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Healthcare Promises [aka ACA]

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On the Affordable Care Act

By Rick Kahler MS CFP® ChFC CCIM www.KahlerFinancial.com

Rick Kahler CFP“I’m not sure what’s wrong or what kind of surgery you need, but we have to operate right now.”

If you heard this from your doctor, you’d jump off the examination table and run for the door. Yet that’s essentially the approach the President and Congress used three years ago to pass a bill, optimistically called the Affordable Care Act, which was the largest transformation of the U.S. health care system in our lifetime.

The Debate

During the frenzied debate our elected leaders made many promises as to the amazing benefits this legislation would bestow on Americans. After listening to speeches from President Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and President of the Senate Harry Reid, I recounted those promises in this blog on March 21, 2010.

The Promises

Let’s revisit those promises.

  1. All Americans will now receive affordable, or free, quality health care.
  2. No one will ever be denied coverage.
  3. No one will ever go into bankruptcy because of the costs of health care.
  4. There will be increased access to health care for 95% of Americans.
  5. There will be no decline in the quality of health care.
  6. Health care costs will go down.
  7. Health insurance coverage will be affordable to the middle class.
  8. There will be no decline in Medicare benefits.
  9. Insurance premiums will decline for the middle class.
  10. It will unleash unprecedented entrepreneurial opportunity for the economy.
  11. The deficit will decline, saving taxpayers $1.3 trillion.
  12. It will cut $500 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse out of Medicare.
  13. No government funds will be used to fund abortion.

Are these promises coming true? Many of them are pending full implementation of the act in 2014. Others have fallen flat or encountered the law of unintended consequences.

Obama Care

Business Owner’s

I’ve heard recently from several owners of small businesses about their increased health insurance costs. In addition to premium increases of nearly 50% over the past two years, they are seeing increased administrative costs from what one person called the “insanity and complexity” of the new regulations.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees aren’t required to provide health insurance. The incentive for owners of businesses close to that threshold is to keep employee numbers below 50, which means curtailing growth or even laying people off.

Those without employer-provided insurance are supposed to be able to shop for coverage in new health care exchanges, beginning this October. However, half the states have chosen to rely on the federal government instead of setting up their own exchanges.

This has brought criticism even from former supporters like Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana, who helped write the health care bill. He is concerned that the exchanges will not open on time and consumers won’t have the information they need to use them. He told the Huffington Post that Obamacare is headed for a “train wreck.”

ACA Cost Estimates

The proponents said the ACA would cost $938 billion over 10 years. In addition to the promised Medicare savings, this was to be covered by a total tax increase of $562 billion over 10 years. This included a Medicare tax of 3.8% on dividends, rents, interest, and investment income on individuals and small business earning over $250,000.

The Office of Management and Budget, however, places the cost at $1.8 trillion over 10 years, resulting in a shortfall of around $900 billion.

Assessment

Whether Obamacare becomes the wild success the proponents guaranteed is yet to be seen. However, what we’ve seen so far isn’t promising. We as consumers would be well advised to pay close attention and ask tough questions before we accept this drastic surgery.

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Conclusion

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The status of African American insurance coverage

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A Struggling PP-ACA Sector    

By FinancesOnline.com

The Affordable Care Act has developed into one of the critical pivots on which the success of President Obama’s second term is expected to turn. Yet, one sector that’s already struggling is African Americans.

In 2012, 17.4 percent of non-Hispanic African Americans were uninsured. More critically, only 55.9 percent of African Americans are expected to continue to live in good health, while a more or less healthy life is expected in 69.4 percen of white Americans.

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infographic-health-insurance-of-african-americans

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Assessment

These and other alarming facts were revealed by the National Health Interview Survey of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and corroborated by data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Both these agencies were data sources for this infographic, which takes a closer look at the health insurance situation of African Americans.

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The Supreme Court Permits Healthcare Taxation “Penalty”

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On the PP-ACA

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

In 2010 Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). A key part of the Act is an individual mandate for health insurance. All individuals must have health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax-penalty.

The Tax Penalty

The tax-penalty starts at the greater of $285 per family or 1% of income in 2014. However, by 2016, the tax-penalty increases to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income, whichever is larger.

