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Universal Coverage Means Less Care

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Contributor & author: Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

Interview – Contact Dr. Orient directly at (520) 323-3110 or by email at janeorientmd@gmail.com

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When the money is gone, treatment is canceled. There will be fewer beds, fewer CT scanners, fewer drugs, and fewer doctors. But all will be fair. No rationing by price, just by waiting lines, political pull—and death. There will be no medical bills to pay after a service, if you get any service. Only taxes in advance, service or no service.

That’s why the universal care advocates count enrollees, not the number of services, and constantly harp on “excessive” treatment, even while planning to make patients wait months for an appointment.”

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May 16th, 2017

The reported success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) is based on enrollment numbers. Millions more have “coverage.” Similarly, the predicted disasters from repeal have to do with loss of coverage. Tens of thousands of deaths will allegedly follow. Activists urge shipping repeal victims’ ashes to Congress—possibly illegal and certainly disrespectful of the loved one’s remains, which will end up in a trash dump.

Where are the statistics about the number of heart operations done on babies born with birth defects, the latest poster children? How about the number of babies saved by this surgery, and the number allowed to die without an attempt at surgery—before and after ACA? I haven’t seen them. Note that an insurance plan doesn’t do the operation. A doctor does. The insurer can, however, try to block it

Also missing are figures on the number of courses of cancer chemotherapy given, or not given, or the time from diagnosis to death in cancer patients before and after ACA. Five-year survival of cancer patients in the U.S. is generally better than in countries that have universal coverage, or the type of plan progressives want to import. Again, the insurance plan isn’t medicine. You can get medicine without insurance, and if you have insurance it might refuse to pay.

There are selected comparisons of change in mortality rates in states that did or did not expand Medicaid (such as New York vs. Pennsylvania). On the other hand, mortality did not decrease in one state (Oregon). These estimates—guesstimates really, are based on the weakest type of data, and the differences may have nothing to do with Medicaid. Maybe it was better AIDS treatments. We hope that the FDA does not use evidence this poor to evaluate drugs.

But what effect did ObamaCare have on overall U.S. mortality?

Between 2014 and 2015, U.S. mortality rates increased for the first time in decades. This primarily affected less-educated whites. Is ObamaCare the cause? There are many factors involved, drug abuse probably being the most important. But I suspect that if repeal had happened in 2012 or 2013, it would have been blamed.

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ObamaCare Can Cancel Your Insurance, Warns Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9

Tucson, AZ 85716

 

March 10, 2015

Tucson, AZ. One of the biggest selling points for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) was the promise that insurers couldn’t cancel your plan if you get sick. But if the U.S. Supreme Court, in King v. Burwell, holds premium subsidies to be illegal in Exchanges not established by States, the Administration will allow insurers to abrogate their contracts, says the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

“It’s déjà vu all over again,” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “When Medicare passed, seniors who had private insurance lost it. The insurers told President Johnson that they couldn’t unilaterally cancel subscribers’ contracts. But LBJ said they could cancel all the contracts, and they did. Private insurance for seniors was ended with a stroke.”

“While the Administration assures HealthCare.gov policyholders that ‘nothing has changed,’ it has been conveying a contradictory message to health insurance companies,” writes Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in a letter to former CMS head Marilyn Tavenner. “Late last year, CMS altered the agreements to participate in the federal exchange, guaranteeing insurance companies the right to pull out of their contracts should federal subsidies such as the APTC come to an end—in other words, if the Administration loses before the Supreme Court.”

The Administration apparently has a contingency plan to protect insurers, Orient notes, but what about patients? “Millions lost their existing plans, which they liked, when ACA forced them to be pulled from the market. People had to buy an ACA-compliant replacement plan, usually much more expensive, and they could now lose that too.”

“What will be left?” AAPS asks. “Will Congress repeal ObamaCare and all its impossible mandates on insurers and the medical system? Or will Americans be forced into Obama’s preferred system of total dependence on government—and its completely untrustworthy promises?”

Sen. Hatch has demanded documents from CMS so that the Senate Finance Committee can conduct oversight.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and other Republicans are proposing transition plans such as the Winding Down Obamacare Act, which are intended to protect patients from loss of insurance, and to prevent the Administration from exerting coercive pressure on States to establish Exchanges that would further cement ObamaCare in place.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship. More

Congress Doesn’t Create Free Markets—It Only Destroys Them

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new-logo25 Jane M. Orient, M.D.,

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If some people like their government healthcare, let them keep it. But let the people go if they prefer freedom.”

