Follow Me on Twitter

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Make Politicians Pay for the National Debt

Neither Republicans nor Democrats have been able to stop runaway government spending; therefore, WE THE PEOPLE must do it.

How? By making politicians pay - not only at the ballot box, but also with their own money.

It's a bit of a fantasy, and a little bit crazy, but wouldn't it be nice if made politicians sign a pledge called “The Politician’s Pledge to Stop Runaway Spending,” which goes like this:

I [John Q politician] pledge that my congressional salary, benefits, and pension shall decrease 7% per year for every year that the national debt is not resolved. I shall also donate 7% per year of my net worth to the National Debt. Furthermore, after I pay my taxes, I will donate [50 - 100%] of my outside-of-congress income to paying off the national debt, and for three years after leaving Congress, I shall do the same. All my staff shall live by the same guidelines. I recognize that the purpose of this pledge is to keep me from enriching myself in congress while the country goes broke. Therefore my congressional service shall not result in any relative, company, surrogate, or associate of mine making money from my service in Congress. I will work for the people only.

Signature: ____________________
Name: John Q politician
Date: ________________________


Politicians must feel the pain they are causing us. The National Debt is nearly 14 trillion dollars. Each citizen owes nearly $45,000, and each taxpayer owes nearly $125,000, because politicians keep recklessly spending our money. Amazingly, politicians have spent all our money, all the kids’ money, and all the grandkids’ money. This will ruin our standard of living for decades.

Not only would I make politicians sign this pledge, I would insist that they make it a law.

Imagine if all the members of congress had been forced to sign such a pledge. According to the website OpenSecrets.org, the total net worth of congress is $3,750,403,958 - that’s nearly 4 billion dollars. This pledge would thus bring in $2,625,282 a year from their net worth alone.

There are 535 members of congress making $174,000 plus per year, or a total yearly congressional income of $93,090,000. Seven percent of that is $6,516,300 – another 6 to 7 million dollars for the National Debt.

Guess what? If they felt it in their pocket books, instead of just taking money from us, they would get things done, and fast.

The National Debt is not our fault. The average American balances their checkbook. This problem is entirely due to politicians. In 44 of the last 50 years – 88% of the time - congress has spent more than it has taken in.

We must make congress feel our pain because right now they are oblivious.

The Federal Debt is going to be our “Federal Death.” Drastic measures must be taken now to set our country back on a course to prosperity.

Budget Deficit Disorder is a real syndrome. We must treat the members of congress who suffer from this mental disorder with the harshest possible medicine.

We must light a fire under congress and their staff before we go from Superpower to "Super-Broke." Politicians must feel the pain as much as we do or they will never act.

Let's say to congress, “Cut the debt or we cut your income and assets.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

The 7% Solution to Our Debt

The solution to our economic crisis is simple: take money from politicians. After all, they have been stealing it from us their entire careers.

Republicans and Democrats have been unable to stop runaway government spending. So, since we are 13 trillion dollars in debt, WE THE PEOPLE need to “help them” stop spending.  We can no longer afford to have every innocent baby in this country born over thirty thousand dollars in debt. We can no longer afford to have the government spend 7 million dollars per minute every minute of every day.

“The 7% Solution to Our Economic Crisis” is simple: the salaries, benefits, and pensions of the president and congress will be cut 7% per year until government spending is reduced enough to balance the budget and rid us of debt. In addition, any outside income received by politicians while in office, after taxes are paid, must be given to the government to offset the debt. And finally, any income above their average income while in office, for a period of two years after leaving office, must also be given up to the debt.

This simple plan will force politicians to be public servants instead of get-rich-quick carpetbaggers. Let me make a prediction: if this plan is implemented the budget will be balanced at an impressively fast rate.

This is the only way that our politicians will have enough backbone to actually cut runaway government spending. THIS HITS THEM IN THEIR POCKETBOOK. In seven years the politicians will take a 49% hit in their salaries, benefits, and pensions if they have not reduced government spending enough to balance the budget and rid us of debt. In 14 years the politicians will suffer a 98% reduction in pay if they have not done their job.

All fiscally responsible people, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Tea Party members, Independents, and the undecided should get behind this plan before it’s too late. All the people in America, who actually balance their own checkbooks, should support this plan - as should fiscally responsible people from all the other political parties in America that I have not mentioned.

Let’s face it, the Republicans and Democrats are too busy fighting each other for power in Washington D.C. to fight for us. It’s WE THE PEOPLE that have to use our power, before it is taken from us forever, to fix things.

Let’s be clear on the rules: our budget must be balanced by reducing spending, not by raising taxes. It is runaway wasteful spending by both parties that is the problem. We have plenty of taxes already. As John F. Kennedy, a tax-cutter, said, “…an economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs or enough profits.”

From this day forward, we should not elect any politician that does not sign a pledge to abide by “The 7% Solution to Our Economic Crisis.” And when all these pledge-signing politicians are elected they should make it the law of the land. We should do this on the Federal level and then state by state starting with the bankrupt ones like California, Illinois, and New York.

By accepting the “The 7% Solution to Our Economic Crisis” for out-of-control government spending our politicians can demonstrate that they are really devoted to helping our economy, instead of seeking power, money, and glory for themselves.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Health Care Reform Summit - How Do We Lower Costs?

President Obama asked: "How do we lower costs for families?" Answer: Tell patients the prices of everything in advance (except in emergencies) or they don't have to pay. You cannot lower costs if no one knows the price of anything. What is the price of a CBC, Mr. President? - Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician & economist

Price transparency is the most basic thing that can be done to lower costs. As soon as people realize that their prescription costs $100 at one pharmacy but only $4 at Walmart, costs will be pushed down. As soon as people realize that an MRI exam is $3,000 at one facility but only $900 at another, they will force prices down.

Patients cannot spend their Medicare Money, their Medicaid money, their insurance company money, or their out-of-pocket money wisely, if they do not know what anything costs.

My friend recently had open-heart surgery. He was not told the price of anything in advance during the entire work-up before surgery, during the hospital stay for surgery, or during the post-operative period. He was not even told the prices of simple lab tests, or for the rehabilitation sessions.

Not knowing prices is why we have runaway health care costs. Third parties are setting prices with unsavory backroom deals. We need to stop this now. Stop the secret prices.

The quote above of President Obama comes from the Health Care Summit of 02/25/2010.

See my health care reform plan "The People's Health Care Reform Plan" on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

Or see my plan here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html

- Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician & economist

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Dozen Health Care Reform Plans for the Health Care Reform Summit


Once again patients will not even be in the room when health care reform is discussed. Yet, I am desperately hoping that the “Health Care Reform Summit” will take into account ideas that empower patients. Patients live or die depending on how well our health care system works.

Health care reform needs to start by telling patients the prices of everything. You cannot lower prices without knowing prices. Out of control costs in health care are supposed to be why health care reform is being done in the first place. End the secret prices.

There are some excellent ideas that empower patients in the twelve health care reform plans below.