Commerce Clause

Many states sued the federal government and asked that the individual mandate be held invalid. While the various courts had different positions on the issue, some federal judges were concerned that requiring a person to purchase insurance could be a violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

CJSC John Roberts

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts wrote the opinion for a 5-4 majority in the PPACA case. First, he determined whether or not the Court was prohibited from ruling on the case under the Anti-Injunction Act. He decided that the required payment would be a “penalty” for purposes of that Act and not a tax. Therefore, the Supreme Court could issue a ruling.

Second, Chief Justice Roberts reviewed the powers of government under the Commerce Clause. He agreed with the other four justices opposing PPACA that Congress had the right to regulate commerce, but does not have the right to regulate non-activity. Therefore, requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is not a permitted power under that provision. PPACA could not be approved under the Commerce Clause.

However, Roberts observed that it is permissible for the Court to consider the validity of PPACA under the power of the government to tax. He determined that the individual mandate to purchase insurance or pay a penalty-tax is permitted under that power. Roberts stated, “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.” He carefully approved the use of the power without discussing the appropriateness of PPACA provisions.

Roberts found several reasons for permitting the taxing power. The tax-penalty will be paid when filing IRS Form 1040. As is true with other tax provisions, lower-income individuals are excluded from this tax-penalty. The tax-penalty is part of the Internal Revenue Code and will be collected by the IRS.

Dissenters

The four dissenting Justices would have determined that PPACA fails to meet the requirements of the Commerce Clause and would have invalidated the entire bill.

Editor’s Note: The taxes to pay for PPACA include a new tax on medical devices that will increase costs to individuals and healthcare providers. There also is a new 3.8% Medicare tax. It applies in 2013 to income and capital gains. If the expected post-election tax bill extends the current 15% capital gain rate, then the capital gains tax rate will be 18.8% in 2013. However, if the 15% federal capital gains tax rate is increased to 20%, then the new rate in January of 2013 will be 23.8%. The increase in capital gains rate may influence charitable gifts of appreciated property in 2013.

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The Best, Most Revealing Reporting on Our Healthcare System

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Reading and Reviewing

By Blair Hickman and Cora Currier

ProPublica,  March 30, 2012, 1:44 pm

As we wait for the Supreme Court to issue its verdict on the health-care reform law  we rounded up some of the most revealing reporting on the issues.

They’re grouped roughly into articles on high costs and those on insurance.

Assesment

Link: http://www.propublica.org/article/top-muckreads-the-best-most-revealing-reporting-on-our-healthcare-system

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Dire Emails About New Medicare Surtax Have It Wrong

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Enter the Obama Care Fear Mongers

By Rick Kahler MS, CFP®, ChFC, CCIM

www.KahlerFinancial.com

Ronald Reagan was noted for saying, “Trust but verify.” And, that was before Al Gore invented the Internet. When it comes to believing forwarded emails with dire warnings, it’s a good idea to go even further and “Verify before trusting.”

My e-mail

Here are a few lines from an email I’ve received numerous times over the past two years: “Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That’s $3,800 on a $100,000 home . . . It’s in the health care bill and goes into effect in 2013. . . . Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax. If you sell a $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax.”

Before trusting this, I verified it with Paul Thorstenson, an accountant with Ketel Thorstenson in Rapid City, South Dakota. He said, “The information in this email is nearly entirely false.”

As with a lot of what you read on the Internet and hear from politicians, if you sift through the rubbish in this statement you will find a few grains of truth.

The True, and Not So True, Grains

First the truth

There is a 3.8% Medicare surtax contained in the health care act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2009. It does take effect in 2013.

Now the falsehoods

This is not a sales tax. Sales taxes apply to the gross sale price of an item. Thorstenson explained this is a surtax that only applies to a gain (not the sales price) on sale of an investment asset. This not only includes real estate, but other investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, precious metals, and collectables. The surtax will also apply to other passive and investment income, such as interest, dividends, and net rental income.

The act only applies the surtax to investment gains when the total adjusted gross income on a return exceeds $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for single taxpayers. If your adjusted gross income is less than those amounts, the surtax will not apply.

If you sell a primary residence, the surtax will not apply to the first $500,000 of gain for couples or the first $250,000 of gain for individuals (IRS Code Section 121). “The surtax will only apply if the gain is above $500,000,” explained Thorstenson, who added, “And who even has a gain in a home these days, let alone over $500,000?”

Section 121

What is important to note is there is no Section 121 exclusion on the gains of vacation homes, second homes, or rental property. So if your adjusted gross income tips over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples in the year you sell an investment like a mutual fund, rental property, second home, or small business, you will be hit with a 3.8% tax on the portion that exceeds the $200/$250 threshold.

