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The Republican Health Care Con By THE NYTimes EDITORIAL BOARD JAN. 21, 2017

Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE

The New York Times editorial “The Republican Healthcare Con” should really be entitled “The New York Times Con of The Republican Health Care Con”

In my opinion The New York Times has become a biased newspaper. Instead of publishing “all the news fit to print”, it is printing articles and editorials that are biased opinions with incomplete facts.

The Republicans have not introduced their replacement of Obamacare yet this editorial is critiquing the replacements effect on the healthcare system..

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. No one is entitled to his or her made up facts.

Republicans say the Affordable Care Act provides health insurance that manages to be both lousy and expensive.”

This is true. Most of the population seems to agree with this statement.

The only people buying insurance from the health insurance exchanges are people with pre-existing illnesses. These people have no other insurance available.

“Whatever the flaws of these policies (Obamacare), the new Trump administration is trying to pull off a con by offering Americans coverage that is likely to be so much worse that it would barely deserve the name insurance.

It would also leave many millions without the medical care they need.”

How does the New York Times editorial board know this when the Trump administration’s healthcare plan has not been introduced?

The liberal media keeps saying the Republicans have no plan. If Republicans do not have a plan how can the NYT criticize it?

How can a non-existent healthcare plan leave many millions without the medical care they need”?

There is no evidence for the statement above.

This reality became increasingly clear when President Trump’s choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, testified before a Senate committee last week.

He looked pained as he described the terrible predicament of people who earned around $30,000 to $50,000 a year and had to deny “themselves the kind of care that they need” because they had Obamacare policies with deductibles of $6,000 to $12,000.

Tom Price M.D. is correct in saying the Obamacare deductibles are $6,000-$12,000. The NYT left out that the Obamacare networks available are restrictive and the access to proper healthcare is difficult.

The NYT editorial board also left out the fact that 85% of people buying healthcare insurance from the health insurance exchanges are subsidized by the government and have a pre-existing illness.

“ Yet, earlier in the same hearing, Mr. Price extolled the virtues of policies that would be woefully inadequate — policies that cover medical treatment only in catastrophic cases.”

This is a misrepresentation of Dr. Price’s testimony.

Perhaps the NYT editorial Board does not understand Health Savings Accounts?

If you want to understand a potential Trump administration proposal read my blog “Medical Savings Accounts Are Democratic.”

Dr. Price was talking about the virtues of health saving accounts without being specific.

The goal of health savings accounts are to put consumers in control of their medical care and healthcare dollars while providing them with financial incentives to save retirement dollars and not waste medical care dollars.

Consumers could have control of what they spend for their own healthcare.

The employer or government would pay for the deductible and the reinsurance above the deductible.

The money would be put in a healthcare trust. The money in the trust would pay for medical care.

If consumers did not spend the money on medical care that year, it would go into a personal saving trust for those consumers retirement.

“ Such policies often have deductibles of around $14,000 for family coverage.”

FALSE! One can get excellent coverage with a $6,000 deductible and first dollar coverage after spending $6,000 at a reasonable price.

Health Savings Accounts are the fastest growing healthcare insurance vehicle.

The government has put so many restrictions on health savings account that employees are hesitant to offer it. The government must remove these restrictions. www.unitedheath.com

“ This is simple hypocrisy. Condemn the policy you don’t like, propose something far worse as a replacement and claim that it is much better”

This paragraph is written to condemn Dr. Price and rile up the anti-Trump forces with false information.

The editorial completely disregards the fact that a proposal has not yet been announced by the Trump administration.

There were 2000 plus pages published about President Obama’s Obamacare proposal. There were glaring defects in he proposal.

The NYT did not comment on these defects at the time. Others did. I turned out that the defects were the source of Obamacare’s failure.

In reality the NYT has no idea of what the Trump administration’s proposal will be.

The NYT editorial also ignores the fact that Obamacare is unsustainable, unaffordable and is restricting access to care while rationing care for the very citizens that need the care.

“Mr. Price and Mr. Trump have recently said that their goal is to offer health care to many more people than are covered by the current health care law, which has driven the uninsured rate to historic lows.”

I believe historic lows are a counting error just as the unemployment rate and the inflation rate are counting errors in order to provide the Obama administration acceptable numbers.

Average people know exactly what is happening.

Mr. Price’s testimony and the legislation he introduced in the House (a few years ago), where until recently he was the Budget Committee chairman, show that the new administration will make decent health care less affordable and less accessible for most people.

The underlined portion is a NYT editorial opinion. It is an opinion without facts or evidence. It could also be a lack of understanding of the bill Dr. Price’s introduced.

The Trump administration’s upcoming proposal might be completely different.

How would the NYT know the Trump administration’s healthcare plan would make decent health care less affordable and less accessible for most people?

This is an unsubstantiated bias that would qualify as fake news.

“Those Health Savings Accounts would not help families earning the median household income of $56,000 a year because these families would never be able to sock away enough money.”

