Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘freedom’ Category

flap_eagle

I met a Marine on the beach last week and it was awesome. 

My family of six was invited by my gracious in-laws to vacation at the beach.  On Thursday we were doing what families do on the beach, when I looked up and saw that my five-year old son, wearing goggles, in search of sunken treasure in a two-foot deep tidal pool, had invaded the space of a young family (husband, wife, two-year old son).  In typical fashion he struck up a conversation with them and soon the rest of my family moved in to socialize.  My wife and son talked with them for close to an hour- the father carried on a long conversation with my five-year old about sea life, indulging his curiosity and imagination.  His wife and my wife talked about kids and life and school (I have returned to medical school later in life and the father was considering further education). 

When my other sons and I came out of the waves my wife told me that Kevin (the father) had recently left the Marine Corps where he had served three tours in Iraq.  He and his family were in the process of moving forward with life after the Marines- gainful employment, the American dream, etc.- the sort of aspirations that we all share. 

My family has developed a custom in recent years, when we encounter members of the armed services in public we shake their hands and thank them for their service.  We want them to know how grateful for them and indebted to them we are.  We tell them that we support them.  My sons and I approached Kevin, shook his hand, and expressed our gratitude.  Kevin was taken off-guard at first but responded in a quiet, humble manner similar to how others have responded- ‘Your welcome, glad to do it.  Thank you for saying thank you.’  He did say that he had not been approached like that before. 

A few minutes later it was time for Kevin’s son to take his afternoon nap and the trio left the beach.  Kevin returned about 20 minutes later and walked straight over to where we were.  The boys were in the waves and I was watching my daughter.  Kevin walked up to me and handed me a small ribbon, the sort of which goes on the breast of a military uniform.  It was green with white bars toward either end; in the center was affixed a bronze ‘V’. 

Kevin said, “I want you and your family to have this.  Tell your sons that they have met a Marine.”

I protested, “This is too great a gift, you earned this, it should not be given lightly.”

“I am glad to give it to you and your family,” he said.

“Well, what does it mean? What does the V stand for? I want to be able to tell them about it.”

“It is a ribbon I got in the service, just a ribbon.  The V stands for Valor,” he said quietly, obviously not wanting to go into further detail.  “You tell them that a Marine gave it to them.  And thank you.”

Then he walked off the beach. 

That night I did some research.  It is the ribbon that accompanies the Navy & Marine Commendation Medal.  The Medal was established in 1943 and is awarded “to service members who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement or meritorious service.”   The ‘V’ does stand for Valor and is called the Combat Distinguishing Device- as it indicates the award is for acts done in the course of direct combat with the enemy.

His family must be proud.  My family and I are the better for having met Kevin and our nation is the better for having men like him.

 There are things in life to make us weep- the generosity of a humble, young Marine-husband-father to my family and our nation brings tears to my eyes.

LiberateMedicine.com

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Source: Wall Street Journal

By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and LEE A. CASEY

Is a government-dominated health-care system unconstitutional? A strong case can be made for that proposition, based on the same “right to privacy” that underlies such landmark Supreme Court decisions as Roe v. Wade.

The details of this year’s health-care reform bill are still being hammered out. But the end result is sure to be byzantine in complexity. Washington will have immense say over how, when and through whom Americans are treated. Moreover, despite the administration’s public pronouncements about painless cuts in wasteful spending, only the most credulous believe that some form of government-directed health-care rationing can be avoided as a means of controlling costs.

The Supreme Court created the right to privacy in the 1960s and used it to strike down a series of state and federal regulations of personal (mostly sexual) conduct. This line of cases began with Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 (involving marital birth control), and includes the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

The court’s underlying rationale was not abortion-specific. Rather, the justices posited a constitutionally mandated zone of personal privacy that must remain free of government regulation, except in the most exceptional circumstances. As the court explained in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), “these matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and the mystery of human life.”

READ MORE

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites

Read Full Post »

Gird yourself up, doctors. Prepare to join Oil, Pharma, Insurance, Finance, and Automotive as the next group of terrible villains who are victimizing the American people. Prepare for the hue and cry of the media against you and your ‘greed’. Prepare to watch as your motives are purposefully distorted. Prepare to be accused of actually wanting to deny those who are sick and harm those who are well.  Steel yourself for pictures of ill children and elderly accompanied by commentary from reporters about how broken the American system.  Do not be surprised or alarmed but most of all DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED.

There are a lot of reasons to oppose a system that concentrates control in the hands of bureaucrats- too numerous to review in this column.  I will talk about the one reason that the media and politicians will talk about though- GREED.  Doctors will be accused of greed- just wanting to make money.  Sure, there are some greedy doctors out there just as there are greedy cab drivers, professional athletes, waitresses, and accountants.  There are even greedy politicians- greedy for power and influence and the spoils that come therefrom.  So do not allow yourself to be so easily characterized.