1. “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” will end all the secrets being kept from patients now. Under this plan, prices will no longer be kept hidden from patients, and the secret inside medical information patients need to know to save their own lives will be revealed. The full plan can be found here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html
or here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1


2. “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare” by John Mackey. This plan would remove the ridiculous obstacles to setting up Tax-Free Health Savings Accounts. It would end the unfair tax burden against individuals buying health insurance, force insurance companies to compete across state lines, reduce government mandates, enact tort reform, and enact Medicare reform. Finally, this plan would also make prices transparent, just like the first plan would. See the John Mackey Plan here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html
Or on the CEO’s Blog here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html

3. “Five Ways to Reform Health Care” by governor Tim Pawlenty. The Pawlenty plan would: 1. Incentivize patients to be smart consumers. 2. Pay for performance, rewarding cures instead of procedures. 3. Enact liability reform (4) Allow interstate health-care insurance. and 5. Modernize health insurance. The Tim Pawlenty plan can be found at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021103271.html

4. “Let's be Reasonable” by Richard R. Kelley, M.D. Dr. Kelly’s plan would give us “...individual choice and free market competition, tax and geographic equity, personal responsibility, and tort reform.” Dr. Kelley’s plan can be seen here:
http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_13412336

5. “Free Market Approach to Health Care Reform” by the Cato Institute. The Cato Institute would “pursue a uniquely American solution, one that builds on free markets, competition and choice.” You can see their plan here:
http://healthcare.cato.org/free-market-approach-health-care-reform

6. “The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009,” by Dr. Tom Coburn. This plan clearly aims to put patients and doctors more in control of health care decisions. Dr. Coburn sums up the plan this way: "As a practicing physician, I have seen first-hand how giving government more control over health care has failed to make health care more affordable and accessible. The American people deserve health care reform that will work, not another round of so-called reform that repeats the same failed policies of the past. Congress and the administration have the opportunity to pursue bold reform and a fresh start. The Patients’ Choice Act will provide every American with access to affordable health care without a tax increase, more debt and waiting lines.” This plan can be seen here:
www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/PCAsummary15p.pdf

7. “Ten GOP Health Ideas for Obama” by Newt Gingrich. These are ten patient-centered ideas. See the Gingrich plan here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704820904575055190217079952.html


8. “A Real Solution for Covering the Uninsured” by Peter Ferrara. This plan would start by reforming Medicaid, which is currently ensuring substandard care to the poor. This plan also creates a safety net for the poor by creating risk pools. See this plan here:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/02/15/peter-ferrara-obama-health-care-reform-medicare/

10. “Health Savings and Affordability Act of 2009,” by Steve Austria. This bill would allow a deduction for the health insurance costs of individuals and would expand health savings accounts. See the plan here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3610:

11. “Empowering Patients First Act” by Dr. Tom Price. This bill aims to reduce costs by lessening mandates and addressing tort reform. This bill also proposes State by State high risk pools for patients denied private insurance. See this plan here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3400:

12. “Health Care Freedom of Choice Act” by Michele Bachmann. This plan strongly addresses high health care costs. It would end tax credits that discouraged direct doctor-patient relationships. The plan strongly empowers who are trying to get health care insurance as individuals. The plan takes away medical decisions from bureaucrats and gives such decisions back to doctors and their patients. This plan will also allow your medical and dental expenses to be tax deductible.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.502:

12. “Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM)” by Dr. Paul Hsieh “promotes the philosophy of individual rights, personal responsibility, and free market economics in health care.” He addresses skyrocketing health insurance costs in his letter-to-the-editor of the New York Times here:
http://www.westandfirm.org/blog/2008/05/hsieh-lte-in-new-york-times.html

My qualifications for health care reform are here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-credentials-for-health-care-reform.html

by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Four Things to do for the Health Care Reform Summit


For the health care reform summit:

1. Protect the doctor-patient relationship, and nurse-patient relationship, FOR PATIENTS.
2. Facilitate all prices being transparent (except in emergencies) FOR PATIENTS.
3. Facilitate the social networking of physicians, nurses, and allied health care professionals to rate all the medical studies and treatments FOR PATIENTS.
4. Improve the science of medicine, by using the same social networking, to let physicians, nurses, and all allied health care professionals direct medical research that can save lives right now FOR PATIENTS.

If the President focuses on what patients need, and ignores all the third parties, he can get health care reform done, because THE PEOPLE are more powerful than either party or any special interest group.

Patients must be told the prices of everything in advance, because getting health care costs under control is the primary objective of health care reform. Runaway costs are why the system is broken. This cannot be fixed unless patients are told the prices of lab tests, x-rays, and medications BEFORE they buy them, so they can shop around, and drive prices down.

My friend recently underwent open heart surgery. During the entire pre-operative workup, hospital stay for surgery, and post-operative care period he was never told the price of anything in advance. Patients cannot spend their Insurance Company money, their Medicare money, their Medicaid money, or their out-of-pocket money wisely if they don't know the prices.

There are non-partisan physicians and patients who should have more responsibility for health care reform. Health care reform should be scientific, not political. The attitudes of health care reformers should reflect those of my colleagues:

Dr. Hal Scherz: "Doctors don't take care of Democrats or Republicans. We take care of patients, and they deserve something better from Washington than what they have been receiving." - Docs4PatientCare.org

Dr. Jeffrey English: "I do not take care of Democrats or Republicans in my practice, I take care of patients." - http://nowitspersonalbook.wordpress.com

Dr. Richard Armstrong: "Not right, not left, but about what is right for patients and physicians."

And there has been no mention by the government plans of the latest Internet technology, social networking, which can be used to greatly improve the science of medicine. This technology can be used to give patients secret inside medical information that has always been kept from them in the past. It is time to throw out the old ideas and incorporate better new ones.

Please see "The People's Health Care Reform Plan" on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

And see "The People's Health Care Reform Plan" on BradMD.com here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html

by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist
Copyright (c) 2010 Bradley Hennenfent, M.D.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

White House Responds to "The People's Health Care Reform Plan"


Here is the letter, probably a form letter, I got back from the White House:

The White House - Presidential Correspondence

Dear Bradley Hennenfent:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I have heard from countless Americans struggling to afford health insurance and health professionals striving to provide care. I appreciate your perspective.

There is broad consensus among the American people on
the need for affordable, high-quality health care. The rising cost of
health care is the most pressing financial challenge for families and
our Nation, and controlling this cost is essential to bringing down
the Federal deficits we inherited. We must end unfair insurance
practices that leave millions without insurance, deny people access
to coverage and expose them to extraordinary burdens. Now is the
time to move forward and get health insurance reform done.

Since I took office, we have done more to improve health
care than we have in the previous decade. I signed H.R. 2 to
provide coverage for millions of children in the Children's Health
Insurance Program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act to invest in computerized medical records and preventive
services.

Still, more must be done to lower costs, expand coverage,
and improve the quality of health care. Health insurance reform
must provide more security and stability to those who have health
insurance; make sure those who do not have insurance can find
affordable options; and lower the cost of health care for our
families, our businesses, and our government. Reform will benefit
seniors by protecting and strengthening Medicare, closing the
"donut-hole" gap in coverage for prescription drugs, and providing
free preventive care.

Looking forward, there are tough choices to be made, and I
will seek to bring employers, workers, health care providers, and
patients together to create a system that delivers high-quality
health care and puts the Nation on a sustainable, long-term fiscal
path. To learn more about my Health Insurance Reform Plan or to
share a personal story, please join me online at:
www.HealthReform.gov. For further information on health care
and assistance that may be available to you, you may call 1-800-
FED-INFO or visit: www.USA.gov.

I share the sense of urgency that many Americans have
voiced. I watched as my ailing mother struggled with stacks of
insurance forms at the end of her life. This is not who we are as a
Nation; together, we will fix it.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

To be a part of our agenda for change, join us at www.WhiteHouse.gov
------------------------------------------------------

What I had written about was about the best way to reform health care.

“The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” empowers patients, not third parties. It is non-partisan and does not benefit the Republicans or the Democrats; it helps patients.

“The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” says that there will be no more secrets kept from patients. The plan says:

1. Prices will no longer be kept secret from patients, and2. The secret, life-saving, inside medical information that only doctors, nurses, and allied health care professional know, will be made public for patients.


To see "The People's Health Care Reform Plan on Facebook, go to:

"The People's Health Care Reform Plan - Distribution Party - 2010" at:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

To see it on blogger go to:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html


Friday, February 19, 2010

Facebookers Rise Up to Support “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan”


Doctors, nurses, patients, and hundreds of “Facebookers” are working to make “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” go viral on the Internet and offline.

My mantra is “Empower Patients; Not Third Parties.” That’s why I wrote the “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan.” It’s a simple plan, only five pages in length, compared to the 2,000 page monstrosities that congress has come up with.

