When I first started medical practice in 1972, a physician could get started in practice on a shoestring budget. All you needed was a couple of rooms, some furnishings, a few pieces of equipment that you could add too later, a telephone and possibly someone to answer it and schedule appointments. The joke was that you could set up your office in early orange crate style. Overhead was about one-third of the usual expected incomes. Those days are long gone.
One of the first causative things to spring to mind is the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Certainly, that’s part of it but far from the only part and may not even be a major part. The daily costs of simply operating an office have soared as well.
If you go into any medical office consisting of two or more physicians, for starters, you are likely to find a receptionist and one person for the billing. In essence, she chases money. Her salary, including benefits is likely to be in the $80,000 a year range. The receptionist answers the telephone and primarily does the scheduling. Her services come at a cost also.
Each physician is likely to have one or two people assisting him, directly, in patient care. That would include ensuring follow-ups and tests including laboratory and imaging studies such as x-rays. They come at their own costs. There also might be laboratory and x-ray technicians who actually perform those tests if the office does them in-house.
Rising Costs: How often did the president promise the Democrats’ health care reform would bend the spending curve downward? Now the media that’ve coddled him for years are finally talking about ObamaCare’s costs.
The media that endorsed ObamaCare as a cost-control watershed are now beginning to actually report on its effects. Over the weekend, the New York Times noted that “health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.”
On Saturday, the Oregonian reported that Oregon residents who buy their own health insurance “face major cost changes.”
“The coverage cost shake-up for those purchasing their own coverage is just one of many major changes to the health care landscape rolling out this year courtesy of the Affordable Care Act,” the newspaper said.
A day later, Washington Post blogger Sarah Kliff noted that the “Affordable Care Act has contributed to the rise in premiums, especially in the individual market,” because of the mandates it has placed on health insurance carriers.
“One thing the Affordable Care Act did right away was make health insurance benefit packages more robust,” the blog added. “It required insurance companies to cover preventive care at no cost, for example, and allowed parents to keep their kids on their plans up to age 26.”
Then there is The Hill reporting Monday on a study that predicts ObamaCare’s “age rating restrictions could mean a 42% hike in premium costs for people aged 21 to 29 when they buy individual coverage.”
Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list of prices for 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier, founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In 1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.
The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don’t have the normal incentive to seek out value.
The Surgery Center’s consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.
Obama Campaigns In Vegas While Storm Victims Defecate In The Hallways And Rummage Through Garbage Dumpsters For Food
Will Hurricane Sandy turn out to be Obama’s Katrina? When the storm first hit, the media was full of praise for the way that Barack Obama was handling the crisis. But that was just based on the bold statements that Obama was making at the time. If those statements are not backed up by actions, what good are they? Obama has always been good with words. Unfortunately, several days after the storm it has become apparent that the federal response to Hurricane Sandy has been absolutely nightmarish. Large areas affected by the storm are still without power, and authorities now say that some power outages could persist until late November. Due to the lack of power and widespread transportation disruptions, very few gas stations are open right now.
Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.
Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.
Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.
With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.
In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.
(Dr. Lin is a well-published cancer researcher and trained medical oncologist who calls Chicago his home. He is active in LGBT health issues.)
~ Part I: Anal Cancer ~
I am going to talk about something that makes gay men very squeamish… But it’s a conversation that needs to be had. Anal cancer, the cancer that dare not rear its name, is diagnosed in over 6,000 people per year and the rate is growing. And yes, this is the very disease that claimed the life of former Charlie’s Angel, Farrah Fawcett.
You’re not a Charlie’s Angel so why should you care?
Men who have sex with men are 20 times more likely to get anal cancer than heterosexual men.
HIV-positive individuals have even a higher risk.
The more sexual partners you have, the greater the risk.
You don’t have to be a bottom to get anal cancer. (Read More)
It’s gradually emerged in recent months that the Food and Drug Administration not only spied on its employees, but did so on a massive scale — collecting tens of thousands of employee emails to one another, as well as to journalists, members of Congress and congressional staff workers. The FDA also intercepted draft statements to the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates complaints of whistleblower harassment and reprisal. This monitoring, authorized by the agency’s chief counsel, was clearly a deliberate policy of the highest levels of FDA leadership.
