Archive for December, 2010

  • TX Gov Perry Leads the Charge on Liability Reform


    If we are to reign in the skyrocketing costs of health care in America, medical liability reform is going to play a leading role. It’s not easy to do as there are powerful interests standing in the way. Texas Governor Rick Perry isn’t afraid of taking them on and he’s providing an example for medical liability reform nationwide with his loser pays proposal based on the British model.

    The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) is getting behind Gov. Perry’s efforts with information about his proposal and a petition for citizens to lend their voice to the effort.

    I encourage everyone concerned about the trajectory of health costs to sign the petition and get behind Gov. Perry to reform our out-of-control litigation environment.

  • The Rounds (12/20/10)


    Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune dissects the Obama Administration’s case for the constitutionality of ObamaCare:

    When the individual mandate to buy coverage was challenged in court, the Obama administration argued, essentially, three things: 1) The Constitution gives the government the authority to regulate interstate commerce, 2) everything people do and don’t do affects interstate commerce, and therefore 3) the government may regulate everything and everyone.

    Read it here.

    In The Washington Post, Florida AG Bill McCollum lays out why 20 states are challenging ObamaCare both on the individual mandate and increased burdens placed on states for Medicaid. His point on the tough spot states are in with Medicaid:

    …under the new Medicaid program, childless adults with incomes at 138 percent above the poverty level are eligible for coverage. States could not have foreseen that Congress would impose this radically altered program when they originally agreed to a partnership role and a financial commitment.

    But states don’t have any real options:

    The Justice Department has argued that states could withdraw from Medicaid, but Congress passed this legislation counting on states staying in the program and knowing that withdrawal is costly and virtually impossible.

    Read it here.

    Rich Lowry in the New York Post outlines the logic pickle the Obama Administration has gotten themselves into over whether the individual mandate penalties are a penalty or a tax.

    In an ABC News interview in September 2009, Obama scoffed when George Stephanopoulos resorted to the dictionary to argue that the penalty must be a tax… No sooner had the law passed than Obama’s Justice Department began insisting in court that the penalty is a tax.

    Read it here.

  • Infection Control at TSA: Individual’s Responsibility?


    I had an initial discussion today with a representative from The Travelers Department at the Centers for Disease Control. I introduced myself as a practicing RN who is very compliant with infection control procedures, but I’m very concerned about the lack of infection control precautions taken by TSA agents conducting physical “pat down” security searches.

    The representative, Lisa, advised that the individual going through security should request that the TSA agent change their gloves before performing the “pat down” search procedure if the gloves have not been changed.

    This is troubling to say the least.

    She did offer an email address to direct any questions or comments about TSA security search procedures.

    I will be determining if physician organizations concerned with infectious disease control have or are planning on weighing in on this potentially serious public health threat and will update you here.

  • Victor Davis Hanson to Pepperdine this Spring


    Author and historian Victor Davis Hanson is headed to Pepperdine University School of Public Policy this spring as their William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor. I hold both Pepperdine and Victor Davis Hanson in high regard. This is a great match!

    The Pepperdine University School of Public Policy is built on the differentiated philosophy of nurturing leaders to use the tools of analysis and policy design to effect real change and based on the conviction of elevating culture and personal moral certainties.

    Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and Professor Emeritus of Classics at California State University, Fresno. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. Among Numerous awards, honors, and fellowships, Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008.

    Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian, and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture.  He has written or 17 books and has written or edited for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal among others.

  • Omissions and Gag Orders Needed to Pass ObamaCare


    It’s becoming clear just how far President Obama and Congressional Democrats were willing to go to brush aside usual Congressional oversight and protocols to ram ObamaCare through. In the now-infamous words of Speaker Pelosi: “Pass health reform so you can find out what’s in it.”

    Now we not only know what’s in it, but it’s becoming clear what steps were skipped in passing it. Steps that would have demonstrated that ObamaCare will not control costs as promised.