The NYT editorial either missed the concept of Health Savings Account totally or is reporting the concept to fit its bias.

The best description of what Mr. Price stands for can be found in a bill he introduced in 2015, the Empowering Patients First Act. It would “empower” Americans by eliminating the health care law’s expansion of Medicaid that has helped more than 10.7 million newly eligible people enroll in that government-run insurance program.

Many of these Medicaid patients cannot find a physician or hospital that accepts Medicaid.

Therefore they have very limited access to care.

A potential proposal could expand Medicaid patients’ access to care using health savings accounts.

It would also drastically cut subsidies that have helped 11.5 million people purchase private insurance on federal and state health exchanges.

There is no evidence for this wild statement.

Under his bill, people buying insurance for themselves would get between $1,200 and $3,000 a year in subsidies, down from an average of $4,600 that people get now on HealthCare.gov.

The amount of tax benefits or tax credits for Health Savings Accounts have been restricted by Obamacare in order to discourage its use.

The Obama administration wanted to control medical care and eliminate consumer choice and power.

President Obama wanted healthcare decisions to be in the hands of the central government.

The Trump administration plans to modify these restrictions. President Trump has stated he wants to put healthcare decision making back into consumers’ hands and not the government’s hands.

The bill would even get rid of the requirement that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until age 26, a provision that is widely popular.

This is totally false and once again fake news.

And it would hurt people who get insurance through their employers by setting a cap on how much of that expense businesses can claim as a deduction on their taxes. Experts say that over time this would encourage companies to stop offering health benefits to workers.

The independent insurance market has not had tax deduction. It should be on a level playing field with group insurance. There is no evidence that the group market will lose its tax deduction.

“When it comes to health care, Mr. Price and other Republicans say their goal is to give people more choices. It is hard to argue against choice. But in the ideological world inhabited by Mr. Price, House Speaker Paul Ryan and many other Republicans, choice is often a euphemism for scrapping sensible regulations that protect people.”

This claim also has no basis in fact. It is pure opinion by the NYT editorial board.

“Some Americans might well be tempted by this far-right approach. They would have to pay less up front for these skeletal policies than they do now for comprehensive coverage.”

Has Obamacare provided comprehensive care? It is unaffordable and inaccessible to all.

But over time, when people need health care to recover from accidents, treat diabetes, have a baby or battle addiction, they will be hit by overwhelming bills.

Where did this come from? It came from a negative bias toward Donald Trump and his administration without facts or evidence.

The Trump administration seems perfectly willing to sell those people down the river with false promises.

People are not stupid. They do not need government to rule their life and make healthcare decisions for them.

People need incentive to control their health and healthcare dollars.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” is, mine and mine alone.

All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2017 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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Come On Guys, Give Them A Chance!

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

It is clear that Donald Trump won the presidential election.

The U.S. economy is in bad shape despite what President Obama has been telling us. Economic growth has been stagnant with growth at less than 2%.

People are feeling the loss of jobs as factories are closing.

Corporations are moving factories overseas for cheaper labor.

The many unemployed gave up looking of jobs. Full time jobs have been switched to part-time jobs so corporations can avoid the Obamacare mandate. People need to have at least two jobs to make ends meet.

Price inflation continues but is not measured because food and fuel are left out of the inflation calculation.

Inner city unemployment is worse despite President Obama’s saying it is getting better. Neighborhood security has declined. National security is threatened. People do not feel safe.

Obamacare, which was supposed to provide universal healthcare that was affordable to all, was a outright failure both in terms of affordability for individuals and to the national economy.

Yet, the Obama administration, through the mainstream media, keeps telling the people everything is going as planned.

The people could easily see that the administration was tell them a lie. The unemployment rate was reported as being less than 5%.

Americans realized that much of the money for food stamps was being abused. It was discovered that many people were not using the money for food.

Hard working Americans found out that one could collect at least $49,000 non-taxed dollars from the government for not working.

Our foreign policy was in a shambles.

Americans were being told by President Obama that we winning the war. Yet we were losing territory to ISSI and experiencing terrorism both at home and abroad.

Ordinary hard working people were beginning to realize that the tax and spend Democratic Party were ripping them off even if the details of these rip offs were unclear.

Many state governorships and state legislatures were lost to Republicans. Many seats in the U.S. Senate and house were lost to Republicans.

It was clear that the people wanted a change even though they felt the Republican establishment had deceived them previously.

They understood that government was too large. The government bureaucracy consisted of people who could not be fired. These people can obstruct change.

As government grows it employs more people and it becomes more stagnant and less functional.

Along comes Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton was a non-charismatic presidential candidate who received millions of dollars from rich people to buy uninspiring advertising on television.

Her message was that she was going to continue President Obama’s legacy. She missed the point completely.

