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POLICY: Healthcare by Lobbyist By Eric Novack

Das Kapital
Place this in the ‘toot my own horn’ category. And in the ‘you really ought to listen to The Eric Novack Show’ at www.ericnovack.com‘ category.

From the Wall Street Journal October 10, 2006 edition:

Competition is an issue that many patient-advocacy groups wrestle with as they struggle to raise funds for research, attract greater interest in their diseases, and speed up the search for a cure.

The article ostensibly discusses how there are over 140 advocacy groups for brain tumors alone— and how they actively compete against each other for members, funding, and the ear (and hopefully pocketbooks) of elected officials.

As we give more and more power over the administration, funding and regulation over to unelected bureaucrats appointed by our ever campaigning politicians, we head toward the only guaranteed outcome of ‘single payer’, ‘single pool’, ‘national’ healthcare:  the protected by law, expanded by lawsuit, and guarded by lobbyists development of healthcare-by-lobbying.

In the world of healthcare-by-lobbying, heart disease advocates fight against Alzheimer’s groups, child advocates fight against the AARP, hip replacement makers fight against pacemaker manufacturers.

There is no free market-no free market of ideas, no free market for patients, no free market for doctors. And busy legislators find themselves uncertain about what the greatest need is for patients because each group emphasizes different issues or aspects of the disease.

There is also recognition that as cancer research increasingly focuses on using costly, cutting-edge technology to identify genes and cellular changes as an avenue to new treatments, progress is going to take huge sums of money that small patient-advocacy groups are unlikely to be able to raise on their own.

I have yet to ever hear an argument from the single payer advocates how this can be prevented.  Rather, it appears as if this is an essential part of their plan.

Proof- spend 10 minutes reading the single payer bill vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger in California last month.  80+ pages of committees and  bureaucracy.

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SusieToastJack E. LohmanBarry CarolpgbMD Recent comment authors
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Susie
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Susie

My husband and I are former active duty USAF. He just returned from Afghanistan on active duty status while flying with the air national guard. Our family now qualifies for six months of “free” medical coverage from the military–it’s called tricare prime. We can’t get an appointment for ourselves or our children. Today they told me to call back every day to check and see if I could get an appointment before March. Congress isn’t even this inefficient! Government sactioned health care couldn’t be this bad. We’re just lucky that nothing is wrong with any of our children and that… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest

Okay, guys. Can we move on?

pgbMD
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pgbMD

“pgbMD, you failed to detect my sarcasim.”
I think you meant ‘satire’, the term librules typically use to avoid criticism.
“would not be sacrificed because Karl Rove needed an issue to win elections and Cheney’s Haliburton and the other war contractors wanted more cash for blood.”
Jeez, straight out of the Soros playbook? That may work in the great white north but that trash don’t play down here.
I really think that when we hand out these citizenship cards we should require 18 months of military service.

Jack E. Lohman
Guest

Eric, we already have public funding of elections. Its just through the back door and it is costing us hundreds of times more than if we just paid for the elections up front (at a total cost of about $15 per taxpayer per year). Instead it is costing an average of $4000 per taxpayer per year in all of the tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid contracks, roads to nowhere and etc. I’d prefer eliminating the middleman and paying my $15, thank you. But I’d prefer that in the health care system as well. But Peter’s point is right on target. Were… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Eric, your attempt to characterize my broad comments into one simplistic personal analysis for the use of self serving ridicule is quite blantant. You asked for my suggestions on reforming our present state of political corruption, I gave some. How much monopolizing of blog space do you want me to take? I suggest you review my prior comments on the complex issues of healthcare reform to better and more accurately understand my viewpoint. But make no mistake, healthcare reform will not happen without political reform – something I think you are aware of and covet as your ace in the… Read more »

Eric Novack
Guest

Peter- Your solution to the problems with our healthcare system appears to be:
“publicly funded elections”
ok.
thank you.