Assessment

Now consider what happens if President Obama gets his way and raises the capital gains tax to 28% on taxpayers earning over the $200/$250 limits. You could easily see the capital gains rate more than double from 15% to 31.8%. On every $100,000 of gain, that means a tax increase from $15,000 to $31,800.

Thorstenson told me, “This law is an atrocity in my opinion. It is an attack on successful investors, and the tax revenues aren’t even earmarked for Medicare. The proceeds just go into the general fund.”

The truth about this surtax is bad enough without believing exaggerations about it. The next time this particular email shows up in your inbox, just delete it. Trust me; I verified.

Conclusion             

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What’s at Stake in the Supreme Court’s Health Care Decisions?

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On the PP-ACA

By Lena Groeger ProPublica

Yesterday, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on the health care reform law. So, in this essay, we made a map of the possible outcomes following the Court’s schedule over the next three days.

The Court will hear all three days of arguments, even if they eventually decide not to decide the bulk of the case, and is unlikely to issue a decision on the case until late June or early July.

Assessment

Link: http://www.propublica.org/special/mapping-the-supreme-courts-health-care-arguments

For more information on different states’ progress implementing health care reforms, see this comprehensive list.

Conclusion

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Happy Birthday PP-ACA

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What if You Threw a Party – and Nobody Came?

Assessment

Two year anniversary [2010-2012].

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On the Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act [A Video]

An Audio-Video Review One Year Later

By Staff Reporters

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Reforms under the Affordable Care Act have brought an end to some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry. These reforms have given Americans new rights and benefits, by helping more children get health coverage, ending lifetime and most annual limits on care, allowing young adults under 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance, and giving patients access to recommended preventive services without cost.

Link: http://www.healthcare.gov/?gclid=CO72rYyUkKgCFeM85QoddjY3yg

Other Benefits

Many other new benefits of the law have taken effect, including 50% discounts on brand-name drugs for seniors in the Medicare “donut hole,” and tax credits for small businesses that provide insurance to employees. More rights, protections and benefits for Americans are on the way through 2014.

Assessment

See major parts of the law on this interactive timeline, or read the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

And, find out how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [ACA]  provides better benefits and better health.

Video Link: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/introduction/index.html

Conclusion

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Recognizing the Differences between Healthcare and Other Industries

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Why Hospitals, Clinics and Medical Offices are Not Hotels, or Manufacturing Plants or Production Assembly Lines, etc.

By Dr. David E. Marcinko FACFAS, MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

The rising cost of health insurance remains a major concern for business; despite the Affordable Care Act [ACA] of March 2010. Local and national news publications have trumpeted that healthcare costs are not just rising but are growing in proportion to the cost of other goods and services.

Many of these publications have expressed the widely held view that because of the “inflation gap,” the cost of medical expenses needs curbing.  Proponents of this viewpoint attribute the growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) devoted to personal medical services (from 5% in 1965 to approximately 14% in 2005 and 17% in 2012) to increases in both total national medical expenditures as well as prices for specific services, and then conclude that there is a need to rein in the growing costs of healthcare services for the average American, even if it be through a legislative mandate.

Healthcare Is the Economy

According to colleague Robert James Cimasi MHA, AVA, CMP™ of Health Capital Consultants LLC in St. Louis, MO, healthcare cannot be separated from the economy at large. Although economists have cited the aging population as the reason for the increase in healthcare’s share of the GDP, other voices assert that financial greed among HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and medical providers like doctors and nurses is responsible.  In reality, the rise in healthcare expenditures is, at least in large part, the result of a much deeper economic force.

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As economist William J. Baumol of New York University explained in a November 1993 New Republic article: “the relative increase in healthcare costs compared with the rest of the economy is inevitable and an ineradicable part of a developed economy. The attempt [to control relative costs] may be as foolhardy as it is impossible”.

Baumol’s observation is based on documented and significant differences in productivity growth between the healthcare sector of the economy and the economy as a whole.

