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In Politics, Messaging With Emotion Trumps Messaging with Truth. The Republicans Now Have a Rare Opportunity To Do Both.

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Dr. Edward R. Annis said in the 1960’s (paraphrasing), “The Federal Government will have you believe that there is only one way to fix healthcare- their way.” Whether it’s healthcare or any other problem, most people agree that government solutions are not the answer. Innovation usually results in better outcomes. The government is incapable of utilizing resources appropriately and efficiently. This failure has made FedEx and UPS possible as alternatives to the USPS.

Eight years of Obamacare have taught us a few things. It was not healthcare reform, but rather, more government control of how healthcare is financed. It was an attempt of the federal government to gain more control over healthcare. Many individuals who understand healthcare predicted that Obamacare was flawed and that its collapse was inevitable. Now that Obamacare is indeed failing and in a “death spiral”, its supporters are railing against the Republicans new healthcare plan, the AHCA (American Healthcare Act), but offering no solutions.

Socialized medicine has been the goal of Progressives for over a hundred years. Government run healthcare means control over people and their businesses, with limitless ability to increase taxes to pay for it. Obamacare took us in that direction with mandates – that everyone needed to purchase a product whether they wanted it or not, and the government determining what must be included. In order to pay for it, eighteen new taxes were created. Control over healthcare was concentrated in the hands of a single individual- the Secretary of HHS (Health & Human Services), carrying out the policies of the President.

Despite assertions to the contrary by progressives, we have endured 8 years of failed government run healthcare. Americans have seen healthcare costs soar and access to care go down. They have seen how government mandates regarding healthcare created unemployment and underemployment. And that when special interests are taken care of such as insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, patients are hurt. People are demanding relief and want more control over their healthcare and the costs.

The GOP now has a rare opportunity to send a positive message- something that typically eludes them. Immediately after the House passed the AHCA, the attack machine from the Left went into high gear, with messaging intended to arouse strong emotion from their base. The problem was that their messaging was a big lie. The typical GOP ploy to counter the Left is to present facts, which usually fails to win against the emotional strategy. However this time, the GOP can counter not only with facts but with emotion too, calling on real life horror stories from 8 years of Obamacare.

Contributed by Jeffrey English, M.D. – National Board of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation

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State Level Solution for Legal Costs in Health Care

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Malpractice insurance costs have long been a cost driver in health care, fueling unnecessary defensive medicine with a cost of over $600 billion per year.

Wayne Oliver, the Executive Director of Patients for Fair Compensation steps into the Doctor’s Lounge to explain a State level solution to a national problem.

Following a model similar to worker compensation, Oliver is proposing a doctor driven system of accountability in delivering justice and compensation for patients injured by practitioners in their course of care.

Oliver will be our guest on the Doctor’s Lounge this week, so be sure to tune in!

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GA Gov. Deal signs MOC bill into law

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On May 8, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law that will prevent the state’s Medical Practice Act from being used to require Maintenance of Certification (MOC) as a condition of licensure or to require MOC to be employed by a state medical facility or for the purposes of licensure, insurance panels, or malpractice insurance.

Read the full article here.


Discover more about MOC from Dr. Meg Edison who touched off a firestorm in late 2015 when she decided she had had enough of MOC.

Edison exposed MOC (maintenance of certification) for ABP (American Board of Pediatrics) as a large scale money making scheme that allowed its leaders a laundry list of luxuries while costing struggling pediatricians thousands in direct fees, testing, and office based self-reporting. She joined us on the Doctor’s Lounge this past April to discuss it in detail.

 

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Direct Primary Care Setback in Florida

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After success in the Florida House of Representatives, the Senate version of the bill, “Direct Primary Care Agreements” has died on the calendar for this legislative cycle.

HB161 was designed to specify that direct primary care agreements directly between doctors and patients does not constitute insurance and not subject to regulation under the Florida Insurance Code.

Dr. Lee Gross, the President of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, has long labored and testified before various committees on the power of Direct Primary Care in delivering real care to people outside of the cost inflated insurance and government systems.

Dr. Gross made the following hopeful response,

“Thanks so much to everyone that supported us this session!!

Bill sponsors are already lining up to sponsor the bill for the 2018 session, which starts in 5 months.

In the meantime, we will keep spreading the message. We are hoping to invite some skeptical [Florida] Senators to our DPC conference in Orlando this October!”

Watch Dr. Gross at 1:30 into the broadcast HERE

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Analysis of AHCA on Lance Roberts Show

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BYbfW1hIEAAM83TNational board member, Ori Hampel, M.D. appeared on the Lance Roberts Show to analyze the D4PC Foundation position on the recently passed House version of health care reform (AHCA).

Dr. Hampel explained this was not repeal, but the first of many bills needed to undo the damage done over the decades by government interference in health care.

“Health Care and Health insurance are two separate things. Obamacare took [the insurance based third party model] from expensive to ridiculously expensive.”

“Health care is actually affordable… Under Obamacare, catastrophic insurance plans [combined with innovations like DPC] are not allowed – minimum bronze plans are required.”

Roberts gave Dr. Hampel the time to unpack the problems and succinctly explain the solutions that are possible.  Well worth a listen – a great summary of our principles applied to present events.

Listen HERE.

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From ‘repeal and replace’ to ‘replace and repeal’

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If you decided your car is inadequate, you would not sell it before buying a replacement. Let’s take same approach with health care.

We should listen to Newt Gingrich when he advises taking the health care discussion to the American people.

For example, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sold pension reform at 80 town halls. We as Americans want to participate in the process and not submit to top-down edicts from Washington.