Donald J. Trump comes along and tells the people they are being ripped off by our own government and by other governments. Our trade deals stink. Other countries are living off our tax dollars because of our government’s stupidity. He promises to fix it.

He says America has to be run like a business. He will bring back jobs, decrease waste, increase the status of our military all around the world and uncover the great energy and potential of America, especially in the decaying inner cities.

It is a great message. Few know how he is going to do it. He is not telling anyone. He says he is going to hire great people to help him. He is going to hire successful people to help him.

He is going to create opportunities for everyone using a free market based economy.

America as been sliding toward a central government controlled economy for many years.

It should be clear to everyone that Keynesan based central controlled economy does not work.

Fredrick Hayek taught us that in 1937. However, few listened.

I think it is because the central government fears a loss of control over the economy and the people. It fears that very smart people can take advantage of an economy if they have the ability initiative and become innovative without government restraints. The government does not want to believe that the free market works.

Steve Jobs believed it. Jeff Bezos believed it. All the start-ups believe it.

At the Consumer Electronic Show I saw many companies tying to succeed without government interference.

Why? People want to have the freedom to be innovative and creative.

Maybe the American people believe that Donald Trump is going to give them that opportunity without as many government restraints.

The establishment’s fear is warranted.

My view is the government’s job is to legislate the rules that put everyone on a level playing field. The government should step aside and make sure everyone plays by the rules.

This brings me back to my title, “Come On Guys. Give Them A Chance!”

Donald Trump might just know how to navigate through the swamp of the dysfunctional government bureaucracy.

He doesn’t have to tell us how he is going to do it yet. He just has to do it. He might know how to navigate around America’s bad trade deals.

He might just know how to pick a Secretary of Health and Human Services in the name of Tom Price M.D.. Tom Price M.D. might be the person who can navigate across the failed Obamacare healthcare system.

Tom Price M.D. is a smart and decent man. The Democrats and the media might want to indulge in his character assassination out of fear that he might have a workable plan to repair the healthcare system.

The American people are wise to the Democrats’ tactics.

These tactics will hurt them and not Tom Price M.D..

Maybe he knows how to create a system where if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. If you like your freedom to choose you can keep that also.

The Democrats, the main stream media and the government bureaucrats should not criticize Donald Trump when the Democrats have failed so miserably. They do not know what the Republicans will propose.

We know what doesn’t work. That is Obamacare!!

Give the new guys a chance!

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” is, mine and mine alone.

All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2017 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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President-elect Trump: Part 6

Stanley Feld M.D.FACP, MACE

There has been no mention of the importance of tort reform in your proposal to replace Obamacare. President Obama made no mention of tort reform either.

Without medical malpractice reform your administration will not be able to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase the quality of medical care.

It is very difficult to institute malpractice reform. It is in direct opposition to the vested interest of plaintiffs’ malpractice attorneys and malpractice insurance companies. These two group have very powerful lobbies.

I have estimated that there is at least one trillion dollars of waste in our healthcare system because of over-testing, over-treating and over diagnosing as a result of the threat of malpractice lawsuits.

Malpractice insurance and the time and money spent in litigation has to be include in the one trillion dollar estimate. Ezekiel Emanual M.D., Obamacare architect, proposed an artificial threshold of significant cost savings in order to form a policy.

“ A useful threshold for savings is 1 percent of costs of healthcare, which comes to $26 billion a year. Anything less is simply not meaningful.”

One percent is arbitrary. It permits Dr. Emanuel to dismiss problems that cost the healthcare system less than $26 billion a year.

The validity of the data collection is of no concern to Dr. Emanuel. He says only $1.3 billion results in malpractice costs. He ignores over testing, and lawsuit costs.

He said,

“Health care spending in the United States typically increases by about $100 billion per year. Cutting a billion here or there from something that large is undetectable and meaningless.

 In health care, you have to be talking about tens of billions of dollars before you are talking about real money.

Dr. Emanuel has no difficulty in producing fake data to make his point to the unknowing.

 A study, closer to truth than just an opinion, disclosed:

The truth is a full accounting reveals that more than 10 percent of America’s health expenditures per year are spend on tort liability and defensive medicine.

This study concludes that $242 billion a year extra is spent because of the lack of tort reform.

The $242 billion is well above Dr. Emanuel’s fictitious threshold.

“Much of this waste is generated or justified by the fear of legal consequences that infects almost every health care encounter. The legal system terrorizes doctors. Fear of possible claims leads medical professionals to squander billions in unnecessary tests and procedures.

Physicians and nurses are afraid to speak candidly to patients about errors. They try to explain the risk reward ratio of treatments for fear of assuming legal liability. The result is the practice of defensive medicine and over testing to cover every possible contingency.

This legal anxiety is also corrosive to the therapeutic magic of the physician patient relationship.

It would be relatively easy to create new rules that would provide a reliable system of justice for patients harmed by medical treatments and procedures without encouraging costly litigation.