Low Productivity Growth

Healthcare services have experienced significantly lower productivity growth rates than other industry sectors for three reasons, according to Cimasi:

1) Healthcare services are inherently resistant to automation. Innovation in the form of technological advancement has not made the same impact on healthcare productivity as it has in other industry sectors of the economy.  The manufacturing process can be carried out on an assembly line where thousands of identical (or very similar) items can be produced under the supervision of a few humans utilizing robots and statistical sampling techniques (e.g., defects per 1,000 units). The robot increases assembly line productivity by accelerating the process and reducing labor input. In medicine, most technology is still applied in a patient-by-patient manner — a labor-intensive process. Patients are cared for one at a time. Hospitals and physician offices cannot (and, most would agree, should not) try to operate as factories because patients are each unique and disease is widely variable.

2) Healthcare is local. Unlike other labor-intensive industries (e.g., shoe making), healthcare services are essentially local in nature. They cannot regularly be delivered from Mexico, India or Malaysia.  They must be provided locally by local labor.  Healthcare organizations must compete within a local community with low or no unemployment among skilled workers for high quality and higher cost labor.

3) Healthcare quality is — or is believed to be — correlated with the amount of labor expended. For example, a 30-minute office visit with a physician is perceived to be of higher quality than a 10-minute office visit. In mass production, the number of work-hours per unit is not as important a predictor of product quality as the skills and talents of a small engineering team, which may quickly produce a single design element for thousands of products (e.g., a common car chassis).

Assessment

Healthcare suffers a number of serious consequences when its productivity grows at a slower rate than other industries, the most serious being higher relative costs for healthcare services. The situation is an inevitable and ineradicable part of a developed economy.

For example, as technological advancements increase productivity in the computer, and eHR, manufacturing industry, wages for computer industry labor likewise increase. However, the total cost per computer produced actually declines.  But in healthcare (where technological advancements do not currently have the same impact on productivity), wage increases that would be consistent with other sectors of the economy yield a problem: the cost per unit of healthcare produced increases.

Conclusion

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What Does Health Reform Mean to You?

A Health Reform Pamphlet from the NCPA

By Staff Reporters

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The new health care legislation will impact every American. The National Center for Policy Analysis [NCPA] has created a new pamphlet, “What Does Health Reform Mean for You? It explains the new legislation’s major points in a succinct and unbiased way.

Content Overview

The contents of the pamphlet are reviewed below:

http://www.ncpa.org/healthreform/

Full Report

The full report is available here.

Link: What-Does-Health-Reform-Mean-for-You-A-Consumers-Guide

Conclusion

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The International Health Care Rationing Conference

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Appreciating Parallels for the Emerging US Healthcare System?

By Mahsa Ghari

Aim of the Conference

In the late 1990s, the Dutch government started to experiment with ‘regulated competition’ in social health insurance. A milestone was the new Health Insurance Act in 2006 introducing a compulsory health insurance scheme for the entire population, carried out by (for-profit) health insurers, contracting individual and institutional health professionals. Safeguarding equal access, the new health insurance scheme introduced several preconditions like compulsory insurance, a basic benefit package, the prohibition of risk selection, a risk-equalization fund, etc. The idea of competitive health insurance was combined with deregulating hospital planning and liberalizing health care tariffs. 

Merit Considerations

In the new scheme medical need is still decisive in health care access decision-making, but merit-considerations are becoming important too. Shortening waiting times, priority arrangements were considered and/or introduced, based on non-medical criteria. Simultaneously, in terms of financing, health status has become important due to own payments-arrangements, limited insurance package options, etc. At the same time, health status disparities due to socioeconomic inequalities seem to be increasing.

Under these circumstances, confronted with increased health spending, we can expect the “R” word becoming more eminent in the Dutch health care debate.

Relevant Rationing Questions

Emerging relevant questions are:

  • Who is responsible for rationing (markets, governments, bureaucrats, MDs or others)?
  • How does it function (explicit or implicit)?
  • What are relevant selection criteria (QUALYs, DALYs, health status, sex, age, etc)?
  • To what extent is current rationing just?
  • What can be done to make it more just?
  • How will health care rationing affect equal access to health care?
  • What is the relationship between rationing and differences in health status etc?

There is a wealth of literature in political theory, as well as in health care policy, economics, social medicine and law addressing these issues. What is needed is a consideration of the values involved, and the impact of, policy decisions on the expression of these values.

The Erasmus Observatory

Therefore, the Erasmus Observatory organized an international conference to discuss health care rationing from a wide range of perspectives.

