Medical Myths: Health Care: A Commonly Misunderstood Concept

It is an odd society indeed where such a seemingly simple idea as health care is so severely misunderstood. Health care, as the constituents of the term suggest, is simply caring for one's health, where health—of course—is the physical integrity and unobstructed functioning of one's body. A healthy person is one whose body is not breaking down, one who is not in constant pain, one who is going to live for a long time unless some unforeseen external peril—such as an accident or an assault—violates the integrity of one's body from without.  

In a society where there exists advanced scientific medical knowledge, it is possible to benefit one's health by consulting with certain individuals who specialize in aspects of this knowledge. These individuals are also useful in detecting diseases or other malfunctions that are not obvious to the intelligent layman, and they also do a commendable job in researching cures for diseases that have hitherto been without remedy. Most doctors are to be praised for the excellent work they do, and I am confident that any doctor worthy of his M.D. degree would strongly concur with the fundamental understanding of health care that I posit here.

Most people will recognize that doctors play an important and sometimes necessary role in the provision of health care. What many people today fail to recognize, however, is that doctors are never a sufficient part of genuinely effective health care. Doctors can indeed often detect signs of illness and recommend remedies, but to expect a doctor to perform all of your health care for you is just like expecting a teacher to perform all of your education for you. Doctors and teachers can both help and can even at times make the difference between success and failure, but without your participation and your vigilance, failure is inevitable.

What are other crucial components of health care? They are not esoteric, and they do not require specialized knowledge. They include eating in moderation, exercising regularly, avoiding harmful substances, practicing at most monogamy, keeping one's surroundings clean, and avoiding risks to life and limb as much as possible. There are also numerous over-the-counter medications and first aid practices, that, if used intelligently, can enable individuals to recover from many minor and even some major perils. These habits are not just little frills added on to the body of health care; they are that body, and without them, one will be quite dead quite soon—but not before racking up absurd amounts of medical expenses. I will note that in the 20th century, human life expectancy in the West surged from the mid-to-late forties to the late seventies. Although medical advances were phenomenal during that time, the vast majority of the increase can be attributed to improvements in overall cleanliness of infrastructure and healthier habits. With the advent of sanitation, regular dental hygiene, automatic washers and dryers, and efficient household cleaning supplies, a lot of infectious diseases that formerly wiped out millions were kept at bay—mostly not by doctors, but by ordinary laypersons living their lives in a superior manner to that of their ancestors. New technologies motivated new behaviors, and these everyday behaviors are our first and so far our best line of defense against disease and decay. . .

"To expect a doctor to perform all of your health care for you is just like expecting a teacher to perform all of your education for you. Doctors and teachers can both help and can even at times make the difference between success and failure, but without your participation and your vigilance, failure is inevitable."

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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.

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7.      Overheard in the Medical Staff Lounge: Where are political donations most effective?

Dr. Rosen: The politicians are furiously raising funds for the 2012 elections already. Is it still appropriate to give to your favorite party?

Dr. Paul: Certainly. I give to the Democratic Party because they feel spending money on health care is most appropriate.

Dr. Dave: Paul, you have your own prejudice. But in the long run, your political giving is going into a sinkhole. You can throw $billions into a sinkhole and it keeps on sinking.  

Dr. Sam: I’ve quit donating to political parties completely. On every request I just write, “My next contribution will come when you repeal ObamaCare.”

Dr. Ruth: Now that’s a good idea. Why didn’t I think of that? I haven’t given any donations yet, but I will return all requests with that note.

Dr. Edwards: I’ve received requests from the Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican Congressional Committee, the Republican National Committee, the California Republican Party, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment.

Dr. Paul: It looks like both parties have the same method of fundraising. But I keep mine simple. I just give to the Democratic Party.

Dr. Edwards: Do you agree with everything that your party does?

Dr. Paul: Basically, yes. I even tell my patients if their free medical care is important, they should vote democratic.

Dr. Joseph: That’s probably a true statement if you’re for free health care. But don’t you think that will run out some day?