Three things about medicine make it a relatively highly paid field: First, it is a high value-added product and as such is more expensive than low value-added products; second, there is a huge investment involved in becoming a physician both in terms of time (7-12 years after college) and money.  Large investments require a higher rate of return to justify them and attract participants; third, the pool of people who are capable of doing the job and actually want to do the job is small.  One of the reasons the profession is able to attract capable people is the prospect of higher earnings in the future.

Do not be made to feel guilty about making good money, doctors- the product is valuable, the job is hard and the investment is large.

But do not forget, doctors, that this debate is about more than money- it is about FREEDOM.  In particular, it is about the patients and their freedom.   The freedom to own and live their lives without the all-invasive oversight and influence of government.  A government that claims to be doing things for them but in actuality is doing things to justify its own existence.

Let me say this to the Patients, though- do not fall for the usual political gimmick- divide and conquer.  Do not allow yourself to be driven by envy and class warfare- they rot your souls and make you pawns in the hands of a demagogue.  You are smarter and better than that.  In your heart you should rejoice that America is the sort of place in which people can work hard and enjoy the legitimate fruits of their labors in free exchange with others.  For in such a place, the sky is the limit for you and your children.

Get ready, doctors, this battle is not for the faint of heart…

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites

Read Full Post »

ED-AJ652_Burd_D_20090611165004

Source: Wall Street Journal

By STEVEN A. BURD

Effective health-care reform must meet two objectives: 1) It must secure coverage for all Americans, and 2) it must dramatically lower the cost of health care. Health-care spending has outpaced the rise in all other consumer spending by nearly a factor of three since 1980, increasing to 18% of GDP in 2009 from 9% of GDP. This disturbing trend will not change regardless of who pays these costs — government or the private sector — unless we can find a way to improve the health of our citizens. Failure to do so will make American companies less competitive in the global marketplace, increase taxes, and undermine our economy.

At Safeway we believe that well-designed health-care reform, utilizing market-based solutions, can ultimately reduce our nation’s health-care bill by 40%. The key to achieving these savings is health-care plans that reward healthy behavior. As a self-insured employer, Safeway designed just such a plan in 2005 and has made continuous improvements each year. The results have been remarkable. During this four-year period, we have kept our per capita health-care costs flat (that includes both the employee and the employer portion), while most American companies’ costs have increased 38% over the same four years.

READ MORE

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites

Read Full Post »

The new healthcare bill is 167 pages long. That is considerably shorter than Hillary Clinton’s 1,300 page behemoth. There is a good reason for this and we should be even more vigilant about this bill. One of the reasons that HillaryCare failed is that it spelled out exactly what it was going to do in excruciating detail. Thus, opponents were able to attack the bill very easily.

Proponents of a single payer system learned from Hillary’s experience in the ’90’s and didn’t make the same mistakes.  The new bill contains the phrase ‘Secretary shall’ 66 times,  ‘Secretary may’ 21 times, and ‘Secretary determines’ 10 times. That means that in about 97 cases the Secretary of Health and Human Services and/or her appointees are given the authority to make and implement policy. These policy decisions will not be reviewed by Congress- they will simply be implemented because the bill gives her the authority to do so.  In this case, Congress has abdicated its policy-making authority to a great degree by giving so much authority to the Secretary.  Congress has given the Secretary the authority to work out all of the details of the plan as the bill really only sketches out the broad picture (with a few details).  This makes the bill that much harder to resist because the details have yet to be worked out and as we know ‘the devil is in the details.’ 

Thus, our healthcare system, under this bill, will be run by the bureau/technocrats in Washington with what appears to be very little oversight by the Congress.  The size of the bureaucracy that will be required to implement and maintain this system will be truly breathtaking.    Take a number, stand in line, be quiet and wait your turn…

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites

Read Full Post »

Thirty years ago there were 250 state mandates with which health insurance companies had to comply. Today there are almost 2,000. Are we surprised then that health insurance is expensive? These mandates drive the cost of insurance up and up. The high cost of insurance is one reason why so many people are uninsured in America- state mandates make the cost of insurance too high. The cost of insurance in New Jersey is several times higher than the cost of insurance in Kentucky.

Individuals should be free to shop for health insurance across state lines and have the ability to buy only the insurance they want.

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites

Read Full Post »

Great move by the AMA coming out in opposition to the President’s health care plan.

Here’s the NY Times article about it. Click HERE

There are two ways to control costs- either by market forces or by government fiat. Only the free market allows people to seek out the care they want at the price that is acceptable to them.

Currently there are around 1,300 companies providing health insurance to consumers. This is great because if you get tired of your insurance company you can always switch to another company. This mobility provides an incentive for the health insurance companies to do a decent job servicing their customers.

That dynamic, that freedom, is eliminated when the government is the only ‘insurance company.’ If you don’t like the service you are getting then that is just tough luck because there is no where else to go. Right now the people of Canada, faced with this problem, come to the US to get care. Similarly, there is no freedom to change doctors if you don’t like the one you are assigned.

The insurance company model can be improved by putting the consumer more in control of how their healthcare dollars are spent but it is better than a single payer solution.

Find us on:
 
Bookmark and Share  Add to Technorati Favorites

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »