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Archive for the ‘Liberate Doctors’ Category

Source: AmericanThinker.com

By Zane F Pollard, MD

I have been sitting quietly on the sidelines watching all of this national debate on healthcare. It is time for me to bring some clarity to the table by explaining many of the problems from the perspective of a doctor.
First off, the government has involved very few of us physicians in the  healthcare debate. While the American Medical Associationhas come out in favor of the plan, it is vital to remember that the AMA only represents 17% of the American physician workforce.
 

I have taken care of Medicaid patients for 35 years while representing the only pediatric ophthalmology group left in Atlanta, Georgia that accepts Medicaid. For example, in the past 6 months I have cared for three young children on Medicaid who had corneal ulcers. This is a potentially blinding situation because if the cornea perforates from the infection, almost surely blindness will occur. In all three cases the antibiotic needed for the eradication of the infection was not on the approved Medicaid list. 

LiberateMedicine.com

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Everyone supports “health reform” as an abstract goal, but that mile-wide consensus is an inch deep when it comes to substance. Increasingly, however, most of the major health industry lobbies seem prepared to concede the mile — as long they get their inch.

The latest example is the American Medical Association’s unqualified endorsement Thursday of the health bill patched together by House Democrats. In a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, the doctors group lays on its “appreciation and support” pretty thick, and pledges to “work with the House committees and leadership to build support.” The so-called tri-committee plan is also the most left-leaning out there, funding its new coverage for the uninsured in part by cutting payments to doctors and hospitals in Medicare and Medicaid.

But lobbyists don’t lobby for less revenue for their members, and Democrats seem to have procured the AMA’s bouquet with what the AMA letter says is the promise of “fundamental Medicare reforms, including repeal of the sustainable growth rate,” or SGR. The SGR is a formula that Congress created in 1997 as a form of fiscal triage, mandating automatic cuts in physician payments if entitlement spending rises too steeply. Next year, they’re scheduled to drop by 21.5%.

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By SCOTT GOTTLIEB

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At the heart of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan is an insurance program funded by taxpayers, administered by Washington, and open to everyone. Modeled on Medicare, this “public option” will soon become the single dominant health plan, which is its political purpose. It will restructure the practice of medicine in the process.

Republicans and Democrats agree that the government’s Medicare scheme for compensating doctors is deeply flawed. Yet Mr. Obama’s plan for a centrally managed government insurance program exacerbates Medicare’s problems by redistributing even more income away from lower-paid primary care providers and misaligning doctors’ financial incentives.

Like Medicare, the “public option” will control spending by using its purchasing clout and political leverage to dictate low prices to doctors. (Medicare pays doctors 20% to 30% less than private plans, on average.) While the public option is meant for the uninsured, employers will realize it’s easier — and cheaper — to move employees into the government plan than continue workplace coverage.

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