Dr. Paul: Not as long as the Democrats remain in charge.

Dr. Joseph: You don’t think there’s going to be a change with the next election in 2012?

Dr. Paul: Not a chance. Obama is now gearing up for the greatest fund raising drive in history—a One Billion Dollar War Chest.

Dr. Joseph: So you think the Republicans should give up.

Dr. Paul: The liberal Republicans that you call RINOs will continue to give us the majority.

Dr. Rosen: If you’re interested in changing the direction of our country, where would you donate?

Dr. Yancy: It’s obvious that there are socialists and constitutionalists in both parties. So you can’t trust either party. So I limit my self to the constitutionalists that are found in the Tea Party. It makes me feel rather good. I’ve always thought the Boston Tea Party was a great strike for American Freedom. 

Dr. Sam: That’s exactly what I do. After I return all the request cards from the political parties, I pick out a candidate or two that is totally pro our American Constitution as the Greatest living document ever written bringing freedom to a land in such magnitude that the world has ever seen and donate to him through the Tea Party.

Dr. Edwards: So many RINOs vote socialistic when the going gets rough. The only way to make them toe the line is by the efforts of the Tea Party. They get the message quickly that way for if they don’t vote right, they will be removed by the Tea Party.

Dr. Dave: That works for either party. The socialists in either party are noted by the Tea Party and are marked for extermination. It may not be effective for everyone, but it will make a huge change in our country’s future.

Dr. Michelle: So you think the Political Parties will become extinct?

Dr. Rosen: Certainly not. They have a lot of depth in resources that the Tea Party will never have. So they won’t replace the Political Parties. But they will clean up at least the Republican Party. It will become the true Constitution Party while the Democratic Party will become the Socialist Party. People will then have a clear choice. I still believe the majority of Americans will choose freedom over socialism or a paternalistic society.

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The Staff Lounge Is Where Unfiltered Opinions Are Heard.

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8.      Voices of Medicine: Snore and you sleep alone.

Sleep Awareness Week: Global Sleep Emergency Persists

By James J. Murtagh, M.D.

"To achieve the impossible dream, try going to sleep." Joan Klempner

San Diego, California- Sleep Scientists from around the globe highlighted Sleep Awareness week. Famously, Anthony Burgess wrote that "Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone." Today, Burgess could only call the nightmare of sleepy drivers a "real horrorshow," and remind us that "every dogma has its day."  Eye-popping studies released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week reveal that 80 million Americans are sleep deprived, and more than one in twenty drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel. Sleep disorders contribute to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Persons who sleep less than seven hours a night live shorter and less productive lives. Half of Americans are so sleepy their work, their relationships and happiness are impaired.  Lack of sleep causes depression, weight gain and death.  

If there were a fifth horseman of the apocalypse, surely he would be sleep deprivation. He would be the palest of the pale riders.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) designated March 7-13, 2011 as the fourteenth annual national sleep awareness week. As we prepare to wind our clocks forward for daylight savings on March 13, it is time for patients, doctors and lawmakers to take stock.

Is it an exaggeration to say our society faces a crisis in sleep disorders? The father of modern sleep medicine, Dr. William Dement writes:  "Sleep disorders . . . have not been adequately addressed by the medical profession; … the absence of awareness of these problems relating to sleep is so pervasive and the consequences are potentially so dire as to constitute a national emergency". Richard L. Gelula, NSF's chief executive officer states that "sleepiness that permeates our society has serious consequences, and Americans' poor sleep is creating a public health and safety crisis in need of immediate attention,"

Dement links many of national major disasters, including the Exxon Valdez and Challenger can be traced to sleep disorders.  Maybe "Mothers against drunk driving" need to change their focus to "Mothers against drunk and sleepy driving."  The average sleep-apnea-induced truck disaster kills 4.2 persons. Friends cannot allow friends to drive sleepy.

Among the key findings of the CDC research reviewed:

* 4.7% of respondents say they had fallen asleep while driving at least once in the past 30 days.