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When people clamor for Congress to pass a “free-market health plan,” they1619098_10202643451221752_1414455253_n are forgetting two things: Congress only does laws, which restrict freedom. We need fewer laws, not more. And the free market is by nature not a plan.

Big laws like ObamaCare are designed by special-interest groups, such as the “insurance” (managed care) cartel, Big Hospitals, Big Pharma, and influential groups that want their benefits (abortion, contraception, drug and alcohol rehab, AIDS therapy, etc.) paid for by people who would never use them. More

Survival Prospects for ObamaCare in 2015

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new-logo25By Jane M. Orient, M.D.,

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“It may be years before a new beneficiary develops a serious illness and finds out that his policy is worthless.
• Come April, Americans will be having to tell the IRS about their insurance status, and pay an additional “tax” if it doesn’t meet requirements. Employers face onerous new reporting requirements come New Year’s Day, and the delayed employer mandate kicks in.”

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Now that Republicans have control of Congress, they could possibly keepObamacareHurt their promise to repeal ObamaCare—except for two immediate obstacles. One of course is the threat of the Presidential veto. Another is the already apparent willingness of craven politicians to surrender pre-emptively.

Once a government benefit is given, it becomes politically suicidal to take it back—at least in a way that people can see. There are likely a million or more Americans who are reveling in “having healthcare for the first time in their lives.” Or so the Administration’s messaging would have us believe. People are not yet onto the difference between having an insurance card and getting prompt medical attention. More

The ‘Cross-Your-Fingers’ Public Health Strategy

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strip bannernew-logo25By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

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Maybe the country that claims to have the “best healthcare system in the771f56fe-dbad-11e3-9707-22000a98b2af-medium world” can get away with ignoring basic public health strategies that have worked for centuries. Perhaps we can say, “It can’t happen here.” After all, Ebola seems to have gone away, as epidemics do—sooner or later.

Some apparently even think that we can save the rest of the world by providing a safety valve for hot zones, right into American airports and schools.

Yet we may not be all powerful. Here is the word from top public health officials about some 400,000 cases of chikungunya, which is sweeping through the Caribbean and Latin America: “We can only keep our fingers crossed—painful as that might be for many people infected with chikungunya—that the Caribbean epidemic will decline and the virus will depart from the Western Hemisphere.” So write David M. Morens, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., of the Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Sept 14, 2014, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Fauci’s name is familiar from his pronouncements on Ebola. More

Republicans Can No Longer Blame Harry Reid for Failing to Repeal ObamaCare

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strip bannernew-logo25By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

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“They impose no selective stealth taxes. If Congress is to tax people, it must do so through transparent, constitutional means.
They do not expand the reach of government into areas in which it has no constitutional authority.
They create no new agencies through which Congress can further abdicate its authority to the Executive.
They reduce the governmental footprint on the necks of Americans.”

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The time for Republican self congratulation is over, and the work needs to begin. It appears that the majority of the voting population recognizes that our country is in dire condition. Time is running out to fix it. Are Republicans going to work for our country, or just shift money around to different special interests?

It is not reassuring that some Republican Party strategists think they won because they purged controversial candidates who might make a campaign gaffe—and who might upset the ruling elite’s agenda if they got elected. Or that Democrats seem confident that Republicans will “work together” with them to continue the Progressive agenda—or else Obama will do it all by himself.

Republicans can no longer blame Harry Reid for their failure to repeal or defund ObamaCare. They can’t just take symbolic votes and complain (not too loudly) when bills get bottled up in the Senate. It’s on them now. More

If You Want To Keep Your Doctor, Change the Senate

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strip bannernew-logo25Jane M. Orient, M.D.

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• The outlook for the survival of representative government in this country is so dismal that lifelong Democrat and veteran talk show host Bob Just has called on Democrats to boycott the election. It’s the only way to wrest control of his party from radicals with a Marxist worldview, he believes.

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ObamacareHurtAlthough the Administration’s unilateral changes in the law have postponed many painful features of ObamaCare until after the election, it is already very unpopular. The White House public relations/media juggernaut is in high gear to suppress the bad news and trumpet any benefits. Millions more privately insured Americans will soon see their policies canceled; the individual mandate penalty/tax will kick in; the crushing burdens of new taxes on businesses, medical devices, and insurance premiums will reverberate through the already stalled economy; and more and more independent physicians will have to close their practices owing to new requirements.

My favorite bumper sticker for this campaign season is “Keep your doctor, change your senator.”

Monica Wehby, M.D., pediatric neurosurgeon, is trying to unseat a one-term Democrat in Oregon. Dr. Wehby has been very active in the American Medical Association, trying to change its pro-ObamaCare stance. More

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