“The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” says that there will be no more secrets kept from patients. The plan says:

1. Prices will no longer be kept secret from patients, and
2. The secret, life-saving, inside medical information that only doctors, nurses, and allied health care professional know, will be made public for patients.

Initially, I was very frustrated. I was seemingly one of the “most qualified people in the world” (see my credentials here: http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-credentials-for-health-care-reform.html) to speak about health care reform, but I had no effective way get my ideas out to patients, politicians, and the people.

For example, I wrote to Senator Max Baucus, who was put in charge of ObamaCare, in May 2009, and got this answer back: “Thank you for submitting an email to my office. I value your input and assure you that my staff will review your message as soon as possible. Due to the large amount of email I receive on a daily basis, it may take my staff up to three weeks to respond to your email. If you have an emergency, please call my office directly at (800) 332-6106 (from MT) or (406) 657-6790.”

My notes indicate that I called four more times, even trying to track down Andrew somebody, who was supposed to be the senator’s health care aid. I never heard back. So, much for “the door is always open.”

One day, two college buddies suggested I get on Facebook. Months later my sister gave me a tutorial. Then, I paid for a couple of tutorials, and finally, I got it. I discovered the power of social networking.

In July 2009, I had 43 friends on Facebook, mostly family, high school friends, and college buddies. But after getting through my learning curve, I realized that Facebook was too powerful not to use for health care reform. I started posting to Facebook about health care reform that empowers patients. Today, I have 3,723 “friends” on Facebook. So, on average, I am adding 20 friends a day who care about patients first. That’s powerful. That’s better than I ever did with blogging.

One person I became friends with on Facebook was Dan Samaria (880 friends, 473 mutual friends), an entrepreneur and publisher of the online newspaper, The Gold Coast Chronicle.

He “messaged” me that he liked my posts, and asked if I would write a feature article for The Gold Coast Chronicle. I was hesitant, because I thought I was starting to get somewhere just by publishing to Facebook and Blogger. On the other hand, I was working on my own health care reform plan, and going through version after version, to make it more understandable in order to reach the widest audience possible. So, I accepted.

Meanwhile, I attended a Tea Party meeting where I met Jerry Kingsbury, who was not even on Facebook yet. Jerry is a nurse, who like me had health trouble, retired, and moved to Florida. In fact, Jerry was lucky enough in December of 2006 to have a bi-lateral lung transplant at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Fortunately, everything has been looking good since then. Jerry is now on Facebook (13 friends, 6 friends in common) and is learning the ropes.

I got advice from everyone I could, one thing led to another, and “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” was first published in The Gold Coast Chronicle at:
http://www.goldcoastchronicle.com/feature/the-peoples-health-care-reform-plan/

Then, I got the idea to use the Facebook “Event” feature. I posted “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan - Distribution Party” as an event, and as of today over 263 people have signed up to distribute the plan to their friends and politicians.

Jerry Kingsbury really came through. He did a mass mailing of the plan to every United States Senator and every Florida State representative, only charging me for the postage.

Devin Norris, a radio personality, read the entire plan, on his Wake Up America (Radio Show) On WAPR.FM -- http://wapr.fm

One politician wrote me that he was going to use my plan as the "Medical Plank" in his platform.

Many bloggers have reposted or commented on my plan.

One woman told me she e-mailed the plan to dozens of friends and politicians.

Some Facebookers simply reposted the plan to their Facebook friends.

What have I learned from all this? I’ve learned that it’s hard to get politicians to listen. Although, bipartisan in my approach, I did not feel the Democrats or the Republicans listened to me. However, the Tea Party listened. The Facebookers listened. THE PEOPLE listened.

I will leave you with two of my favorite quotes by my fellow physicians:

Dr. Jeffrey English: "I do not take care of Democrats or Republicans in my practice, I take care of patients."

Dr. Richard Armstrong: "Not right, not left, but about what is right for patients and physicians."

Bradley R. Hennenfent, M.D., Physician and Economist
www.Facebook.com/Hennenfent
E-mail: Brad@BradMD.com
Blog: www.BradMD.com
Staff writer for The Gold Coast Chronicle

This article will also be published on my profile notes at www.Facebook.com/Hennenfent

Copyright © 2010 Bradley R. Hennenfent, M.D., Physician and Economist. All rights reserved.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TIME IS CRITICAL FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM. PLEASE ACT NOW.


President Obama is scheduled to talk to the Republicans about health care reform on Thursday, February 25th.

Please help get "The People’s Health Care Reform Plan" in front of all politicians before then. "The People's Health Care Reform Plan" says that:

1. prices can no longer be kept secret from patients, and
2. that inside medical information that only doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals know, can no longer be kept secret from patients.

You can find the plan here:

http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html

Or on Facebook here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

You will not be doing this alone. In fact, 262 people have signed up on Facebook to redistribute the plan.

THE TIME TO DO IT IS NOW

A good way to email your senators and representative is to go to:

www.Senate.gov or www.House.gov.

At - www.Senate.gov - you can search for your state in the upper right.
At - www.House.gov - you can put in your zip code in the upper left.

NO MORE SECRETS

"The People’s Health Care Reform Plan" is about no longer keeping secrets from patients. Under the plan, prices will no longer be kept secret from patients. In addition, the inside medical information that only doctors, nurses, and other health care providers know will be shared with patients so more lives can be saved.

THE LINKS TO SEND

"The People’s Health Care Reform Plan" can be found on my blog here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html

And it can be found on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

HOW TO SEND THE PLAN TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

To send the plan to President Obama go here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Be sure to click the box next to: - A response is requested.

The President’s website says: "President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the public, through our website."

THANK YOU

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D.
physician & economist

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dr. Kevin Pezzi on Health Care

Dr. Kevin Pezzi (Emergency Medicine): "President Obama asserts that his healthcare plan would not create 'death panels.' While there won't be any bureaucracy labeled as such, there will be countless cold, uncaring bureaucrats telling doctors how to practice medicine. They will insist that we order fewer tests and procedures, and always choose the third-rate option if it's cheaper. If a patient dies while waiting to be treated, or dies from his third-rate treatment, Obama hopes that you are dumb enough to think that the patient died from a doctor's mistake, not from a government death panel. Obama and his lawyer friends want people to believe that doctors are the ones who should be held accountable for the results of this government-mandated rationing . . . and if you don't think rationing is coming, I have a bridge I want to sell to you. The government was rationing healthcare years ago when it had a budget surplus. The government will assuredly not be any more generous now that we're in a recession and our national debt has grown by trillions of dollars."

Dr. Kevin Pezzi is on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716282291&ref=ts

Dr. Bradley Hennenfent is on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hennenfent

Friday, February 12, 2010

Health Care Reform is Easy: Empower Patients


Health Care Reform is easy. When you take power away from patients they die. I've seen it my entire career. Simply empower patients instead of third parties and you will be doing the right thing when it comes to health care reform. Stop keeping secrets from patients. Remember the scams: inflated prices, unnecessary hysterectomies, vaccine side effects, the Tuskegee Experiment, lobotomies, Insurance denials, and Medicare denials?

All of these things happen when power is taken away from patients.

Please take a look at my health care reform plan. Two-hundred-forty-three people have signed up on Facebook.com as of today to redistribute my plan to their friends and politicians. It is a non-partisan plan that both Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree upon, because it empowers patients, not third parties. It's also simple.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

You can also see the latest version of the plan here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html

- Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The People's Health Care Reform Plan - 02/10/2010


THE PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN
by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist

“The People's Health Care Reform Plan” is going viral on the Internet. Hundreds of "Facebookers" have signed up to redistribute the plan to their friends and politicians via e-mail, Facebook, and fax.

President Obama said, “...if anyone from either party has a better approach ... let me know.”

“The People's Health Care Reform Plan” is a better plan and a non-partisan solution. This plan will make PATIENTS MORE POWERFUL, and the Government, corporations, and insurance companies (crony capitalism) less powerful. This plan will reduce costs, increase access, and save lives. It's also simple.