* 7.3% of people who got less than seven hours of sleep report nodding off at the wheel, compared to 3% who got more.
* 37.9% of those questioned said they had fallen asleep unintentionally during the day at least one time in the past month.

* Drowsy driving causes an estimated 1,550 deaths a year and 40,000 injuries.

* More than 40 Million Americans suffer with sleep disorders, and more than 80 million are sleep deprived

* More than 95% of sleep patients are not treated

* Almost all sleep disorders can be treated, with immensely improved quality of life, productivity and life expectancy Millions are too sleepy even to have satisfying sex.

* Proper treatment of sleep disorders can result in improved happiness, improved sex life, and loss of weight, and overall improved efficiency and energy.

* Minorities, the poor, the chronically ill, the unemployed and the elderly are at special risk.

* Direct medical costs of sleep disorders account for more than 30 Billion dollars.

* Lost productivity of sleep deprivation costs $50 to 100 billion

* Sleep Apnea is a major cause of many common conditions, such as hypertension, stroke and sudden death.

Drowsiness is a major threat to military readiness. DoD has made sleep research a top priority, and has allocated more than $100 million this year to study military aspects of sleep. Research suggests enhanced vigilance will lead to a superior warrior.

Overweight men are most likely to have sleep apnea, but no one is immune.

Some good news? Treatment of sleep disorders actually saves money. The overall health costs of a patient suffering from sleep disorders can be cut in half by effective treatment of the sleep disorders. In an era of health reform and scarce resources, preventive medicine must take priority. The nation can not afford to avoid treating sleep problems.

Burgess is just one of hundreds of historical authors to write about sleep. For fun, a list of the top 100 movies concentrating on sleep was compiled:

What can you do? There are seven simple questions your can assess your risk of sleep disorder. Take the simple test at What could be a better use of a few minutes of your time? These few questions can tell you if you need attention from a sleep specialist.

"We are such stuff/ As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep." Shakespeare wrote. How true! As you wind your clock forward, take care to avoid the Clockwork Orange horror show of sleep deprivation. Take the simple screening test. The life you save may be your own, or it may be a loved one.

Last week was National Sleep Awareness Week.

Dr. James Murtagh is Medical Director of the Eastgate Sleepcare Center in Cincinnati Ohio.

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9.      Book & Movie Reviews: Next week is Holy Week

The Gospel According to Hollywood: One Blockbuster per Generation

Warner Brothers and Cecil B. DeMille have led countless people to Christianity.

Houses of Worship | By JOHN A. MURRAY | WSJ

Imagine meeting a person who had never heard of Easter. If you could use only one film produced in your generation to describe the real meaning of the holiday, which would you use and why?

While there have been many films on Christ over the last 85 years ("The Greatest Story Ever Told," "Jesus of Nazareth," etc.), there has been, on average, only one major blockbuster produced on Jesus per generation: "The King of Kings" (1927), "Ben Hur: The Tale of the Christ" (1959), "Jesus" (1979), and "The Passion of the Christ" (2004). 

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" focuses primarily on the final hours leading up to Christ's crucifixion. "Ben Hur" centers on the fictitious character Judah Ben Hur (played by Charlton Heston), intertwining Jesus' birth, ministry and death, but leaving out his resurrection.

Then there is Warner Brothers' 1979 film "Jesus." Based on the Gospel of St. Luke, the film, funded in part by money raised by Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, did poorly at the box office. But in 1981, Campus Crusade began translating it for use in the mission field. Known as "The Jesus Film," the movie has now been translated into more than 1,100 languages. Seen by literally billions of people around the world, it is arguably the most watched film ever—with many millions of viewers professing faith in Jesus Christ as a result. It is still being shown world-wide today.

Lastly there is Cecil B. DeMille's "The King of Kings," the spiritual predecessor to "Jesus." Its viewership was estimated at over 800 million people by 1959. Because it was produced as a silent film, Protestant and Catholic missionaries alike were able to use it for decades to share the Gospel with non-English-speaking peoples. According to DeMille's autobiography, during the Korean War Madame Chiang Kai-shek sent an emissary to DeMille seeking a copy of the film to show in P.O.W. camps.