A new and effective tort reform system would decrease the costs of defensive medicine significantly. It would encourage physicians to use of clinical judgment rather than expensive tests. It would improve physician/patient relationships.

“ The good news is that it would be relatively easy to create a new system of reliable justice, one that could support broader reforms to contain costs.”

Everyone makes mistakes in every walk of life. The medical legal liability threat could result in further unnecessary errors. Physicians, nurses and hospitals are advised not to offer explanations about mistakes. Sometimes errors are concealed to avoid a legal ordeal. The hidden error could be compounded by additional mistakes.

“Even in ordinary daily encounters, an invisible wall separates doctors from their patients. As one pediatrician told me, “You wouldn’t want to say something off the cuff that might be used against you.”

There are cost multipliers created as mistrust accelerates between the patients and physicians. You would like physicians to adopt electronic medical records. Some physicians avoid using EMRs because the information could be misinterpreted and used against them.

The Electronic Medical Record available through hospitals systems or standalone physician practices is used by the government and the insurance industry to verify the treatment in order to guarantee treatment is best practice treatment.

Physicians are producing cut and paste reports to cover best practice observation by a third party rather than the actual encounter with the patient in order to avoid reimbursement penalty or possible liability.

There is an increasing use of second opinions. Every medical problem is requiring multiple unnecessary laboratory tests to rule out something that might have been missed in the evaluation of patients in order to avoid malpractice suits.

An example is a CAT scan done in Emergency Rooms for the slightest head trauma.

“Medical cases are now decided jury by jury, without consistent application of medical standards.

 According to a 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, around 25 percent of cases where there was no identifiable error resulted in malpractice payments.

 The malpractice insurance companies want to settle the malpractice claims before the court charges mount.

“Nor is the system effective for injured patients — according to the same studies, 54 cents of every dollar paid in malpractice cases goes to administrative expenses like lawyers, experts and courts.”

These are some of the major tort reform issues that must be addressed in effectively.

They must be addressed to decrease wasteful expenditures in the healthcare system.

Malpractice lawsuits have been a growth industry for defense attorneys. The malpractice suits have also been a tremendous psychological and economic burden for physicians who have to defend themselves.

Politically is has been a tremendous economical burden to the healthcare system. In the past politicians have refused to acknowledge the economic burden to the healthcare system.

Malpractice reform is a threat to the vested interests of the defense attorneys and malpractice insurance companies.

Malpractice reform is essential to any meaningful healthcare reform.

President-elect Trump the big question is.

“Do you have the will and the courage to take on the plaintiff attorneys and the malpractice insurance industry in order to correct the medical tort reform system?”

 Effective Malpractice reform must treat both injured patients and physicians fairly.

 

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2015 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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Dear President-elect Trump: Part 5

Stanley Feld M.D. FACP,MACE

Dear President-elect Trump,

A blog from a medical student appeared in www.KevinMD.com

The medical student, Jacob Chevlen, got it right.

Don’t call me a provider.”

President-elect Trump, if you really want to repair the healthcare system and I believe you do, you must listen to this medical student carefully.

You must realized that patients are not commodities. They are living human beings with emotions as well as concrete illnesses.

Many illnesses and their complications can be avoided if the way to maintain good health is understood by consumers. Cultural changes must occur to decrease the external stimuli that lead to these illnesses including obesity and drug abuse.

It must be recognized that the most important stakeholders in the healthcare system are patients (consumers). A viable healthcare system must be built around patients who have incentives to remain healthy.

Consumers of healthcare depend on physicians. Physicians are the second most important stakeholders in the healthcare system.

Patients depend on physicians to use their expertise and judgment to help them maintain health and to fix them when they get sick. This skill is developed over 6 to 10 years of post-graduate education.

The government, the healthcare insurance companies, the hospital systems, and the pharmaceutical companies are all secondary stakeholders.

Both patients (consumers) and physicians have been devalued by the government’s desire to simply reduce healthcare costs.

Government bureaucracies believe that they can reduce costs by regulating physicians’ “decision making” and “second guess” their clinical judgment.

The federal government is trying to control the healthcare system. The harder the government tries to control the healthcare system the more dysfunctional it becomes.

Some day the federal government is going to realize it costs more in the long run to try to control the two most important stakeholders. (consumers and physicians) than it is to provide financial incentives to consumers to maintain their health.

Society has been programed by government and other secondary stakeholders to consider physicians as healthcare providers.

We are not healthcare providers. We are physicians! Medical student Jacob Chevlen expresses this sentiment perfectly.

“I am a medical school student. Like many of you reading this, my life is spent between the walls of the library and the walls of the clinic.”

I remember being told as a first year medical student that I would have to learn a new language and live a different life than my college friends not going into medicine.

“I was told at the beginning of this journey that it was fair; that it was an “equivalent exchange.”

“You want to relieve suffering — great — you’re going to suffer.”

“You want to extend lives — fantastic — you’ll trade years of your own.”