SHORT VERSION OF THE PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN
1. Tell patients what everything costs - no more secrets!
2. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals social networking so they can share inside, life-saving, medical information, which only they know, with patients - no more secrets!
3. Tort Reform.
4. Distribute “The People's Health Care Reform Plan” to everyone in America and around the world via Facebook, E-mail, etc.

PATIENTS GETTING CONTROL OF PRICES
Congress must facilitate that patients be told the price of everything in health care in advance, except in true emergencies, or they do not have to pay.

Patients cannot spend money from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance Companies, Unions, or their own money, wisely if they do not know what anything costs. It's these hidden prices that cause monopolies that drive up our prices and result in unsavory backroom political deals. It's not knowing the price of anything that enables Medicare, Medicaid, and corporate fraud to occur so easily.

How can we know if we are overcharged if we never know what anything costs in the first place? How can we revolutionize health care if we don't know what costs too much? We need to know the prices.

PATIENTS NEED MORE INFORMATION FROM DOCTORS, NURSES, AND ALL ALLIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Congress must facilitate an open-to-the-public Doctor's, Nurse's, and allied health care professional's, social Networking Website with features like Facebook.com, Sermo.com, del.icio.us, and Digg.com, combined with the National Library of Medicine.

Allow all 800,000 doctors in the USA, all 2.9 million nurses, all pharmacists, all dentists, and all allied health care professionals to rank all the medical studies on Medline (and elsewhere) for patients. Allow all doctors and nurses to rank all the treatment options for all diagnoses as well. We need to have Amazon.com-like product reviews for all treatments. This will drastically improve “The Science of Medicine.”

Let doctors, nurses, and health professionals be anonymous, or use their own names if they wish, and be free from lawsuits for anything they write. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals, Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for this. A government panel of physicians who are public health statisticians can evaluate medical care as well, as long as that panel is not more powerful than practicing physicians and nurses on the front lines.

Also allow doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals to give free medical education over the Internet to patients. Not treatment, but education. Empower patients with knowledge. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all health care professionals love talking medicine and helping people, and will be willing to do this for free, if in turn they are free from liability. Give them CME credits for this as well. Finally, patients, who sometimes know more than doctors and nurses, should be brought into the rating system. Let's all help each other.

In addition, allow all the doctors and pharmacists to rank off-label uses for medications. This will help patients get medications they need, even when they are not approved for that specific use by the Food and Drug Administration. If a new and effective antibiotic is created, and it is approved for pneumonia, but can save someone's foot from being amputated according to the medical literature, doctors, and pharmacists, it should be allowed immediately.

The social networking of health care professionals will greatly improve "The Science of Medicine," and will demonstrate what studies need to be done, as we see how one professional group is critical of the science behind another group's practices. Make sure the results are public and are separated into specialties so the public can see what various types of doctors and health care professionals believe.

This networking will prevent a central government panel, or insurance company panels, from being in charge of health care decisions, as we must give the most credence to practicing health care professionals and patients. This will help put patients, doctors, nurses, and health care professionals back in charge of medical decisions. This is the kind of public information that will prevent unnecessary hysterectomies (remember that scandal?) and other medical scams by informing patients about what is really going on in medicine.

This social networking site should also help direct federal research spending to solve controversies in medical care. All health care professionals should be able to suggest studies that need to be done to improve patient care. Doctors, nurses, and all health professionals should prioritize the need for studies at the National Institutes of Health and by private industry. Health care providers need help right now, and there is little correlation between the studies that doctors and nurses need done immediately and what the NIH spends our research money on.

TORT REFORM
"No health care reform without tort reform" should be the litmus test for any health care reform bill before congress. It's been estimated that tort reform could save over 200 billion dollars per year by ridding the system of expensive defensive medicine practices and of frivolous lawsuits. When significant tort reform is not present, you know that third parties are actually driving health care reform, not the people.

DISTRIBUTE “The People's Health Care Reform Plan”
In this section, I ask everyone who reads this plan to distribute it to others via e-mail, Facebook, and other means. The plan can be found at BradMD.com, and at Facebook.com/Hennenfent under events (or notes).

ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY
This health care reform plan is based on the truism that: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," which is attributed to Lord Acton in 1887. If the Government becomes too powerful it will become corrupt and we will have Obama's "Death Panels" as predicted by Sarah Palin. If the corporations and insurance companies become too powerful with crony capitalism, they will become corrupt and we will have denials, hassles, and barriers to care - "Death Panels" again. The answer is to make patients and health care providers more powerful.

Eight hundred thousand doctors, 2.9 million nurses, 217,000 pharmacists, 150,000 dentists, 100,000 respiratory therapists, 90,000 physical therapists, 300,000 laboratory technicians, all the other health care professionals, and 300 million patients can share information using today's technology and keep the health care power in the people's hands, instead of in the hands of third parties, which always become corrupt over time when given too much power.

I have tried very hard to come up with a simple health care reform plan that would be bipartisan and would save the most lives at the lowest possible cost. This plan can be adopted right now. This plan puts the power back in the hands of the patients, doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals and TAKES IT AWAY from the Government, corporations, and insurance companies.

Health care reform is life and death; it's not politics. We need to know what everything costs in health care just like we do every other good or service, and we need to know what doctors, nurses, and all health professionals know, or we can never make good decisions. This is the health care reform revolution that will save the most lives.
RATIONALE FOR THE PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN
You want to be in charge of your health care and you don't want third parties coming between you and your doctor. You want to retain control over your own body. Let them know it's your life, and you want to save it from third party rationing. This plan empowers patients, it tells the people what everything costs, and it shares with them everything that medical professionals know. The only way we can get control of health care is to get control of the prices and the information.

You can sign up for the Facebook event at:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1

The People's Health Care Reform Plan was written (01/18/2010) by:

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist
Facebook.com/Hennenfent
http://BradMD.com
E-mail: Brad@BradMD.com
Facebook Group: http://groups.to/bradmd/
http://BradMD.blogspot.com

(c) Copyright 2010 by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., all rights reserved. However you may freely redistribute this intact essay or portions of it as long as the original meaning is not changed and attribution is given.

The latest version of “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” can always be found at www.BradMD.com.

The initial version of the plan was originally published in the online newspaper, Gold Coast Chronicle, on January 19th, 2010. Available at:
http://www.goldcoastchronicle.com/feature/the-peoples-health-care-reform-plan/

You may want to join the Facebook Page:

Patients Doctors & Nurses Taking Over Health Care Reform
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/pages/Patients-Doctors-Nurses-Taking-Over-Health-Care-Reform/110018333108?ref=ts

Thank you.
Bradley Hennenfent, M.D.
Physician & Economist
E-mail: Brad@BradMD.com

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The People's Health Care Reform Plan by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D.


THE PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN
by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist

President Obama said, “...if anyone from either party has a better approach ... let me know.” I have such a plan and it is a non-partisan solution. “The People's Health Care Reform Plan” will make PATIENTS MORE POWERFUL, and the Government, corporations, and insurance companies (crony capitalism) less powerful. This plan will reduce costs, increase access, and save the most lives. It's also simple.

Let's be part of the Health Care Reform solution! Let's distribute a plan that empowers patients, doctors, and nurses, which everyone can understand.

SHORT VERSION OF THE PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN
1. Tell us patients what everything costs - no more secrets.
2. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals social networking so they can share inside medical information, which only they know, with patients.
3. Tort Reform.
4. Distribute "The People's Health Care Reform Plan" to everyone in America and around the world via Facebook, E-mail, etc.

PATIENTS GETTING CONTROL OF PRICES
Congress must facilitate that patients be told the price of everything in health care in advance, except in true emergencies, or they do not have to pay.