The most powerful story related by DeMille about the influence of "The King of Kings" involved a Polish man named William E. Wallner. Living in Danzig (today Gdansk), Wallner saw "The King of Kings" in 1928. Greatly moved, he decided to devote his life to Christian ministry.

By 1939, Wallner was leading a Lutheran parish in Prague. Shortly after Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia, a doctor in Wallner's parish was sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Wallner shared with DeMille how the doctor, a Jewish convert to Christianity, encouraged his fellow prisoners "to die bravely, with faith in their hearts." As a result, the doctor became a target of Gestapo officers.

Although struck with an iron rod until one of his arms had to be amputated, the doctor would not be quieted. Finally, as DeMille's autobiography recounts, "one Gestapo officer beat the doctor's head against a stone wall until blood was streaming down his face." Holding a mirror before the doctor, the Gestapo officer sneered: "Take a look at yourself. Now you look like your Jewish Christ."

Lifting his remaining hand up, the doctor exclaimed, "Lord [Jesus], never in my life have I received such honor—to resemble You." Those would be his last words on Earth.

Distraught by the doctor's proclamation, the Gestapo officer sought out Wallner that night. "Could Pastor Wallner help him, free him from the terrible burden of his guilt?"

After praying with him, Wallner advised, "Perhaps God let you kill that good man to bring you to the foot of the Cross, where you can help others." The Gestapo officer returned to the concentration camp. And through the aid of Wallner and the Czech underground, he worked to free many Jews over the years that followed.

On July 30, 1957, Wallner met with DeMille and spoke about the impact "The King of Kings" had on his life and all who came in contact with him. Wallner ended his account to DeMille by declaring: "If it were not for 'The King of Kings,' I would not be a Lutheran pastor, and 350 Jewish children would have died in the ditches."

DeMille concluded his account of Wallner's visit by writing: "If I felt that this film was my work, it would be intolerably vain and presumptuous to quote such stories from the hundreds like them that I could quote. But all we did in 'The King of Kings,' all I have striven to do in any of my Biblical pictures, was to translate into another medium, the medium of sight and sound, the words of the Bible." . . .

Read the rest of this review & the Easter Story on the WSJ weekly Houses of Worship column on Fridays, (subscription required) . . .

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The Book & Movie Review Section Is an Insider’s View of What Doctors are Reading & Seeing.

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10.  Hippocrates & His Kin: ObamaCare Health without adequate coverage

Who has Health Insurance?

When Pew did the statistics and found 35 million Americans without health insurance, many of the people with Medicaid checked off “No Insurance” because they thought if they can’t find a physician to accept Medicaid, they didn’t really have health insurance coverage. When ObamaCare places another 35 million Americans in the slough with the 69.5 million Americans that they think have coverage through Medicaid, will they really have more than 100 million Americans with coverage or at least not be able to find a physician?

When reality strikes, there will then be 100 million Americans without adequate health coverage.


Quantum Computing

Physics is strange, and the people who spend their life devoted to its study are more accustomed to its strangeness than the rest of us. But, even to physicists, quantum mechanics—the basis of a quantum computer—is almost intolerably odd. As Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feyman noted, “Our imagination is stretched to the utmost. Not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.”

Dream Machine, the mind-expanding world of quantum computing.
By Rivka Galchen, New Yorker, May 2, 2011, pp 34 ff.

I want what I want when I want it.

This pubescent juvenile boy’s cry is now heard more frequently in health care.

The mature girl’s cry is “you’ll get what I got when I get it” is heard less often.

The government’s response is you can have what you want when you want it.

Cost is no object.

Trash is Piling up in Sacramento

Joan Bryant, the director of employees for Trash Drivers Local 29, the union that represent solid waste drivers, said 15 drivers are out on medical leave, 12 are on vacation, seven called in sick. The number of sick drivers “is not an unusual number,” she said.