“You want to lead your patients to healthier relationships — beautiful — I promise you’ll be distanced from your family, friends, and other loved ones.”

One of these statements with its consequences has been true for many physicians I have known through the years.

“We accepted this trade because we are driven to be physicians.”

“Ultimately, it’s a small price to pay to join that sacred society of men and women who devote their lives to healing.”

It is truly a fulfilling emotional experience to have practiced clinical endocrinology for 30 years. I have developed so many wonderful physicians/patient relationships. I know these relationships that I had added to my therapy. These relationships had immensely improved my patients’ treatment outcomes and well-being.

“However, none of us made these sacrifices to be a “provider,” and this is the culture we must fight.”

As President of AACE and subsequent author of Repairing the Healthcare System, I have tried to fight for a cultural change.

Obamacare has devalued physicians and downgraded the physician/patient relationship.

Some of these sick human beings have no interest in listening to a provider when the government or the health insurance company will take care of them when they get sicker.

Consumers who desire to develop a patient/physician relationship are finding they have access. So many physicians have given up on developing physician/patient relationships.

Consumers are now gravitating to concierge physicians in their quest to find a physician that cares and will develop a physician /patient relationship with them.

“Recently, the director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation spoke at my medical school.”

It sounds like an agency in Atlas Shrugged to me. The “GOHT” is a mind programing agency whose goal is to manipulate physicians’ minds.

“To enroll in that will give them enhanced reimbursement for reducing costs to Medicaid.”

“Not once during his entire lecture did he use the word “doctor”, when referring to physicians, or advanced practice nurses; he only referred to them as “healthcare providers.”

The “experts” believe that social engineering works. President-elect, you surprised the government, the media and the experts and showed them social engineering does not work. You won the election, didn’t you?

Jacob Chevlan goes on to say;

“Stop.

Have you ever considered what a “provider” is or does?”

“Well, that’s obvious: A provider provides! A provider is the source of a good or service. They disseminate it freely and happily, expecting nothing in return.”

Unimportant is the many years of schooling to develop an understanding of the subtleties of disease, its presentation and treatments.

Physicians’ judgment and patient physician relationships should not be discounted.

“That is how government, insurance companies, and hospitals look at physicians. We are obliging tools, conduits along the path of the flow of money from patients to insurance companies, and insurance companies to hospital systems.”

Medical Student Jacob Chevlan has nailed it President-elect Trump. If you have any chance of Repairing the Healthcare System you should listen to this medical student who has not been involved in the present disillusionment of the practice of medicine.

I have outline simple fixes that can cure this dysfunction rapidly.

“Our feelings, and our goal of providing top-level care, are fundamentally irrelevant.”

“ Why else would prior-authorizations exist?”

The government and the healthcare insurance industry’s data supersede physicians’judgment.

“Or electronic health records whose only real function is to facilitate billing?”

EMR’s as crafted can easily provide irrelevant false “big data.” EMR’s should be used as a continuing education tool to enhance physicians’ judgment rather than a punishment tool for physicians’ reimbursement.

“ Or the fact that it is illegal to provide pro-bono care to Medicaid or Medicare patients?”

“These and other “innovations” burden physicians and patients, slowing or even completely halting the delivery of care.”

This medical student goes on to say;

I do not know when physicians allowed themselves to be called “providers,” but I do know that no positive change will happen to our toxic and unsustainable health care system until we stop accepting it.

I can only hope Mr. President-elect that you take heed and listen to this medical student as your surrogates formulate your replacement for the disaster called Obamacare.

“I am not a “provider school” student. When I graduate, my diploma will not say “provider” on it. It will say “doctor,” and we should accept nothing less.”

Bravo Jacob Chevlan !!!

 

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2015 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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  • Naina Katyal

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Dear President–elect Trump Part 4

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

In 2008 I thought President Obama was the real deal.

I thought he cared about Americans and cared about repairing the healthcare system. I wrote six letters to him giving him suggestions on how to repair the healthcare system.

Then, I realized he was not interested in the improved delivery of healthcare to all Americans. He was interested in the central government controlling the healthcare system in order to control the people and limit their freedoms.

Obamacare was the answer to his goal. Most physicians did not agree with his plan. Many felt powerless to object. Many felt they should go along to get along.

Many in the healthcare industry figured that greater government involvement in healthcare financing would lead to its economic benefit.

Everyone has been deceived. Everyone is starting to believe that government managed healthcare leading to a better healthcare for all and a better healthcare system is a myth.

In my letters I tried to explain this to President-elect Obama. My explanation fell on deaf ears.