Patients cannot spend money from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance Companies, Unions, or their own money, wisely if they do not know what anything costs. It's these hidden prices that cause monopolies that drive up our prices and result in unsavory backroom political deals. It's not knowing the price of anything that enables Medicare, Medicaid, and corporate fraud to occur so easily. How can we know if we are overcharged if we never know what anything costs in the first place? How can we revolutionize health care if we don't know what costs too much? We need to know the prices.

PATIENTS NEED MORE INFORMATION FROM DOCTORS, NURSES, AND ALL ALLIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Congress must facilitate an open-to-the-public Doctor's, Nurse's, and allied health care professional's, social Networking Website with features like Facebook, Sermo.com, del.icio.us, and Digg, combined with the National Library of Medicine.

Allow all 800,000 doctors in the USA, all 2.9 million nurses, all pharmacists, all dentists, and all allied health care professionals to rank all the medical studies on Medline (and elsewhere) for patients. Allow all doctors and nurses to rank all the treatment options for all diagnoses as well. We need to have Amazon.com-like product reviews for all treatments. This will drastically improve “The Science of Medicine.”

Let doctors, nurses, and health professionals be anonymous, or use their own names if they wish, and be free from lawsuits for anything they write. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals, Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for this. A government panel of physicians who are public health statisticians can evaluate medical care as well, as long as that panel is not more powerful than practicing physicians and nurses on the front lines.

Also allow doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals to give free medical education over the Internet to patients. Not treatment, but education. Empower patients with knowledge. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all health care professionals love talking medicine and helping people, and will be willing to do this for free, if in turn they are free from liability. Give them CME credits for this as well. Finally, patients, who sometimes know more than doctors and nurses, should be brought into the rating system. Let's all help each other.

In addition, allow all the doctors and pharmacists to rank off-label uses for medications. This will help patients get medications they need, even when they are not approved for that specific use by the Food and Drug Administration. If a new and effective antibiotic is created, and it is approved for pneumonia, but can save someone's foot from being amputated according to the medical literature, doctors, and pharmacists, it should be allowed immediately.

The social networking of health care professionals will greatly improve "The Science of Medicine," and will demonstrate what studies need to be done, as we see how one professional group is critical of the science behind another group's practices. Make sure the results are public and are separated into specialties so the public can see what various types of doctors and health care professionals believe.

This networking will prevent a central government panel, or insurance company panels, from being in charge of health care decisions, as we must give the most credence to practicing health care professionals and patients. This will help put patients, doctors, nurses, and health care professionals back in charge of medical decisions. This is the kind of public information that will prevent unnecessary hysterectomies (remember that scandal?) and other medical scams by informing patients about what is really going on in medicine.

This social networking site should also help direct federal research spending to solve controversies in medical care. All health care professionals should be able to suggest studies that need to be done to improve patient care. Doctors, nurses, and all health professionals should prioritize the need for studies at the National Institutes of Health and by private industry. Health care providers need help right now, and there is little correlation between the studies that doctors and nurses need done immediately and what the NIH spends our research money on.

TORT REFORM
"No health care reform without tort reform" should be the litmus test for any health care reform bill before congress. It's been estimated that tort reform could save over 200 billion dollars per year by ridding the system of expensive defensive medicine practices and of frivolous lawsuits. When significant tort reform is not present, you know that third parties are actually driving health care reform, not the people.


ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY
This health care reform plan is based on the truism that: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," which is attributed to Lord Acton in 1887. If the Government becomes too powerful it will become corrupt and we will have Obama's "Death Panels" as predicted by Sarah Palin. If the corporations and insurance companies become too powerful with crony capitalism, they will become corrupt and we will have denials, hassles, and barriers to care - "Death Panels" again. The answer is to make patients and health care providers more powerful.

Eight hundred thousand doctors, 2.9 million nurses, 217,000 pharmacists, 150,000 dentists, 100,000 respiratory therapists, 90,000 physical therapists, 300,000 laboratory technicians, all the other health care professionals, and 300 million patients can share information using today's technology and keep the health care power in the people's hands, instead of in the hands of third parties, which always become corrupt over time when given too much power.

I have tried very hard to come up with a simple health care reform plan that would be bipartisan and would save the most lives at the lowest possible cost. This plan can be adopted right now. This plan puts the power back in the hands of the patients, doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals and TAKES IT AWAY from the Government, corporations, and insurance companies. Health care reform is life and death; it's not politics. We need to know what everything costs in health care just like we do every other good or service, and we need to know what doctors, nurses, and all health professionals know, or we can never make good decisions. This is the health care reform revolution that will save the most lives.

YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW
1. Send this plan to everyone who would be willing to receive it.

2. Be creative! Have a "People's Health Care Reform Plan Distribution Party" on Facebook. Create an event page on your Facebook Profile page to get your friends to send “The People's Health Care Reform Plan” to all their receptive friends and politicians within a short period of time. If everyone on Facebook creates this event it will go viral. Click on your Facebook Profile. You will see a bunch of tabs: Wall, Info, Photos, Links, and a ">>" button. If the Events Tab is not there, click on the >> button and drag the Events icon up into your profile tabs. Title the Event as: "People's Health Care Reform Plan - Distribution Party." For location put: On Your Computer RIGHT NOW. Set it to start immediately and run for whatever time frame is best. Set privacy to: Open, so the whole world can see it, if that is okay with you. Upload a photo from your computer if you want, or donate a logo to the cause if you want. Select an event type such as: Causes or Education. Select a subtype such as: Protest. Copy and paste the entire People's Health Care Reform Plan into the white box. Then, it is time to invite everyone you know to the event using Facebook's invite function.

3. Also, post “The People's Health Care Reform Plan” in your Facebook Notes and share it with the world that way as well. Send a link to it to all your friends who would want it, and do whatever else you can think of to publicize empowering patients.

4. Go to www.Congress.org, www.Senate.gov and www.House.gov, or other websites, find the contact form, and send this plan to your senators and your representative. "We The People," will give them the alternative health care reform plan they need.

5. E-mail “The People's Health Care Reform Plan” to everyone you know who would be interested. Create email chain letters without spamming anyone.

6. Send the Plan to your local newspaper as part of a letter-to-the-editor.

7. Send the plan to any local politicians that you know.

8. Send “The People's Health Care Reform Plan” to every advocacy group you know about that wants patients and health care professionals to be more powerful.

9. Send this simple plan to every reporter, blogger, and media contact you have.

10. Please redistribute this essay freely. We want to improve health care for everyone and save the most lives possible.

11. I believe in freedom. This is all about freedom. And although it is a great cause, please be careful about spamming, or violating any terms of service anywhere.


RATIONALE FOR THE PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN
You want to be in charge of your health care and you don't want third parties coming between you and your doctor. You want to retain control over your own body. Let them know it's your life, and you want to save it from third party rationing. This plan empowers patients, it tells the people what everything costs, and it shares with them everything that medical professionals know. The only way we can get control of health care is to get control of the prices and the information. If we show overwhelming support for this plan maybe congress will finally listen.

"The People's Health Care Reform Plan" was written (01/18/2010) by:
Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist
http://Facebook.com/Hennenfent
http://BradMD.com
E-mail: Brad@BradMD.com
http://groups.to/bradmd/
http://BradMD.blogspot.com

(c) Copyright 2010 by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., all rights reserved. However you may freely redistribute this intact essay or portions of it as long as the original meaning is not changed and attribution is given.

Originally published in the online newspaper, Gold Coast Chronicle, on January 19th, 2010. Available at:
http://www.goldcoastchronicle.com/feature/the-peoples-health-care-reform-plan/

You may want to join the Facebook Group:
Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist
http://groups.to/bradmd/

You may want to join the Facebook Page:
Patients Doctors & Nurses Taking Over Health Care Reform
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/pages/Patients-Doctors-Nurses-Taking-Over-Health-Care-Reform/110018333108?ref=ts

This version of "The People's Health Care Reform Plan" was published on Blogger at: http://BradMD.com on 01/28/2009.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Credentials for Health Care Reform by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D.

My Credentials for Health Care Reform by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist.