So what problem was all the surveillance directed against? Embezzling? Sexual harassment? No. The FDA was out to punish whistleblowers for talking out of school about dangerous radiation levels in medical imaging devices approved by FDA for mammograms and colonoscopies.
That’s right. FDA leadership was out to prevent employees from talking to members of Congress — which the civics books tell us safeguards the public safety and welfare by, among other things, creating regulatory agencies like the FDA — about the very kinds of concerns the FDA was allegedly created to address.
When President Obama was selling health reform, he often talked about providing universal coverage. But a Congressional Budget Office report out this week finds that goal getting more elusive.
The report found that despite ObamaCare’s $1.2 trillion price tag, it would only cut the ranks of the uninsured in half, leaving 30 million without coverage. That’s seven million more uninsured than the CBO first projected in March 2010.
The latest downgrade comes in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, which gave states the freedom to reject ObamaCare’s massive expansion of Medicaid. Since then, governors in more than 25 states have said they will refuse to expand Medicaid or are leaning in that direction, despite the generous federal contributions.
Obama (Doesn’t) Care adds 400% increase to military member’s tri-care fees
While President Barack Obama is celebrating the survival of his so-called “Affordable Care Act,” he is busy making health care less affordable for the nation’s military families. As the Washington Free Beacon reports, the President is threatening to veto a defense appropriations bill unless military families have to pay higher fees for TRICARE, the military’s health insurance program. The Obama administration ostensibly wants to help the Pentagon save money; the real motive is to make TRICARE less attractive than costlier Obamacare exchanges.
The Free Beacon notes that the bill that passed the House of Representatives, with bipartisan support, refused to incorporate the President’s request for higher TRICARE fees–and the administration has expressed displeasure.
Health Care: The Obama administration just inked a $20 million deal with PR firm Porter Novelli to help promote ObamaCare. Why do they need to promote a law that was supposed to get more popular once it passed?
According to news accounts, the multimedia campaign is mandated by ObamaCare as a way to educate the public about how to stay healthy and prevent illnesses.
Right. Like another $20 million will make a difference on top of the avalanche of public health news already out there.
A Health and Human Services official let slip the real reason, telling Roll Call that the PR effort is meant “to inform the American people about the many preventive benefits now available … as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”
In other words, this is more about burnishing ObamaCare’s image before the election than meeting some public health imperative.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gone to court to prevent the Colorado-based firm Regenerative Sciences from using stem cells developed in one part of your body (bone marrow) to repair damage in other parts of your body, such as joints. The FDA objects to the fact that these cells are chemicals, the use of which they have the power to regulate even though the cells are taken from your body to later be injected back into your body.
The FDA is accustomed to the process by which it requires that many years and millions of dollars be spent to approve drugs developed in a laboratory before anyone is allowed to use them. Regardless of clinical results that show use of stem cells to be highly effective, the FDA finds it intolerable to let you use the cells in your own body without prior approval by a vast and expensive bureaucracy.
It is a shame that no one told all of those who would benefit from stem cell research that the benefits of such research would not actually be available to patients. Treatment of individuals does not comply with the FDA’s regulatory paradigm. Personalized medicine may work new miracles, but care for the individual must be subordinated to supervision by a multitude of administrators.
These guys should all “probe” each other, instead of doing it to us! (Ed.)
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Merck & Co. (MRK) are being pulled into an expanding congressional investigation into the agreement drugmakers reached with the Obama administration to support the Democrats‚ overhaul of the U.S. health-care system, according to three people familiar with the talks.
To no thinking person’s surprise, the Obama administration admitted this week that another element of ObamaCare is going to cost more than originally expected. This isn’t really news so much as it is yet another confirmation that the president’s takeover of health care will be an absolute disaster.
The latest program to exceed expectations is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which provides health insurance for people who can’t obtain coverage through private carriers. The PCIP was meant to be an interim program phasing out in 2014, at which point all insurers will be required to accept all comers who want coverage. In November 2010, the federal government estimated an annual cost of $13,000 per enrollee. Since the program’s launch last year, some 50,000 people have signed up, and now the expected cost is around $29,000 per enrollee.
“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” – George Washington
The more one dwells in the world of deceit surrounding us, including that by the complete medical system, one focuses increasingly on answering the question, JUST WHO ARE THE CRIMINALS???
It was difficult to decide exactly how to start this section, but it seemed that answering this question or beginning to provide a valid base for the eventual answer, seemed as good as any I could think of.