Dear President Obama Part 1

http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com/repairing_the_healthcare_/2008/11/dear-president-elect-obama.html

Dear President Obama Part 2

http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com/repairing_the_healthcare_/2008/11/dear-president-elect-obama-part-2.html

Dear President Obama Part 3

http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com/repairing_the_healthcare_/2008/11/dear-president-elect-obama-part-3.html

Dear President Obama Part 4

http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com/repairing_the_healthcare_/2008/12/dear-president-elect-obama-part-4.html

Dear President Obama Part 5

http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com/repairing_the_healthcare_/2008/12/dear-president–elect-barack-obama-part-5.html

Dear President Obama Part 6

http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com/repairing_the_healthcare_/2008/12/dear-president-elect-obama-part-6-why-dont-you-listen-to-practicing-physicians.html

Over the last seven and a half years I have developed a simple but effective consumer driven healthcare system that should replace Obamacare after it is repealed.

Obamacare is missing the major ingredient necessary to create creating a successful healthcare system.

The healthcare system must be market driven, with consumers being responsible for their healthcare and healthcare dollars. The tool that will accomplish this is my Ideal Medical Saving Account. Please include reading the article  My Ideal Medical Savings Account Is Democratic! among all the articles in the group explaining My Ideal Medical Savings Accounts.

The Republicans in the House got many things right in its legislation to replace Obamacare. However they have left out the three most important elements necessary to Repair the Healthcare System.

The first is the revival of the physician/patients relationship.

Consumers must control their health and their healthcare dollars. America must have a consumer driven healthcare system.

Consumers can be taught to drive the healthcare system though public service education.

Consumers must be taught through public service education to change their eating and exercising habits. The emphasis must be on the health dangers of obesity and its development.

Secondly, consumers must be given financial incentives as outlined by my Ideal Medical Savings Accounts to control their own health and have access to available care available in necessary.

Third, there must be significant tort reform included in the replacement of Obamacare.

If the Republicans simply send you the bill they have passed in the house and you sign it you will have an impending disaster as large as Obamacare.

If you include my suggestions in your bill, you would excite consumers and physicians. All the people who have been hurt by the failures of Obamacare will cheer you.

The repeal of Obamacare is vital. It should only be replaced with a consumer driven healthcare system that I have outlined. It will be economically sustainable. It would win over all conservatives and independents. It would even make progressives rethink their ideology.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2016 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

  • Naina Katyal

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Dear President-elect Trump Part 3

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

The following is Part 3 of my review of your healthcare reform platform. You have a viable alternative to Obamacare. Your alternative needs some vital additions.

In my last blog I omitted the link proving that only 1 million people signed up for Obamacare health insurance exchanges.

I apologize for the oversight. Today enrollment is only 2.3 million. I also noticed that the enrollment date was extended to January 30 from December 31 without fanfare. The site I omitted that follows daily enrollment is acasignups.net.

Obamacare is still a long way from the 20 million claimed and the actual 10 million enrolled for 12 months.

The Obama “experts” still believe that Obamacare is viable. They refuse to believe it has been a healthcare disaster as well as a disaster for America’s economy.

Your next proposal is;

  1. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) should be changed to Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) to provide better financial incentives for people who choose this form of insurance. The Medical Savings Accounts can easily be customized so that consumers can choose the level of insurance they desire.

The cost of first dollar reinsurance for coverage after the deductible is met plus the MSA contribution is much cheaper than the first dollar coverage Medicaid coverage. The insurance vendor will still make a sizable profit by providing first dollar coverage reinsurance.

The contribution to the MSA should be flexible to provide an adequate amount of money to be put into the savings accounts to provide financial incentivizes to consumers to maintain their health.

Obesity is a huge problem to health maintenance of health. Obesity can be effectively cured behavioral change of consumers.

The incidence of chronic diseases in obese people is five times that of normal weight people. Financial incentives must be provided. The is also the area that social engineering might be helpful.

Obese children are becoming diabetic and hypertensive at a young age. This must be prevented because of the potential explosive cost effect of complications of both diabetes and hypertension on individuals. The overall costs to patients, Medicaid and society will be devastating.

Medicaid must be converted to a system where the recipients are responsible for their health with financial incentives. Only then Medicaid patients will not be treated as a commodity. Service will improve. .

  1. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals.

Price transparency is an essential provision for individuals, businesses and groups in order to produce smart consumers of healthcare.

It is also necessary to require insurance companies to provide verifiable price transparency for their administrative costs and their direct patient care costs.

Consumers must be empowered to be responsible and shop for the best healthcare service value. They must look for the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical related procedure.

The only way to decrease the cost of healthcare services is to produce smart and motivated consumers of healthcare.

The Healthcare System must be converted to a Consumer Driven Healthcare System.

Social networking should be used as the backbone for the establishment of consumer empowerment.

The success of Angie’s list, Trip Advisor and Open Table are a result of social networking.

All medical care is local. Local communities have their individual social networks that empower people in their neighborhood to know which vendors provide the best value in their community.

Healthcare consumers can use this simple procedure to decrease the cost of healthcare and medical care.

This could also be a place where government can lead the way in establishing accurate educational resources.