    Congressional process and oversight were brushed aside during the push for health care reform, as exemplified by the “hearing that never happened”. What hearing? The one where Richard Foster, Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) testifies about his conclusion that ObamaCare will not control rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid.
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • The Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional. Now What?


    Attorney General Ken Cucinelli of Virginia scored a significant victory for America yesterday when U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled the individual mandate section of ObamaCare violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Other states have cases pending, and the issue is likely headed to the US Supreme Court.

    Slick backroom deals and “shoving it down our throats” was a requirement to pass the health care reform President Obama and Congressional Democrats wanted. It was an exercise designed to take control of the whole industry, and now they’re running into their biggest hurdle: The US Constitution.

    While this moves through the judicial system, it should be a top priority of Republicans in Congress can’t sit on this. They must push to repeal (with new ammunition from the courts) and defund ObamaCare. Judge Hudson only ruled on the specific individual mandate and declined to issue a stay in implementation. It’s an important victory, but there’s much in ObamaCare that’s already damaging our health care system.

  • Breaking: Judge Rules ObamaCare Unconstitutional


    U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson has just ruled the requirement of ObamaCare that Americans must purchase health insurance or face penalties — the “individual mandate — is unconstitutional. In his ruling, Judge Hudson stated that:

    “At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”

    Read more about it at the Wall Street Journal.

    Hats off to VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for filing the suit. This is just one round in what is likely to be a long series of court battles over the constitutionality of ObamaCare. But it’s a great omen.

  • ObamaCare puts the Squeeze on Doctors, Quality


    ObamaCare and state-run insurance programs are watering down the quality of health care that Americans have come to expect for their money. There is no doubt that the goal of health care reform is to “share the wealth”. This is the unrealistic dream of an out of touch, unpopular and liberal President that a Utopian health care system can be realized.

    The provisions of the system are unfolding in a drip-like fashion. Increased insurance premiums, tax increases, cuts in Medicare reimbursements to physicians, increasingly limited access to physicians for Medicare patients, and companies unable to bear the staggering increases in insurance premiums are all consequences designed to drive people into ObamaCare. Two years from now this process may have totally obliterated the best and most advanced medical-health care system in the world.

    In the last fifty years, the United States has made vast and remarkable improvements, breakthroughs, and continued research in diagnostic, medical and surgical treatments to provide the Americans with longevity and an improved quality of life. Many from across the globe travel here to receive a level of care unknown in their countries. The health care sector has prospered and is significant segment of our economy, particularly in terms of good jobs, quality care and entrepreneurial activity.
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • The Coming Medicare Reimbursement Catastrophe


    Dr Cecil Wilson, the President of the American Medical Association, has drawn attention to coming cuts in Medicare physician reimbursement payments and how this will be catastrophic for seniors. Many of my physician friends tell me they expect Medicare reimbursements to drop by approximately 23- 25 % by January 2011.

    For the past several years, Medicare reimbursement rates have been declining, leading several of my colleagues to completely stop taking Medicare patients because they cannot currently cover their expenses and have any take home pay with reimbursement levels where they are. The next round of cuts will exacerbate this problem and senior will find their access to doctors eroded further.

    There is no question that with these pending cuts many seniors will not have the access to doctors for treatment as more physicians stop seeing Medicare patients. These cuts will also result in fewer elective surgical procedures as internists have all but stopped taking Medicare patients.
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Why the Tax Deal is a Victory


    The deal that President Obama has worked out to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for another two years is a clear victory for Congressional Republicans and, more importantly, small businesses and the American people. I wrote last week that I’m very encouraged by the moves the new GOP leadership has taken, and I once again commend them for their ability to work with President Obama to extend the tax cuts.

    It’s a marvel that this achievement occurred during a lame duck session before the GOP officially takes over in the House of Representatives and it’s a testament to the mandate they received in November. While I prefer the tax cuts to become permanent, that would certainly garner a veto. As a small business owner, a two-year extension is most welcome. Expiration would only exacerbate the negative impacts we’re already beginning to experience with the implementation of ObamaCare. » Read the rest of the entry..

Page 1 of 212»