And we though buying all those garbage trucks with lifts to eliminate human back-lifting would eliminate calling in sick.

Actually, the workers are merely redefining sick days as vacation days before and after holidays.

High Bar to fire teachers proves costly (BEE investigation. . .  )

Several Sacramento area school districts were toying with the idea of shortening the school year by one month to save funds. Sacramento BEE found that some teachers collect full salaries when put on leave or laid off. The BEE cited one teacher as paid $87,000 for three leaves of alleged misconduct. The BEE found that $1.1 million was paid in salaries in the past five years for 49 teachers to stay home while investigated for misconduct. School districts say they are bound by a state education code and administrative processes that required hearings and excessive documentation before a teacher can be fired.

How about a simple pink slip for misconduct? Wouldn’t that solve both problems?

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Hippocrates and His Kin / Hippocrates Modern Colleagues
The Challenges of Yesteryear, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

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11.  Organizations Restoring Accountability in 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 and register to receive one or more of these reports. This month, read the Health Care Alerts.

                     Pacific Research Institute, ( 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. Just released, California’s Proposal to Control Health Plans’ Rate Increases.  

                      The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( 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. This month, treat yourself to Canada's Reversed Fiscal Crisis.

                      To read the rest of this column, please go to

                      The National Association of Health Underwriters, 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 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. This month, you might focus on The New Health Law: Bad for Doctors, Awful for Patients –Jason Fodeman, M.D., April 2011.

                      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,, 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?. This month, be sure to read The Patriot’s Tool Box.

                      The Foundation for Economic Education,, 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 at FEE’s New Atlanta’s Branch.

                      The Council for Affordable Health Insurance,, 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,, 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. Read about Mother’s Against Debt: Fiscal Child Abuse.

                      Martin Masse, Director of Publications at the Montreal Economic Institute, is the publisher of the webzine: Le Quebecois Libre. Please log on at 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. This month, read a very insightful article:  If astrologers and meteorologists have little influence on public policy, economists predicting the future occupy strategic positions throughout the public decision-making process, whether in government or at central banks, nurturing the enactment of more and more wrongheaded large-scale policies.

                      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 for an overview of the extensive research articles that are available. You may want to go directly to their Business and Economics section: When it comes to the economic policy, the key to deciding which federal party’s platform is best for the economy is to determine which offers the best policies that help create an economic environment that encourages hard work, savings, investment, and entrepreneurial risk taking. . . Unfortunately, no federal party offers a truly austere fiscal plan.

                      The Heritage Foundation,, 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 would also caution that should Mitt Romney ever run for National office again, he would be dangerous in the cause of freedom in health care. The WSJ paints him as being to the left of Barrack Hussein Obama. We would also advise Steve Forbes to disassociate himself from this institution.

                      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 to obtain the foundation's daily reports. To take courses in Capitalism, Socialism, Austrian Economics, Competition, Anti-Trust and others, log on to 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 ( 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 This month read Americans finally finish working for the federal government on April 12 this year.

                      The Ethan Allen Institute,, 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,, 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

                      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 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 US News 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, read Biology Students Excel at Regional Convention. The last ten years of Imprimis are archived.

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Words of Wisdom

Father Knows Best.

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.

–Charles Wadsworth

Desirability does not justify force.

If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.Friedrich August von Hayek

St. Augustine of Hippo on the difference between kingdoms and robberies.

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, "What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor."

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), in "The City of God."

To understand why Socialism will always fail:

“It is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better” –Friedrich August von Hayek

And that’s why Socialist never learn how to do things better.

Read more:

There is no reason to suppose that government regulators know what’s best for everyone.