  1. Block-grant Medicaid to the states.

These block grants can be used by the states to fund MSAs without a threat of increasing state budget deficits or giving up states’ rights to the federal government.

Block grants for social networking should be used to provide incentives to help individual Medicaid patients seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse of some of its local providers.

It would eliminate expensive big data collections that often times are inaccurate for policy making by central federal control.

  1. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.

Federal and state governments should help their citizens choose safe, reliable and cheaper products for the treatment of their diseases.

This would help with compliance and adherence to recommended treatment and also decrease the cost of care.

It would provide consumers with information to take responsibility for their own health and healthcare dollars.

  1. Encourage Congress to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America.

One example is allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas. It will stimulate competition for consumer dollars in the U.S. and lower the cost of brand and generic drugs sold here. Drug prices are artificially high in the U.S.

This is only one example of many ways to decrease the cost of drugs in this country.

You have made many proposals to make a lot of important changes to the healthcare system.

Some are good proposals. Some are not very well thought out by your advisors.

You left out Tort Reform, which is one of the most important proposals. Effective Tort Reform will result in a precipitous decrease in the cost of medical care.

It is absurd to let Obamacare “experts” like Ezekiel Emanuel and Jonathan Gruber heckle your “non viable” healthcare reform plan.

However, you are missing the other important elements in reforming the healthcare system. Those elements are the elements of the use of consumer power, consumer initiatives, and consumer incentives.

 By utilizing these elements you will begin to “Drain the Healthcare Swamp.”

Your healthcare changes must include a consumer driven system with an ideal medical saving account. Otherwise, the healthcare system will remain an unmanageable, expensive and abused mess.

You have admitted these proposals are simply a start. You can easily fall into the trap of listening to academicians who have never practiced medicine in a private setting. You need people who understand patients’ needs.

Obamacare has been a disaster that is unsustainable. It is increasing the cost of care week by week, while rationing care and decreasing access to care.

You must repeal and replace Obamacare. No one wants it. You have outlined a viable proposal even if the progressives don’t like it.

It is a good start.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2016 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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Dear President-elect Trump Part 3

 

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Dear President-elect Donald Trump: Part 1

Dear President-elect Donald Trump: Part 1

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Repairing the Healthcare System

Dear President-elect Donald Trump: Part 1

In 2008 I wrote to President-elect Obama and told him what has to be done to repair the healthcare system from a practicing physician’s point of view.

He did not listen to one suggestion.

I am going to try to help you out also. You are correct to want to repeal and replace Obamacare. It is a failure. It is also a disaster to both America’s healthcare system and economy.

The healthcare reforms you propose on you website are good so far. However they are incomplete and inadequate if your goal is to achieve a viable market driven healthcare system.

I will list the others elements with links to the documentation in future letters to you.

Patients and physicians are the two most important stakeholders in any market-driven healthcare system. They are the only stakeholders that can drive the market in an affordable way.

The insurance industry, the government, hospital systems and the pharmaceutical industry are all secondary stakeholders.

You have told a biased media that you will repeal and replace Obamacare.

They are now trying to make fun of you because of your threat to the establishment. Please ignore them.

The progressive spin machine using Ezekeil Emanuel and other surrogates are wrong when they keep repeating that neither you nor the Republican Party have not offered a viable replacement plan.

You might remind them that their plan was not very viable. What makes Ezekiel Emanuel an expert when he has never practiced medicine in a private office setting?

You and the Republican house have some very viable suggestions. Democrats refuse to read them or recognize them. They have not analyzed their economic effect on the healthcare system.

However, you do not go far enough in including the patients who are essential to drive the healthcare system. Patients must assume the responsibility for their health and care of their diseases.

Patients must be provided with treatment options and potential outcomes in order to be responsible for their health. They must also be provided with financial incentives to take care of their health.

Consumers must be in control of their health and healthcare dollars to achieve an efficient market driven healthcare system.

Obamacare treats the two most important stakeholders as economic commodities. It disregards patients’ feelings.

Healthcare policy should be built around patients’ needs and not the needs of secondary stakeholders.

The key to Repairing the Healthcare System is the promotion of individual consumer responsibility for their care. Patients must feel physicians and their healthcare team care about them.

The physician patient relationship is the most important healing element in a therapeutic equation. It can lead to patients understand and adhering to recommended treatment.

Patients must be the captains of their therapeutic team. Physicians must be the head coaches with their nurses and physician assistants being the assistant coaches.

Only then will we have an efficient and affordable healthcare system. I have written in detail about the mechanisms necessary to achieve an affordable healthcare system.

A successful and affordable healthcare system must be a consumer driven healthcare system using my ideal medical saving accounts .

Medical Savings Accounts are different than Health Savings Accounts.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2016 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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Pre-Election Obama Administration Lies

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The Obama administration is out in force telling pre-election lies so that the Democrat’s base that loves entitlements stays calm.