Speakers

The following speakers have confirmed their contribution:

  • Dr. Bert Boer, Executive member of the Health Care Insurance Board (ethics)
  • Prof. Werner Brouwer (Erasmus University Rotterdam) (economics)
  • Prof. Norman Daniels (Harvard University) (philosophy, medical ethics)
  • Prof. Leonard Fleck (Michigan State University) (philosophy)
  • Prof. Colleen Flood (Toronto University) (law)
  • Dr. Anand Grover (Special Rapporteur United Nations) (law)
  • Prof. John Harris (University of Manchester) (bioethics)
  • Prof. Frances Kamm (Harvard University) (philosophy)
  • Prof. Johan Mackenbach (Erasmus University Rotterdam) (public health)
  • Prof. Alan Maynard (University of York) (economics)
  • Prof. Chris Newdick (University of Reading) (law)
  • Prof. Erik Nord (University of Oslo) (economics)
  • Prof. Bettina Schöne-Seifert (Münster University) (medical ethics)
  • Dr. Keith Syrett (University of Bristol) (law)

Assessment

The conference language will be in English, in Rotterdam on 9 – 10 December 2010, The Netherlands: info@erasmusobservatoryonhealthlaw.nl

Registration: CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM[1]

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What’s Next with Health Care?

And, Why the Process was Madness

By Staff Reporters

With the House passing health care reform yesterday, resident ProPublica blogger Marian Wang explains what’s next for the bill, and why the process keeps on changing.

Main Concerns

Sometimes things are a little clearer in retrospect. Now that health care reform has passed in the House, it seems there are two main questions in people’s minds:

  • What’s next?
  • Why, procedurally, was the legislative process so confusing and painful to watch?

So, Marian will answer that second question first with some helpful infographics.

Assessment

http://www.propublica.org/ion/blog/item/whats-next-with-health-care-and-why-this-process-was-madness

Conclusion

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A Petition to the US Federal Government

For an Individual Opt-Out Request for Healthcare

By MyMillionSite

We The Undersigned Wish To Convey By Their Signatures Below That They Wish To Have The Same Rights Under The Current Health Care Legislation.

That Allows The Individual States That If This Would Place An Economic Burden On That State They Have The Option To Opt Out Of This Mandate.

Currently Over 35 Of The 50 States Have Or Will File A Legal Action Against Washington To Claim This Is An Unconstitutional Bill.

If The States Are At 35 against and 15 Not Yet Heard From, It Would Seem That “We The People” Are More That 51% Against This Health Care Bill.

THIS WOULD BE A CLEAR STATEMENT THAT IF AN UP OR DOWN VOTE WAS HELD TODAY BY THE GENERAL POPULATION OF REGISTERED AMERICAN VOTERS THIS BILL WOULD NOT EVEN SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AND ANY LEGAL ACTION FILED BY THE INDIVUDAL STATES WOULD NOT EVEN BE REQUIRED.

IF THIS BILL WOULD Place an ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC BURDEN ON THE STATE, it Would Seem Logical That It Should Also Be AVAILABLE TO THE INDIVIDUAL PERSON AS WELL.

We the Undersigned Wish To Opt Out Of the Average $12,000.00 per Year Price Tag The Current System We Have In Place by Law Already Mandates That Any Hospital Cannot Refuse Medical Treatment to Anyone That Is In Need Currently Any One Who Asks For Help Will Receive It.

This Bill Will Be Imposed By A Federal Mandate On Each Man, Woman, Child, And Even Unborn Children That Live In This The United States If This Bill Passes.

That This Mandate Is Actually an Unconstitutional Bill in Many Ways:

The Federal Government Does Not Have the Right to Mandate that it’s Citizens Will Have to Purchase a Product Such As Health Insurance Policy.

To Mandate That An Unborn Child Will Have To Purchase This As Well Is The Same Taxation Without Representation.

We As Citizens Are Now Already Over Taxed the Federal Government It Takes the First 4 Months of Our Income and The States Take Another Two Months Of Our Income.

If You Live You Pay Sales Tax on All Purchase’s And Even More On Other Taxes Such As Property Taxes, City Taxes, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Death Taxes, And Soon Even A Carbon Tax On Breathing.

At The Present Time With All Of The Visible Taxes And The Taxes That Are Hidden In Every Item That Is Purchased We Are Taxed At If Not More Than 50% Of Our Income’s An Additional $1000.00 Per Month $12,000.00 For A Federal Health Care Product That Once Implemented Will Only Cover 60% Of Medical Expenses After An Already High Deductible This Will Place A Large Burden On Any If Not All United States Citizen’s.