Some Recent Postings

In The March 26 MedicalTuesday Issue:

1.      Featured Article: Duty Hours: Where Do We Go From Here?

2.      In the News: Is Your Job an Endangered Species?

3.      International Medicine: British Med Assn proposes the first walkout by doctors since 1975

4.      Medicare: Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy

5.      Medical Gluttony: Gouging on the Hospital Laboratory Bill

6.      Medical Myths: ObamaCare with Increased Taxes will solve our Healthcare Problems

7.      Overheard in the Medical Staff Lounge: ObamaCare Sooners

8.      Voices of Medicine: Medicaid Is Worse Than No Coverage at All

9.      The Bookshelf: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America

10.  Hippocrates & His Kin: Subsidizing Students, Housing, and Healthcare are the same

11.  Related Organizations: Restoring Accountability in Medical Practice and Society

Words of Wisdom, Recent Postings, In Memoriam . . .


In The April HPUSA Issue:   

1.         Featured Article: A Member of the European Parliament’s Warning to America

2.         In the News: On Tax Day, Friday,  April 15, 2011, Atlas Shrugged Opens

3.         International Healthcare: NHS breaches target for hospital waits By Nicholas Timmins,

4.         Government Healthcare: Medicare’s Benefits exceed Contributions by 300 Percent

5.         Lean HealthCare: Lean HealthCare requires defunding ObamaCare

6.         Misdirection in Healthcare: Hospitals taking over private practices

7.         Overheard on Capital Hill: After the Welfare State

8.         Innovations in Healthcare: How to become an Entrepreneur?

9.         The Health Plan for the USA: A graded copayment on every level of service

10.        Restoring Accountability in HealthCare by Moving from a Vertical to a Horizontal Industry:

In Memoriam

Helena Rubinstein: The Color of Money

Sometimes beauty is just business.

by Malcolm Gladwell

New Yorker | March 28, 2011

Helena Rubinstein was born in 1872 in Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, the eldest of eight daughters of a kerosene dealer. By her late teens, she had abandoned Poland for Australia, where she began cooking up vats of face cream. She called it Valaze, and claimed that it was the creation of an eminent European skin specialist named Dr. Lykuski and had been “compounded from rare herbs which only grow in the Carpathian mountains.” She rented a storefront in downtown Melbourne, and peddled her concoction at a staggering markup.

In just over a decade, she had become a millionaire. She expanded to London, then to Paris, then to New York—and from there to almost every other major city in the world.  She added one product after another, until Helena Rubinstein Inc. comprised sixty-two creams; seventy-eight powders; forty-six perfumes, colognes, and eaux de toilette; sixty-nine lotions; and a hundred and fifteen lipsticks, plus soaps, rouges, and eyeshadows. In December of 1928, she sold her business to Lehman Brothers for the equivalent of eighty-four million dollars in today’s money—and, when Lehman’s mismanagement and the Depression brought the stock price down from sixty dollars to three dollars, she bought her firm back for a pittance and took it to even greater success. She was four feet ten and spoke an odd combination of Polish, Yiddish, French, and English. She insisted on being referred to as Madame. At the time of her death, in 1965, she was one of the richest women in the world.

The biographer Ruth Brandon spends the first part of “Ugly Beauty” (Harper; $26.99) describing Rubinstein’s rise, and the picture she paints of her subject is extraordinary. Rubinstein bought art by the truckload; a critic once said that she had “unimportant paintings by every important painter of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.” In just one room in her Park Avenue triplex, she had seven Renoirs hung above a fireplace. Her legendary collection of jewels was kept in a filing cabinet, sorted alphabetically: “A” for amethysts, “B” for beryls, “D” for diamonds. “Rubinstein’s New York living room, like everything else about her, was tasteless but full of gusto,” Brandon writes. “It sported an acid-green carpet designed by Miró, twenty Victorian carved chairs covered in purple and magenta velvets, Chinese pearl-inlaid coffee tables, gold Turkish floor lamps, life-sized Easter Island sculptures, six-foot-tall blue opaline vases, African masks around the fireplace, and paintings covering every inch of wall space.” She once invited Edith Sitwell over for lunch and, upon hearing that Sitwell’s ancestors had burned Joan of Arc at the stake, exclaimed, “Somebody had to do it!” In the nineteen-fifties, she took as a companion a young man half a century her junior, wooing him on a date that began with an enormous lunch (“I need to keep up my energy!”) and a showing of “Ben-Hur” (“Most interesting! I’m glad the Jewish boy won!”). From then on, Rubinstein took the young man everywhere, even to a state dinner with the Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who asked her, “Who’s your goy?” Rubinstein replied, “That’s Patrick! And . . . and, yes, he is my goy.” . . .