My credentials for Health Care Reform are that I am a physician (M.D.), an economist (B.A.), and a patient who has experienced both sides of the "white coat."

I'm non-partisan. I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I have "no party affiliation."

Health care economics started for me when I was offered the opportunity to graduate with honors in economics at Northwestern University by taking an “honors class” on taxation. I decided to forgo graduating with honors to do independent study on Medical Economics, which was a life changing experience, deepened my interest in health care reform, and fueled my life-long passion for Health Care Economics. I subsequently graduated from Northwestern University and went on to medical school at the University of Illinois.

I have worked in Government run hospitals including Cook County Hospital (Chicago), West Side VA Hospital (Chicago), LA County Hospital (Los Angeles) and Detroit Receiving Hospital. I have also worked in about twenty private hospitals during medical school, residency, and as a practicing board-certified Emergency Physician. I also served as the director of several emergency departments and urgent care centers.

I have had “too much” experience with Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Administration and other government programs over the years.

I have seen health insurance companies go bankrupt, seen the struggle by people to get re-insured, and have seen patients denied necessary medications by the Government and by the private insurance industry.

When working, my main job was the clinical practice of emergency medicine, quality assurance, and then the administrative management of emergency medicine. After studying the economics of emergency departments and urgent care centers, I also served as a consultant on such issues. My last consulting job was for an Indiana hospital about the economics of starting urgent care centers in various geographic locations around the hospital.

When traveling the world, I have made it a point to study the various health care systems. I have toured medical facilities in Australia, Canada, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Ukraine, and Singapore. In fact, I visited the Ministry of Health in Singapore to go over Medical Savings Accounts, which they instituted for the entire country.

Health care reform can be done right. Patients, doctors, nurses and allied health care professionals can be in charge. Patients can have the power and knowledge to stay healthy and get the best medical care in the world.

I wrote "The People's Health Care Reform Plan," which empowers patients instead of third parties.

My conclusion is that a well-designed health-care system is more important to the health of a nation’s people than any single physician’s skill and knowledge will ever be.

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist
www.Facebook.com/Hennenfent
www.BradMD.com
www.BradMD.blogspot.com
www.Twitter.com/BradMD

Related References

1. Hennenfent BR: The economics of urological care in the 21st century. [letter] Urology. 1996 Feb;47(2):285-6.

2. Hennenfent BR and Rosenberg C. "Medical Economics. A Thesis on the Maldistribution of Physicians." Senior Paper at Northwestern University. 1980.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Physician in Hitler's Germany by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

The following is by by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

A Physician in Hitler's Germany by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

Growing up in Hitler's Germany and experiencing first hand the total collapse and bankruptcy of an ideology and its evil machinery I embraced at an early age the principles of Freedom and Inalienable Rights.

I studied medicine and found that German physicians practicing under the banner of high flying slogans and mystic incantations to the contrary were nothing but bureaucrats serving another dictatorial master, the oldest system of state-run Socialized Medicine in the world.

I escaped this system as a young physician and immigrated to the United States. Here I found a country with a lesser degree of Government infringement on the Rights of Man and his Pursuit of Happiness in his chosen path through life.

Knowing personally how precious these Rights are as expressed in the Declaration of Independence I have watched with great concern throughout my medical career the relentless attacks by the Government and its Representatives on Physicians as if the Declaration of Independence does not apply to them.

If the present President and Congress get their way, the last remnants of Freedom and Inalienable Rights will be extinguished in America with the establishment of a Nazi-like tyranny and dictatorship. - The enslavement of a small minority, the physician, will have tragic consequences not just for physicians, but for all who need their knowledge and dedication to the principles of excellence at some critical point in their lives. -

Although I have always held true to the ideas of Freedom and the Rights of Man by implication, the moral foundation of these Rights as discovered facts and as the requirement for life on earth became clear to me only through my discovery of Ayn Rand's writings. Had Ayn Rand lived among the Founding Fathers, America today would be immune to the takeover by the forces of evil that are undermining the Foundations of this country.

by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

Do Doctors Have Rights or Are They Slaves

The following is by by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

Do Doctors Have Rights by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

Is it possible that the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights excluded doctors from all other Americans' inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Is it true that the Declaration of Independence does not apply to doctors?

The instigators of the present feeding frenzy in Washington want to make us believe that by the mere fact of having chosen to become doctors we have somehow given up these rights for the sake of becoming the slaves of everybody who demands our services. As a radiologist in hospital based practice I am no expert in the machinations of insurance schemes and Government meddling. This Byzantine maze of conflicting regulations and routine State and Federal legislative intervention into the care of our patients is a matter of record. The result is an inherently unstable, enormously expensive system of Government controls and small remaining islands of freedom. What is currently being discussed in Congress amounts to the complete eradication of what remains of this remnant of freedom of the medical profession.

We physicians are merely a tiny disarmed minority hopelessly adrift among those who claim the moral high ground of knowing better. And yet inalienable rights pertain to all Americans without exception.

Medicine is an enormously complex integration of facts and concepts requiring years of highly specialized study to be applied by the doctor to the individual patient. No bureaucrat or rulebook can ever come close to what is going on in the mind of the physician. If we let Obama get away with his scheme, the result will be the complete empowerment of the bureaucrats and the enslavement of the physician.

The Founding Fathers of the United States, for the first time in the history of the world, subordinated Government to Moral Law. Man's inalienable individual rights were made explicit. The doctrine of Right over Might was spelled out and the Government was formed for the sole purpose of protecting these rights. The individual according to the Founding Documents is the sovereign, not the Government. The smallest minority of all minorities is the individual. The Founding Fathers were aware of the threat to individual rights by the Government as the history of man with rare exceptions has been for thousands of years. That is why the Bill of Rights was made part of the Constitution.

What is happening here before our very eyes? Why are we seeing the impending total enslavement of a once noble profession? - This is the reversal to Might over Right contrary to all moral standards! Health care reform as envisioned by the Government is not an idea that can claim to be moral on principle that somehow is difficult to implement; in fact, it is vicious at the base and will therefore be a miserable failure when practiced.

How did we get into this? The fact is that a lot of what is proposed is already in place at a very high price, not just in Dollars and Cents; but at the expense of the freedom of a tiny minority, the doctor. This system needs reform, not by the complete implementation of slavery but by referring back to our Nation's Founding Documents guaranteeing individual rights. The Founding Fathers included all men, not just some who happen to be the majority!

by Klas D. Romberg, M.D.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The People's Health Care Reform Plan


The People's Health Care Reform Plan

Our politicians are letting third parties take over our health care. LET’S STOP THEM NOW. The People’s Health Care Reform Plan will make PATIENTS MORE POWERFUL, and the Government, corporations, and insurance companies (crony capitalism) less powerful. This plan will reduce costs, increase access, and save the most lives. It’s also simple.

Short Version of the People’s Health Care Reform Plan

1. Tell us what everything costs - no more secrets.
2. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals social networking so they can tell us everything they know.
3. Tort Reform.
4. Distribute "The People’s Health Care Reform Plan" to everyone in America and around the World, including our politicians, via Facebook, E-mail, etc.

Patients Getting Control of Prices

Congress must facilitate that patients be told the price of everything in health care in advance, except in true emergencies, or they do not have to pay.

Patients cannot spend money from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance Companies, or their own money, wisely if they do not know what anything costs. It’s these hidden prices that cause monopolies that drive up our prices and result in unsavory backroom political deals. It’s not knowing the price of anything that enables Medicare, Medicaid, and corporate fraud to occur so easily. How can we know if we are overcharged if we never know what anything costs in the first place? How can we revolutionize health care if we don’t know what costs too much? We need to know the prices.

Patients Need More Information from Doctors, Nurses, and All Allied Health Care Professionals
Congress must facilitate an open-to-the-public Doctor's, Nurse’s, and allied health care professional’s, social Networking Website with features like Facebook, Sermo.com, del.icio.us, and Digg, combined with the National Library of Medicine.