WE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST TO OPT OUT OF THE CURRENT HEALTH CARE BILL

PLEASE COPY AND EMAIL TO ALL OF YOUR CONTACTS AND ON SUNDAY WHO EVER HAS A COPY FORWARD IT TO THE HOUSE, SENATE, AND THE WHITEHOUSE

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Ease Up – Managing Editor Bob Mitchell

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=doctors+computers&iid=131173″ src=”0127/4caf5e52-a89a-4ddb-a0b2-bf4b6789c92b.jpg?adImageId=11344576&imageId=131173″ width=”414″ height=”413″ /]

Two days ago, ADVANCE for Health Information Executives’ managing editor Bob Mitchell publicly criticized the author of last week’s Parade Magazine article, “Electronic Health Records Face Critics.” Personally, I thought it was cowardly for the editor to accuse Drew Jubera of journalistic recklessness without mentioning his name.

http://community.advanceweb.com/blogs/hx_1/archive/2010/03/16/critics-ehrs-don-t-save-money.aspx

According to Jubera

Jubera wrote:

“A new Harvard Medical School study suggests that electronic health records do not save hospitals money—and in fact often end up increasing costs. The Obama Administration has allocated $19 billion in federal stimulus funds to facilitate the shift from paper to electronic records – a move the Rand Corporation has projected could save up to $80 billion a year. Yet the Harvard study found no evidence of savings so far and little evidence that electronic records improve care.”

http://www.parade.com/news/intelligence-report/archive/100314-electronic-health-records-face-critics.html

Dis-Respects Harvard

Incredibly, Bob Mitchell discounts the Harvard Medical School study as being dated research – even though it is less than 5 months old. “I did some research and found that this study was released back in November 2009, even before meaningful use of an eHR had been defined by [ONCHIT] – or the Office of National Coordinator of Health IT.” As if defining meaningful use was meaningful! That’s humor.

Dis-Respects Parade

Furthermore, editor Mitchell has taken on the responsibility to shield his readers from harm caused by Parade Magazine authors whose ethics fall short of acceptable.

He writes:

“I’m concerned that the public is not being served and they will get the wrong impression of computers in health care, especially if it’s being reported by Parade, which reports celebrity, entertainment and health news.”

Of Healthcare Providers

Not so fast with those tricky pronoun phrases, Bob. Rather than being merely a healthcare stakeholder like you, I’m actually the healthcare provider whom you would have fund your enthusiasm. I think your broad statement that “all of us in healthcare know that digital is much better than paper” is journalistically foolish. In addition, your creativity threatens society much more than alleged exaggerations in Parade Magazine. You not only write about HIT as a career, but people generously call you a managing editor.

eMRs in Dentistry 

The next time you feel important enough to quietly insult writers on behalf of providers like me, remember that eMRs in dentistry will not save money over paper records and will unnecessarily increase the risk of identity theft for my patients … unless you disagree.

It would thrill me if you want to publicly debate the value of electronic dental records (How much do you know about dentistry?)

Assessment

For example, do you realize that if a computer containing thousands of patients’ identifying data is stolen in a burglary, and the dentist, or physician, does the right thing and reports the data breach, he or she will likely be bankrupt even before the HIPAA inspections and lawsuits?

The Ponemon Institute estimates that it will cost about $50 per record just to notify affected patients. A few weeks ago, the HHS was obligated to release information that a burglar stole a computer containing more than 9,000 records from a Missouri dental practice. Just to notify the affected patients will cost the practice almost half a million dollars. But wait. That’s not all. Since the loss involves over 500 individuals, news of the breach must be provided as a press release to the local media. As goes the dentist’s reputation, so goes the dentist’s career – all because of a simple burglary.

Conclusion

So what were you saying about dangerous, biased articles in Parade Magazine? The author whose ethics you criticize has a name. It is Drew Jubera. He’s an award-winning staff member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in Atlanta GA – home of this ME-P.  I’ll make sure he also gets this message.

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Doctors versus Retail Bankers

Understanding Modern Reality

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA

Doctors often carry notoriously heavy debt loads. Beyond the costs of a medical education are substantial costs for equipping, launching and staffing a practice. Technology changes fast these days and capital is required frequently. And, the era of eMRs, ARRA, HI-TECH and Obama-Care is upon us!