New data from Joint Commission on Taxation led the TPC to cut the number of people paying federal income taxes by 3.9 million. In total, 77.5 million individuals and married couples — or tax units. as they are defined by the TPC — won’t pay income tax this year out of a total of 171.3 million. The previous estimate was for 66.2 million out of 163.8 million tax units not paying income tax in 2015.

In 2015, this represented 45.2% of the taxpayer units.  In 2013, 40.4% of taxpayer units paid no taxes. With the influx of illegal immigrants paying no taxes the percentage of non taxpaying units will increase.

The illegal immigrants will receive Medicaid and other entitlements.

Hillary Clinton has pledged to increase illegal immigration with open borders and increase Medicaid enrollment.

Taxes will have to be increased. The middle class will be crushed. Hillary Clinton will hide some of these taxes as President Obama has done for Obamacare..

President Obama is trying desperately to save Obamacare from self-destruction.

I have recently reviewed the phony enrollment figures for 2014, 2015 and 2016 published by the Obama administration. There has not been a significant increase in enrollment in the last three years.

The claim that there are 20 million enrollees as a result of Obamacare is not even a half-truth. There are only 10 million enrollees from the Health Insurance Exchanges.

The failed Medicaid entitlement program has an added 10 million enrollees and insufficient physician coverage.

The first pre-election day lie was HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell telling a group that the 2017 Open Enrollment period was going to sign up an additional 1 million enrollees. She said the Federal Health Insurance Exchange marketplace was strong.

The Marketplace is strong – and will continue to be strong – because it is offering a product people want and need.

This year, we know the Marketplace is strong, but we think it will grow even more.”

“As we look to this next open enrollment period, we project that the Marketplace will grow by another million people. By the end of open enrollment for 2017, we expect 13.8 million people to have selected a plan.”

Obamacare enrollment through the Health Insurance Exchanges was supposed to grow to 21 million last year according to the CBO estimate. At best, 11 million people are enrolled not 12.8 as claimed. Eighty-five percent of the enrollees receive subsidies.

President Obama’s goal is to have a single party payer in control, namely the government.

Secretary Burwell goes on to conclude;

“In closing, as the President said during the debate over the law, “we did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.”

It looks like President Obama is shaping the future in a way Americans did not anticipate or want.

The next big pre-election lie was President Obama’s lie admitting that Health Insurance Exchange premiums will go up 22% in 2017. He also said that the government would cover the premium increases for those receiving subsidies.

He did not discuss the government’s position on the increases in deductibles. Is President Obama also covering the deductible increases?

Where is President Obama getting the money? I think the money for the increased subsidies was built into the budget by telling the CBO that there were supposed to be 21 million enrollees in the Federal Health Insurance Exchanges. Only 10 million enrollees showed up.

The reason for these continuing lies is to calm the public. President Obama and Hillary Clinton want us to believe that Obamacare is good and is working well.

The obvious message of these lies is that the public should vote for Hillary Clinton to continue this good work.

 

https://youtu.be/ziVfvWO8oUE

This You Tube is an excellent summary of all the lies President Obama and the Obama administration have told the America public since the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed.

It is worth ten minutes of your time to review this deception.

This week he tried to dodge the responsibility for the Health Insurance Exchanges demise and also claimed he should not be blamed for the rise in premiums in the private group insurance market.

Of these major cities, the places with the largest increases in the unsubsidized second-lowest silver plan were Phoenix, AZ (up 145% from $207 to $507 per month for a 40-year-old non-smoker),

Three hundred dollars a month or $3,600 dollars a year is a lot of money for a person making between $40,000 and $50,000 per year.

 The premium increases in Birmingham, AL (up 71% from $288 to $492) and Oklahoma City, OK (up 67% from $295 to $493).

 “ Meanwhile, unsubsidized premiums for the second-lowest silver premiums will decrease in Indianapolis, IN (down -4% from $298 to $286 for a 40-year-old non-smoker), Cleveland, OH (down -2% from $234 to $229), and Providence, RI (down -1% from $263 to $261) and increase just 1% in Little Rock, AR (from $310 to $314).”

 In many states there isn’t any competition in healthcare insurance for consumers business.

“Marketplace insurer participation in states using Healthcare.gov in 2017 ranges from 1 company in Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming, to 15 companies in Wisconsin.”

Hillary Clinton bragged that healthcare reform was called Hillarycare long before it was called Obamacare.

I would not be very proud of that statement, if I were her.

I do not believe the American public is not going to be fooled again by progressive rhetoric and lies.

Obamacare is a disaster. I have described the disaster and its potential consequences for since its passage in 2010.

It has caused both the public and private healthcare markets to escalate insurance premiums to unaffordable levels for all Americans. The cost to the federal government is unsustainable.

The present awareness of the Obamacare disaster is the straw that is going to break the back of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

All Americans deserve a better healthcare system than Obamacare.

My ideal medical saving account is the solution to the healthcare problem.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2016 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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