This became especially true after reading comments on many sites that had articles on hemp and legalizing it. It seems many – maybe disinformationists – believe that people want hemp legalized so that marijuana would be legal. This is pure garbage, but does point out a real problem.
The problem is that far too many people do not have a clue of, or do not fully grasp, the facts concerning hemp and marijuana and its relation to the overall picture of government control on natural substances. This includes those that out of ignorance or intention that aid and abet government’s lies.
He might be a whiz kid at creating computer software, but beyond that Bill Gates has proven time and again that he hasn’t a clue about why or how freedom works.
He constantly teams up with anti-free market types like the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to produce “educational programs” in his software packages, misdirecting unsuspecting children with political propaganda. In 2002 he gave the NWF $600,000 worth of software to help these environmental radicals run their programs to block the drilling of American oil. Apparently Gates doesn’t understand that he needs oil to create power to run computers. Most recently his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $3 million to eight universities to reinvent the flush toilet. Environmentalists call that device “one of the world’s most destructive habits.”
Do you have an absolute right to refuse medical treatment? Well, if you recognize the immutable authority of natural rights, you must defend the birthright of individuals to reject the quackery of government-imposed medicine. Common law clearly discerns that there are limits on the power of governments to force human beings into becoming pinned up sheep, against their will. Already far too many cowardly citizens are eager to comply with the next dictate of a tyrannical regime. Subsequently, when the death panels summon you into their diagnostic pool of drugs, why would you want to accept the pharmaceutical prescription for a controlled and managed demise?
The FDA has issued a proposed mandate that represents the greatest threat to dietary supplements since 1994. Back in the early 1990s, consumers were so alarmed by FDA bullying that they staged a massive revolt. The result was that Congress passed a law prohibiting the FDA from banning popular nutrients (as the agency had threatened to do).
There was, however, a loophole in the 1994 law. The FDA was given authority to regulate ingredients introduced after October 15, 1994.
My husband has stage 4, metastatic cancer and this is our story of the search for his care. Although twenty-four months ago his physicians and three-second opinioned doctors gave him six-months to live if he opted out of treatment and twenty-two months if he opted in. My husband, Philip, decided he wanted quality of life and chose not to undergo the assault on his body that the treatments were certain to do.
Philip is no stranger to coping with difficult situations and decisions. Thirty-three years ago on Halloween Eve 1977 a three time DUI offender slammed into the rear of his car catapulting him over his driver’s seat paralyzing him in an instant. As life changing as his paraplegia was – this was different. His life lay in the balance.
What’s in a name? A lot, the National Republican Congressional Committee obviously believes. Last week, the committee sent a letter demanding that a TV station stop running an ad declaring that the House Republican budget plan would “end Medicare.” This, the letter insisted, was a false claim: the plan would simply install a “new, sustainable version of Medicare.”
But Comcast, the station’s owner, rejected the demand — and rightly so. For Republicans are indeed seeking to dismantle Medicare as we know it, replacing it with a much worse program.
Will the Supreme Court overturn the part of the health-care law that penalizes people who don’t buy insurance for themselves? A few months ago, the answer that experienced Court-watchers gave was “not a chance.” Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University who once clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, said “there is a less than 1 percent chance that the courts will invalidate the individual mandate.” Now, the best we can say is, who knows?
For 30 years, aspartame (AminoSweet, Equal, NutraSweet, Spoonful, Canderel, E951, Benevia, etc.) has caused sickness and death in 100 countries.
In the beginning, the FDA tried to get G. D. Searle indicted for submitting fraudulent studies that did everything from filtering out the neoplasms to excising brain tumors, and putting dead rats back in the study and resurrected them on paper. This failed because the lawyers for the manufacturer hired the two federal prosecutors.
President Obama’s tax pledge, which he made as a candidate, couldn’t have been any clearer: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase — not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
He even went further than that. He promised that he would lower taxes for just about all of us. “I will cut taxes … for 95 percent of all working Americans.”
The president broke both these promises as soon as he signed Obamacare into law.
Missouri voters on Tuesday easily approved a measure aimed at nullifying the new federal health care law, becoming the first state in the nation where ordinary people made known their dismay over the issue at the ballot box.
The measure was intended to invalidate a crucial element of President Obama’s health care law — namely, that most people be required to get health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
~ Quotables ~
Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. ~ Neal H. Ross