“I‘m a Banker – I’m Here to Help”

Unfortunately, retail bankers are now very conservative by nature; and the liquidity squeeze and financial meltdown of 2008-2009 makes credit even more difficult to obtain. It may be increasingly difficult to borrow money, especially since modern bankers know that a medical degree is no longer the guarantee of a steady and high income that it once was in the past. As more than one banker has often opined to me,

“We don’t usually loan money to doctors who really need it.”

Nevertheless, the more business a physician does with a bank, the better the terms that can be obtained; even thought hey may also not have a clue about what the practitioner can do to better compete in the managed care arena.

Why Big-Banks Hate Customers

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/JubaksJournal/why-big-banks-hate-banking.aspx

Local Community

Some bankers do have a good concept of local community politics however, for those not familiar with a practice venue. They frequently can provide references to more focused advisors, and bankers generally do not charge a fee for their advice. But, banks selling products are doing so according to their governing regulations as “prudent experts” under ERISA, and are not necessarily held to a fiduciary standard in any broader sense.

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Conclusion

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The Largest Purchaser of Domestic Healthcare?

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It’s the Government – Silly

By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]ERT Prison Healthcare

By far, our federal government is the largest purchaser of healthcare services, according to Robert James Cimasi MHA, AVA, CMP™ of Health Capital Consultants, in St. Louis, MO; and many others.

Obama Care

Although the government faces immense pressure to control healthcare costs, especially during the current HR 3200-3400 debates, it also faces pressure to expend additional funds in order to achieve its ostensible primary mission in its involvement in healthcare, i.e., to expand and improve public health.

Federal Payment Schemes

In many ways the government has led the way for cost control through its development of resource-based reimbursement, prospective payment systems, budget limitations and other payment schemes. However, its conflicting goals have led it to approach these controls in a hesitant and piecemeal manner rather than effecting bold, comprehensive reforms.

Consider, for example, the lack of government intervention in the face of mounting pressure to remove some of the barriers preventing a reduction in US pharmaceutical costs.

Assessment

Today, most experts agree that Uncle Sam pays for at least 51% of domestic healthcare when Medicare, Medicaid, SHIPS, the VA, Indian and Prison Healthcare Systems are considered. In fact, according to our Publisher-in-Chief, Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA:

‘We already have a single payer health system in this country, but most folks just don’t realize it.”

Conclusion

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Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part VIII]

Interview with David B. Lumsden; MD

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Dateline: Baltimore Maryland,Dr. Lumsden Formal August 10, 2009.

About David B. Lumsden MD

Dr. David Lumsden; MS, MA practices general orthopedic surgery and trauma as a board certified surgeon and partner with Orthopedic and Hand Surgery Associates in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his training in community health at Towson State University, earned Master’s Degree in Anatomy / Neuroanatomy at University of Maryland/Baltimore and Exercise Physiology at University of Maryland, College Park. He is a graduate of Penn State University School of Medicine. Dr. Lumsden completed his internship and residency at Union Memorial Hospital with associative residency training at Johns Hopkins and the world renowned Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore City. 

Our Brief Interview

When I caught up with David during a recent house-call visit, we discussed many things; especially the American Affordable Health Choices Act [HR-3200]. Unfortunately; I did not have my audio-recorder with me. So, here are a few points of interest about him that I jotted down, from memory, in my ever-present reporter’s notebook. No doubt, I missed many more:

  • He became a physician as a career change in mid-life.
  • He has read HR 3200 in its’ entirety.
  • He hired an attorney for HR 3200 interpretation and review.
  • He is for healthcare reform, but against HR 3200.
  • He is against a public health care plan.
  • He is against individual insurance mandates.
  • He does 10-12 house-calls every month.
  • He does not charge MC, MD or VA house-call patients; rarely bills them and/or accepts assignment without balance billing.
  • He regularly operates on same, under similar terms.
  • He does other pro-bono work.
  • He practices defensive medicine.
  • He is for tort reform.
  • He is not a member of the AMA with no plans to join.

Assessment

Review and vote for -or- against HR 3200 here: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text

About Off Road with Dr. MarcinkoDavid Lumsden; MD

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my 2009 summer promotional tour. Formal attendance increased toward the later part of the summer as the Obama Administration’s healthcare debates heated up. Our many local book stores and sponsors noted a spike in our CD and book sales, as well as interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program and premier quarterly guide: Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies] www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Part VII: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-vii/

Conclusion

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