Allow all 800,000 doctors in the USA, all 2.9 million nurses, all pharmacists, dentists, and health professionals to rank all the medical articles on Medline (and elsewhere) for patients. Allow all doctors and nurses to rank all the treatment options for all diagnoses as well. We need to have Amazon.com-like product reviews for all treatments. This will drastically improve "The Science of Medicine."

Let doctors, nurses, and health professionals be anonymous, or use their own names if they wish, and be free from lawsuits for anything they write. Give doctors, nurses, and health professionals, Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for this. A government panel of physicians who are public health statisticians can evaluate medical care as well, as long as that panel is not more powerful than practicing physicians and nurses on the front lines.

Also allow doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals to give free medical education over the Internet to patients. Not treatment, but education. Empower patients with knowledge. Doctors and nurses love talking medicine and helping people, and will be willing to do this for free, if in turn they are free from liability. Give them CME credits for this as well. As soon as possible, bring in dentists, pharmacists, and all allied health care professionals. Finally, patients, who sometimes know more than doctors, should be brought into the rating system. Let’s all help each other.

In addition, allow all the doctors and pharmacists to rank off-label uses for medications. This will help patients get medications they need, even when they are not approved for that specific use by the Food and Drug Administration. If a new and effective antibiotic is created, and it is approved for pneumonia, but can save someone’s foot from being amputated according to the medical literature, doctors, and pharmacists, it should be allowed immediately.

The social networking of health care professionals will greatly improve "The Science of Medicine," and will demonstrate what studies need to be done, as we see how one professional group is critical of the science behind another group’s practices. Make sure the results are public and are separated into specialties so the public can see what various types of doctors and health care professionals believe.

This networking will prevent a central government panel, or insurance company panels, from being in charge of health care decisions, as we must give the most credence to practicing health care professionals and patients. This will help put patients, doctors, nurses, and health care professionals back in charge of medical decisions. This is the kind of public information that will prevent unnecessary hysterectomies (remember that scandal?) and other medical scams by informing patients about what is really going on in medicine.

This social networking site should also help direct federal research spending to solve controversies in medical care. All health care professionals should be able to suggest studies that need to be done to improve patient care. Doctors, nurses, and all health professionals should rate the need for studies at the National Institutes of Health and by private industry. Health care providers need help right now, and there is little correlation between the studies that doctors and nurses need and what the NIH spends our research money on.

Tort Reform

"No health care reform without tort reform" should be the litmus test for any health care reform bill before congress. It’s been estimated that tort reform could save over 200 billion dollars per year by ridding the system of expensive defensive medicine practices and of frivolous lawsuits. When significant tort reform is not present, you know that third parties are actually driving health care reform, not the people.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

This health care reform plan is based on the truism that: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," which is attributed to Lord Acton in 1887. If the Government becomes too powerful it will become corrupt and we will have Obama’s "Death Panels" as predicted by Sarah Palin. If the corporations and insurance companies become too powerful, they will become corrupt and we will have denials, hassles, and barriers to care - "Death Panels" again. The answer is to make patients and health care providers more powerful.

Eight hundred thousand doctors, 2.9 million nurses, 217,000 pharmacists, 150,000 dentists, 100,000 respiratory therapists, 90,000 physical therapists, 300,000 laboratory technicians, all the other health care professionals, and 300 million patients can share information using today’s technology and keep the health care power in the people’s hands, instead of in the hands of third parties, which always become corrupt over time when given too much power.
I have tried very hard to come up with a simple health care reform plan that would be bipartisan and would save the most lives at the lowest possible cost. This plan can be adopted right now. This plan puts the power back in the hands of the patients, doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals and TAKES IT AWAY from the Government, corporations, and insurance companies. Health care reform is life and death; it’s not politics. We need to know what everything costs in health care just like we do every other good or service, and we need to know what doctors, nurses, and all health professionals know, or we can never make good decisions. This is the health care reform revolution that will save the most lives.

You Need To Take Action Now

1. Send this plan to everyone who would be willing to receive it.
2. Be creative! Have a "People’s Health Care Reform Plan Distribution Party" on Facebook. Create an event page on your Facebook Profile page to get your friends to send the People’s Health Care Reform Plan to all their receptive friends and politicians within a short period of time. If everyone on Facebook creates this event it will go viral. Click on your Facebook Profile. You will see a bunch of tabs: Wall, Info, Photos, Links, and a ">>" button. If the Events Tab is not there, click on the >> button and drag the Events icon up into your profile tabs. Title the Event as: "People's Health Care Reform Plan - Distribution Party." For location put: On Your Computer RIGHT NOW. Set it to start immediately and run for whatever time frame is best. Set privacy to: Open, so the whole world can see it, if that is okay with you. Upload a photo from your computer if you want, or donate a logo to the cause if you want. Select an event type such as: Causes or Education. Select a subtype such as: Protest. Copy and paste the entire People’s Health Care Reform Plan into the white box. Then, it is time to invite everyone you know to the event using Facebook’s invite function.
3. Also, post the People’s Health Care Reform Plan in your Facebook Notes and share it with the world that way as well. Message a link to it to all your friends who would want it, and do whatever else you can think of to publicize empowering patients.
4. Go to www.Senate.gov and www.House.gov, or other websites, find the contact form, and send this plan to your senators and your representative. “We The People,” will give them the alternative plan they need.
5. E-mail The People’s Health Care Reform Plan to everyone you know who would be interested. Create email chain letters without spamming anyone.
6. Send the Plan to your local newspaper as part of a letter-to-the-editor.
7. Send the plan to any local politicians that you know.
8. Send The People’s Health Care Reform Plan to every advocacy group you know about that wants patients and health care professionals to be more powerful.
9. Send this simple plan to every reporter, blogger, and media contact you have.
10. Please redistribute this essay freely. We want to improve health care for everyone and save the most lives possible.
11. I believe in freedom. This is all about freedom. And although it is a great cause, please be careful about spamming, or violating any terms of service anywhere.

Rational for The People’s Health Care Reform Plan

You want to be in charge of your health care and you don’t want third parties coming between you and your doctor. You want to retain control over your own body. Let them know it’s your life, and you want to save it from third party rationing. This plan empowers patients, it tells the people what everything costs, and it shares with them everything that medical professionals know. The only way we can get control of health care is to get control of the prices and the information. If we show overwhelming support for this plan maybe congress will finally listen.

The People’s Health Care Reform Plan was written (01/18/2010) by:
Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist
Facebook.com/Hennenfent
BradMD.com
E-mail: Brad@BradMD.com
http://groups.to/bradmd/
BradMD.blogspot.com

© Copyright 2010 by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., all rights reserved. However you may freely redistribute this intact essay or portions of it as long as the original meaning is not changed and attribution is given.

Originally published in the online newspaper: Gold Coast Chronicle, on January 19th, 2010. Available at:
http://www.goldcoastchronicle.com/feature/the-peoples-health-care-reform-plan/


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist, Credentials for Health Care Reform

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist, Credentials for Health Care Reform

My credentials for Health Care Reform are that I am a physician (M.D.), an economist (B.A.), and a patient who has experienced both sides of the "white coat."

I'm non-partisan. I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I have "no party affiliation."

Health care economics started for me when I was offered the opportunity to graduate with honors in economics at Northwestern University by taking an “honors class” on taxation. I decided to forgo graduating with honors to do independent study on Medical Economics, which was a life changing experience, deepened my interest in health care reform, and fueled my life-long passion for Health Care Economics. I subsequently graduated from Northwestern University and went on to medical school at the University of Illinois.

I have worked in Government run hospitals including Cook County Hospital (Chicago), West Side VA Hospital (Chicago), LA County Hospital (Los Angeles) and Detroit Receiving Hospital. I have also worked in about twenty private hospitals during medical school, residency, and as a practicing board-certified Emergency Physician.

I have had “too much” experience with Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Administration and other programs over the years.