Read more - ixzz1HkEGisJr

In the second part of “Ugly Beauty,” Brandon tells a parallel story, about one of Rubinstein’s contemporaries, a man named Eugène Schueller. . . . He called his company L’Oréal. Brandon’s aim in relating the histories of these two pioneers of the beauty business is to tease out their many connections and parallels—to explore what the development of cosmetics at L’Oréal and at Helena Rubinstein tells us about the social constructions of beauty. . .

Read more . . .

On This Date in History - April 12

On this date in 1861, the US Civil War began. Fort Sumter stands in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. A long time ago, on this day in 1861, it was the hub of history. The Confederates fired on the Union garrison in Fort Sumter, and the Civil War began. As we thing of the bloody fratricidal conflict, we are determined that, no matter what the differences among Americans today, violence and war are not the answer.

On this date in 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt died. FDR was a popular President, but he also had as fierce an opposition public as any Chief Executive of modern times. They never even called him the President. They referred to him as “that man in the White House.” History does repeat itself.

On this date in 1955, Salk vaccine was declared safe and effective. There is one field of human endeavor that has a record of virtually uninterrupted progress. That field is medicine, where we are always learning how to save more lives and heal more wounds. Today is an anniversary in the field of medicine. One of the most dreaded killers and cripplers of childhood had at last been tamed. Doctors throughout the world are contributing to the development of new preventives and new cures for other disease. If we could do as well with the diseases of society as with the physical diseases of humanity, we would be making progress.

Unfortunately, there are many in our generation who want us to go backwards to the lands we emigrated from over the past two centuries where little progress in medicine occurred. If the socialists succeed with their invasion of our country, medical progress will indeed be interrupted. —Editor

After Leonard and Thelma Spinrad

Thank you for joining the MedicalTuesday.Network and Have Your Friends Do the Same. If you receive this as an invitation, please go to, enter you email address and join the 10,000 members who receive this newsletter. If you are one of the 80,000 guests that surf our web sites, we thank you and invite you to join the email network on a regular basis by subscribing at the website above. To subscribe to our companion publication concerning health plans and our pending national challenges, please go to and enter your email address. Then go to the archives to scan the last several important HPUSA newsletters and current issues in healthcare.  

Please note that sections 1-4, 6, 8-9 are entirely attributable quotes and editorial comments are in brackets. Permission to reprint portions has been requested and may be pending with the understanding that the reader is referred back to the author's original site. We respect copyright as exemplified by George Helprin who is the author, most recently, of “Digital Barbarism,” just published by HarperCollins. We hope our highlighting articles leads to greater exposure of their work and brings more viewers to their page. Please also note: Articles that appear in MedicalTuesday may not reflect the opinion of the editorial staff.

ALSO NOTE: MedicalTuesday receives no government, foundation, or private funds. The entire cost of the website URLs, website posting, distribution, managing editor, email editor, and the research and writing is solely paid for and donated by the Founding Editor, while continuing his Pulmonary Practice, as a service to his patients, his profession, and in the public interest for his country.

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Del Meyer

Del Meyer, MD, Editor & Founder

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Always remember that Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the father of socialized medicine in Germany, recognized in 1861 that a government gained loyalty by making its citizens dependent on the state by social insurance. Thus socialized medicine, or any single payer initiative, was born for the benefit of the state and of a contemptuous disregard for people’s welfare.

Thus we must also remember that ObamaCare has nothing to do with appropriate healthcare; it was similarly projected to gain loyalty by making American citizens dependent on the government and eliminating their choice and chance to improve their welfare or quality of healthcare. Socialists know that once people are enslaved, freedom seems too risky to pursue.