Let’s ask President Trump to champion our cause. As patients, we do not have a seat at the table with the insurance, hospital and drug companies.

Those of us who have good jobs and salaries want first and foremost to make sure the sick and poor are cared for. Making health care and premiums affordable for all must follow almost simultaneously.

Read Foster Friess’s complete op-ed in the Washington Times. He is also a guest on this week’s Doctor’s Lounge.

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Doctors Respond to Pre-existing Confusion WSJ Op-Ed

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“The entirety of the healthcare debate has been defined by the left using their terms- pre-existing conditions being one of them. Everyone who has seen a doctor has a pre-existing condition. What needs to happen is to make sure that insurance companies cannot deny someone the ability to get health insurance based on their health status. The other thing is to make sure that there is some type of safety net so that a medical condition can get treated without creating an individual financial crisis. How we get there is going to require much more than telling  insurance companies, which are publicly traded corporations, how they  must operate their businesses. At some point, the chains must be taken off of the free market and allow it to operate.” – Hal Scherz MD, FACS, FAAP and Founder of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation.
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Philanthropist of Conscience

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Bearing Burdens & Free Market Principles Build a Better Law

Renown Investor-Philanthropist Foster Friess steps into the Doctor’s Lounge after raising the bar in the heath care debate with a recent Washington Times Opinion Editorial.

As Congress reverses the order of the promised “Repeal and Replace”, Friess challenges us all to build a consensus bill that melds transcendent truths with free market principles.

Friess is an unapologetic Christian that brings the principles of the civil society to bear on public policy resulting in a compelling case for “being my brother’s keeper” in the context of the free market and personal responsibility.

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Squandering a Once in Lifetime Opportunity

A demonstrator in support of U.S. President Barack Obama's health-care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), holds up a "ACA is Here to Stay" sign after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to save Obamacare tax subsidies outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 25, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the nationwide tax subsidies that are a core component of President Barack Obama's health-care law rejecting a challenge that had threatened to gut the measure and undercut his legacy. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

America is once again dealing with healthcare, but there is so much more going on than just what you see on TV or read about in the newspaper. For the average American, all they know about Obamacare is how expensive healthcare has become, and the promise by President Trump and the GOP to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

They also see the gridlock in Washington continue and not just between Republicans and Democrats, but between factions in the Republican party. People don’t understand the procedural gymnastics that are occurring which has resulted in stagnation. The GOP has been working behind the scenes to find a compromise that would allow the American Health Care Act to get to the House floor for a vote, but this has not been easy. No one is clear what has to be done to get this done nor how imminent this is.

What is obvious to all, is that Obamacare is on shaky ground and ready to implode, taking its toll on the healthcare system. The cost of healthcare insurance is going up for everyone, unless the federal government does something quickly to stabilize the market.

President Trump has authorized HHS to release money to the insurance companies participating in the healthcare exchanges, which will buy some time for the 6 million people who are getting their insurance under the ACA. This, despite the fact that the House Republicans successfully filed a lawsuit to block these payments because they were illegally made by the Executive branch under President Obama. A US district court has denied the Obama administration appeal, siding with the GOP. But this will be a short term fix. For everyone else, the premiums are escalating and the GOP is playing politics and allowing this to happen.

A major sticking point is how to treat the “goodies” that some Americans found desirable with regard to their healthcare. These would include keeping kids on their parents’ insurance until age 26, compelling insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and how to treat minimum essential benefits covered by an insurance policy.

The far right Freedom caucus, sticking to their ideology of doing nothing if it does not include repeal now, want these items removed from the American Health Care Act, and to allow states that wish to have them, apply for waivers to implement them. In this way, they fulfill their campaign promise and it creates a national experiment, to see how high insurance premiums go in states that offer these benefits compared to those states that do not.

The more moderate Tuesday group wants to retain these Obamacare benefits and instead allow states that want to opt out to do so. They did not believe that their constituents would tolerate getting rid of these benefits, needing instead to petition for waivers to get them back. In either case, the end result is the same, but the tactics on how to get there differ.

In the midst of this infighting came the news that the plan supported by the Freedom caucus would not apply to members of Congress or their employees. They would be able to keep the pre-existing conditions and essential benefits. When questioned about this, they did not deny it, but said that it was procedural and needed to be retained in order to get the bill through the Senate, but would of course be fixed.

It is no wonder that most Americans give Congress a favorable grade of under 10%. But specifically, in the case of Republicans, they cannot get done the one thing that they have been complaining about for the past 7 years. They have had plenty of time to prepare for this and now have run out of excuses. They are squandering a once in a generation opportunity and are failing millions of Americans who trusted them.

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ObamaCare must be fixed before it collapses

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Trump should be applauded for continuing to move forward on this issue. Republicans defending their positions at town hall meetings deserve recognition too. Sticking with a right and just cause, even when is feels like a losing battle, is admirable. However, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

So, what should be done differently?

The lack of physician input in creating solutions to the healthcare mess is a good start. However, costs for medical care itself have yet to be adequately addressed.

Dr. Hal Scherz, the founder of Docs4PatientCare Foundation, said recently that “the entirety of the healthcare debate is focused on insurance and coverage, instead of the elephant in the room, which is the high cost of the care patients receive. Unless healthcare costs are dramatically reduced, no changes in how people purchase insurance is going to result in meaningful improvement in overall healthcare costs.”

A recent meeting between Dr. Scherz and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price “focused on the regulatory burden on doctors and the necessity of freeing physicians to spend more time with patients.”

Dr. Scherz has a point. What better way to bring down medical costs than to reduce obstacles to providing it? Perhaps it is time to argue for deregulating doctors.

Read the full article at The Hill.

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