I have seen health insurance companies go bankrupt, seen the struggle by people to get re-insured, and have seen patients denied necessary medications by the Government and by the private insurance industry.

When working, my main job was the clinical practice of emergency medicine, quality assurance, and then the administrative management of emergency medicine. After studying the economics of emergency departments and urgent care centers, I also served as a consultant on such issues. In fact, did a consulting job for an Indiana hospital about the economics of starting urgent care centers in various geographic locations near the hospital.

When traveling the world, I have made it a point to study the various health care systems. I have toured medical facilities in Canada, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Ukraine, and Singapore. In fact, I visited the Ministry of Health in Singapore to go over Medical Savings Accounts, which they instituted for the entire country.

Health care reform can be done right. Patients, doctors, nurses and allied health care professionals can be in charge. Patients can have the power and knowledge to stay healthy and get the best medical care in the world.

My conclusion is that a well-designed health-care system is more important to the health of a nation’s people than any single physician’s skill and knowledge will ever be.

I am currently writing "The People's Health Care Reform Plan."

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist
www.Facebook.com/Hennenfent
www.BradMD.com
www.BradMD.blogspot.com
Twitter.com/BradMD

Related References

1. Hennenfent BR: The economics of urological care in the 21st century. [letter] Urology. 1996 Feb;47(2):285-6.

2. Hennenfent BR and Rosenberg C. Medical Economics. A Thesis on the Maldistribution of Physicians. Senior Paper at Northwestern University. 1980. [No longer available.]

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Biography and Prostate-Related CV

Recently, I was asked to provide a biography and curriculum vitae related to prostate diseases by the leader of a prostate cancer support group. I provided the information below. The group is hoping that I will write a prostate cancer book for them and it does sound like a very interesting and worthwhile project.

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Biography and Prostate-Related CV

Bradley Hennenfent, MD, is a graduate of Northwestern University, the University of Illinois Medical School, and the University of Illinois Affiliated Hospitals Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

He first became interested in the prostate when his Uncle Steve, who inspired him to attend medical school, died from his prostate cancer treatment in 1984.

As Dr. Hennenfent researched the prostate, he became increasingly dismayed by the drastic operations that men were being subjected to without an understanding of their consequences. He discovered that the methods of diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer were controversial, and that the published research was often substantially flawed.

Dr. Hennenfent became a men's health activist. He began doing original research. He founded the Internet newsgroups sci.med.prostate.cancer, sci.med.prostate.bph, and sci.med.prostate.prostatitis. He was also one of the original founders of the Internet “Prostate Problems Mailing List.” Together with his father, Mike Hennenfent, he co-founded the nonprofit Prostatitis Foundation (www.prostatitis.org), where almost a million men per year visit for help.

In 2005, Dr. Hennenfent’s book, “Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery,” was published and ended its first year of publication as a bestseller for Biblio Distribution.

Dr. Hennenfent has been published in the British Journal of Urology, the Digital Urology Journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Consultant, EMERGINDEX, Techniques in Urology, and the Journal of Pelvic Surgery. He also authored a monograph entitled “The Prostatitis Syndromes,” donating all proceeds to the non-profit Prostatitis Foundation.

Besides being a physician, Dr. Hennenfent is also an economist who believes that a well-designed health-care system is more important to the health of a nation's people than any single physician's skill and knowledge. He has traveled the world doing medical research and studying health-care delivery systems.

Dr. Hennenfent has delivered more than forty-five lectures at various hospitals. He owns a patent that enables less painful digital rectal examinations and prostatic massage.

He has spent time educating congress on the need for prostatitis research and has helped secure millions of dollars in federal funding for prostatitis research.

Dr. Hennenfent facilitates the local Prostate Cancer Support Group in his area.

Among the author's heroes are Jessica Mitford, whose book, The American Way of Death, exposed the funeral industry's financial exploitation of grieving relatives; Randy Shiltz, whose book, And the Band Played On, exposed the system's lack of response to the AIDS epidemic; and Hillary Johnson, author of Osler's Web: Inside the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic, which exposed another shameful response of the medical system to a major health issue.

Dr. Hennenfent is a fan of Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Manipulation of Public Opinion in America, the book by Michael Wheeler that first brought popular attention to how and why statistics are often misused; the hilarious How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff; and The Honest Truth about Lying with Statistics by Cooper B. Holmes.

Dr. Hennenfent writes, does medical research, and contributes to the non-profit Prostatitis Foundation. Someday, he hopes to open a clinical research center for prostate diseases and to organize a biomedical company to do research.

Studies:

Hennenfent BR and Feliciano Jr. AE: Changes in white blood cell counts in men undergoing thrice-weekly prostatic massage, microbial diagnosis and antimicrobial therapy for genitourinary complaints. British Journal of Urology. 1998 March;81(3):370-6.


Hennenfent BR and Feliciano Jr. AE: Clinical Remission of Chronic Refractory Pelvic Symptoms in Three Men. Digital Journal of Urology. 1998 July. http://www.duj.com/Article/Hennenfent1/Hennenfent.html


Hennenfent BR and Feliciano AN: Release of Obstructive Prostatic Disease and Improvement of Erectile Dysfunction by Repetitive Prostatic Massage and Antimicrobial Therapy. Digital Journal of Urology. 1998 October. http://www.duj.com/Article/Hennenfent2/Hennenfent2.html


Nickel JC, Downey J, Feliciano Jr. AE, and Hennenfent BR: Repetitive prostatic massage therapy for chronic refractory prostatitis: the Philippine experience. Techniques in Urology. 1999 September;5(3):146-51.


Hennenfent BR, Garcia BS, and Feliciano Jr. AE: Symptom Improvement and Transrectal Ultrasound-Documented Reduction of Prostate Size after Repetitive Prostatic Massage and Antimicrobial Therapy. Journal of Pelvic Surgery. 2002 September;8(5): 265-269.


Hennenfent BR, Lazarte AR, and Feliciano Jr. AE: Repetitive Prostatic Massage and Drug Therapy as an Alternative to Transurethral Resection of the Prostate. Medscape General Medicine. 2006 October;8(4):19.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/1868377/


Hennenfent BR, de Vera E, and Feliciano Jr. AE: Symptom Remission And Improved WBC And RBC Counts In Men With Chronic Genitourinary Complaints Treated With Repetitive Prostatic Massage, Antimicrobials, and Medical Therapy. The Internet Journal of Urology. 2006;4(1).


Hennenfent BR and Hickman CJ: Patient-perceived Efficacy of Prostatic Massage as a Treatment Modality for Prostatitis, Prostatodynia, and BPH: An Exploratory Study. Infections in Urology, 2000;13(6):148-164.


Hennenfent BR: Prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia: emerging infectious diseases? Emerging Infectious Diseases. 1997 Jan-Mar;3(1):77-8.

Letters by Bradley Hennenfent, MD

Hennenfent, BR: Genitourinary consequences of radical prostatectomy. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2000 Jun 14;283(22):2932-3.


Hennenfent BR: Pathological staging and biochemical recurrence after neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy in combination with radical prostatectomy in clinically localized prostate cancer. British Journal of Urology. 1998 Jul;82(1):166.


Hennenfent BR: The economics of urological care in the 21st century. Urology. 1996 Feb;47(2):285-6.

Books by Dr. Hennenfent

Hennenfent, Bradley. The Prostatitis Syndromes: Approaches to Treating Bacterial Prostatitis, Non-Bacterial Prostatitis, Prostatodynia, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Sexual Dysfunction, Bashful Bladder Syndrome, Waking At Night to Urinate, And Possibly Preventing Prostate Cancer (First Edition). Normal, Illinois: The Prostatitis Foundation. May 4, 1996.


Hennenfent, Bradley. Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery. Roseville, Illinois: Roseville Books. January 15, 2005.


Hennenfent, Bradley. The Prostatitis Syndromes 2nd Edition. This book is nearing completion in 2010.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]