Peter
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Peter

“I don’t think it is appropriate here to start questioning someones patriotism on this blog, but if you are interested I know a couple of recruiters I can send your way to sign-up you or your kids!” pgbMD, you failed to detect my sarcasim. Although we do consider those that serve to be “more patriotic” than those that don’t. Certainely “patriotism” has been used more widely by these Republicans than anyone else. Oppose the war, can’t be patriotic. But I wouldn’t give this political Iraq war two weeks if rich families had to send their kids as well. Maybe 1… Read more »

Toast
Guest

I believe the answer is to dis-empower government and lobbyists by putting more value and responsibility in the hands of people.
This formulation always makes me chuckle. Lobbyists and government employees are not “people”, I guess. Only the profiteers in our hopelessly screwed-up private system count as “people”.

Jack E. Lohman
Guest

Barry, it is indeed a sad situation when we must rely on bribery and payola to protect the rich from the poor, but since political bribery has already facilitated the Bush tax cuts to the detriment of middle and lower income wage earners, I guess your concern is justified. The reverse could certainly occur, and turnabout is certainly not fair when it happens to the rich. Perhaps we should decide how the tax burden should be shared and then adjust the political bribery to accommodate that number. Or alternatively, we could have politicians passing laws that are in the best… Read more »

Barry Carol
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Barry Carol

“While I’ve paid far more taxes than the average taxpayer, Barry, I nonetheless have that attitude. Galling as it may be. I am not altruistic, but I am a strong believer in the progressive tax system. It is not unfair; it is necessary if we are to protect the longevity of our democracy.” Jack, with all due respect, if you carried this argument to its logical extreme, you would have politicians elected with taxpayer financing (no special interests) deciding how much high income people “need” or “should have” to finance a “comfortable” lifestyle and then tax the rest at 100%… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest

Barry, if you give the people only half the story — that is, that the cost will be $1000 per year — without giving them the whole story and that it would reduce consumer prices by an equal amount, I guarantee that you’ll get those results. It’s called stacking the deck to get the answer you want. But the majority of US citizens support a single-payer plan. >>> “The attitude that high income people are always ripe for further soaking no matter how much they are already paying is galling.” While I’ve paid far more taxes than the average taxpayer,… Read more »

Barry Carol
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Barry Carol

“But I disagree that the (lower wage) public will resist increased taxes if it resolves the health care problems. (I don’t have that same confidence with higher-waged earners who have a tendency to be a bit more, shall I say, “conservative.”)” According to the recent report by the Citizens Health Task Force, only 12% of people surveyed said they would be willing to pay an extra $1,000 per year or more to get us to a healthcare system that covers everyone. An additional 17% would pony up an additional $300-$999 while 71% would contribute 0-$299. I don’t think this will… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest

Barry, with a “fair” single-payer system BIDMC and all others will indeed be able to provide good care, just as they do in all other s-p countries. If you don’t want to consider Canada as the model, look at Japan or France. But the emphasis is on “fair,” and that’s the last thing in the world the for-profit health care interests want to see. They want to retain our current free-for-all system, and “fair” is not good enough. >> “doctors are generally not profiting personally from the tests they order for hospital inpatients” Very frequently the doctors do indeed profit… Read more »

Barry Carol
Guest
Barry Carol

Jack, I’m glad to see we have some common ground regarding the end of life care issue. Regarding my comment about BIDMC not being able to afford to provide its current level of care if it had to accept Medicare rates from all patients, doctors are generally not profiting personally from the tests they order for hospital inpatients. They are probably more interested in exercising what they consider to be sound medical judgment and protecting themselves from lawsuits (defensive medicine) than worrying about whether the hospital is making money or not on the tests they order and drugs they prescribe.… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest

We have a guy like Bloomberg; he’s named Kohl. I don’t like him, but even when he votes for stupid things I know its his own stupidity and not dictated by moneyed interests. I can live with that.
I recognize that this is not a political blog, but it is the moneyed health care interests that I believe are driving the medical community in a direction it cannot win. I will put my money on the corporations that control the gold.