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  • Pat Austin 9:14 PM on 06/26/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: healthcare,   

    The White House “Punks” Your Doctor 

    Did I fall asleep and wake up in Cuba or the Soviet Union?

    Not having enough on their plates already with the tanking economy, rising unemployment, rising energy prices, a bottomed out housing market and skyrocketing national debt, the Obama administration is assembling a team of prank callers to harass the few remaining doctors we still have willing to practice medicine in this looming quagmire that is Obamacare.

    Straight from the New York Times:

    Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

    That’s right.  You’ve been Punk’d!   Imagine the poor receptionists in doctors offices all over America.   “What?  You don’t really want that appointment after all?  Well thanks for wasting my time and keeping me from attending to someone who actually does need medical care.  Have a nice day.”

    It seems the Obama administration is suddenly alarmed by the shortage of doctors.  Now, I wonder why there’s a shortage?

    Last year the Wall Street Journal wrote about the looming shortage of primary care physicians:

    The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.

    The numbers tell the story, yet Team Obama wants to call and harass your doctor’s receptionist just to be sure.  This snoopy survey is redundant; the WSJ article has the numbers:

    Back to the NYT (emphasis mine):

    The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates.

    What is this “will address” part of the equation?  What are the consequences if you’re busted not accepting new patients?

    It will also “try to discover” if your doctor isn’t accepting Medicaid patients.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there some law that says a doctor MUST accept Medicaid patients?  Aren’t we still in a free market economy where a doctor can treat whomever he wishes?  Doesn’t the Hippocratic Oath bind the doctor to ethical practices?

    Needless to say, doctors aren’t thrilled by this new snoop scheme.  The government snoops won’t be identifying themselves as snoops, of course; if you’re attempting to entrap someone, you don’t blow your cover right off the bat.

    Here’s one of the scripts they’ll be using:

    Mystery shopper: “Hi, my name is Alexis Jackson, and I’m calling to schedule the next available appointment with Dr. Michael Krane. I am a new patient with a P.P.O. from Aetna. I just moved to the area and don’t yet have a primary doctor, but I need to be seen as soon as possible.”

    Doctor’s office: “What type of problem are you experiencing?”

    Mystery shopper: “I’ve had a cough for the last two weeks, and now I’m running a fever. I’ve been coughing up thick greenish mucus that has some blood in it, and I’m a little short of breath.”

    Seriously.   And they’ll be blocking their phone number so they won’t be detected through caller ID.  The offices of over 4,000 doctors in nine states will be called at least twice.  Eleven percent of those will be called a third time; this time the caller will identify himself as part of the HHS, ask if the doctor accepts new, Medicare or Medicaid patients and check for discrepancies in the story.

    And guess who has been contracted to do the survey?  National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.  Shocker.

    What are the consequences for these doctors who refuse to accept Medicare, Medicaid, or don’t feel they can take on additional patients?  Is there something in Obamacare that says they must?  Remember, you’ve got to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.  Where does all this lead?

    This all reminds me of the White House Fishy campaign of 2009 which turned out to be full of legal problems.

    Call me paranoid, but it seems like a huge waste of government dollars and a whole lot like Big Brother.

    • RightKlik 9:21 PM on 06/26/2011 Permalink | Reply

      Are we supposed to be surprised when they find out that people who are stuck with cheap, crappy government health care wait longer for non-urgent health care services?

      I guess we can never have enough anti-private sector propaganda.

      While we’re on this theme, how about some mystery lobbyists at the White House? Send them to congress too. Send in some mystery billionaire donors while you’re at it. Send some mystery constituents to congressional offices.

      Let’s collect some data!

    • just a conservative girl 12:09 PM on 06/27/2011 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know about Cuba, but you certainly woke up in MA instead of LA.

  • Pat Austin 8:29 PM on 04/28/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , healthcare,   

    On Puerto Rico and Dr. Donald Berwick. No, not together… 

    A couple of quick things:  the post on Puerto Rican statehood is continuing to get some interesting comments.  Since it’s dropped off the front page now (because we are so prolific!) you might want to hit the link and check it out.  Feel free to keep the discussion going.

    Also, I’ve got a lengthy (for me) post at And So it Goes in Shreveport on Obama’s pick for the CMS – the guy who will be over Medicare and Medicaid decisions, among other things.  He’s in love with the British health care system and has some serious concerns about our own, one of which is reflected in this quote:

    “The more I have studied it, the more I believe that less discretion for doctors would improve patient safety.” He then looks down. “Doctors will hate me for saying that.”

    Crikey!  That scares me. There’s more.

    This man, Dr. Donald Berwick, is no ideologue and no Van Jones or Kevin Jennings.  But his plans to revolutionize the health care system in America are definitely worrisome and bear examination.

  • Sherry 8:16 AM on 04/14/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: healthcare, protest,   

    Was There Ever a Point When You Would Have Said No? 

    What I want to know from all those who wanted this health care bill or were willing to accept this healthcare bill rather than start over, is at what point would you have said stop?

    Would you have said no if the bill were three times the cost it was estimated to be by the CBO? Because it is.

    Would you have said no if it had major corruption and countless bulky pork bribes that were swapped straight for votes? Because it did.

    Would you have said no if it made you buy a plan you didn’t want the instant your life circumstances change? Because it does.

    Would you have said no if it didn’t cover everyone it claimed to cover? Because this law with all its programs and promises and back room deals, still won’t get to everyone that isn’t insurred.

    Would you have said no if it added to the deficit? I’ll pause while you stop laughing.

    Would you have said no if you didn’t know and those who passed it don’t know what’s in it?

    Would you have said no if it funded abortions? It does.

    Would you have said no if it does ration care for the sake of costs, the same as an insurance company, but with you having less recourse as a result for appeal? Because I’d hate to have to fight the government if I was turned down and wanted care for my child or my husband or my mother in addition to caring for a sick loved one. It does limit care. It must, to be as “affordable” as it is. Every country that has socialized medicine, rations care. Every country that has nationalized healthcare, limits care either by neglect, waste, regulations, fraud, bureacratic snafus, fiscal limitations and high demand. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

    But of course, national healthcare will be different because it’s us.

    Would you have said no if it still didn’t cover preexisting conditions? Because it doesn’t do that you know. Little mistake there. A loophole. We’ll fix it don’t worry. But everything else is just peachy we promise.

    Would you have protested if it obligated those who used the student loan programs to pay for medical school to go wherever the government dictated or saw a shortfall in service, a sort of doctor’s army draft as part of repaying back the loan? It’s in there.

    Was there any point at which you would have said no?

    Because if there wasn’t, then we have seen that for the greater good, you will allow anything; and that is a dangerous place to be as a nation.

    Nothing is more deadly to more people than a government that thinks it can do anything “for the greater good,” because eventually it will stop at nothing “for the greater good,” and eventually, everyone will come to know, that greater good was never the people.

    See you at the peaceful tea parties. I’ll be protesting peacefully, lovingly, hate free, non racist, because I don’t think our government is representative anymore and I don’t think our government is doing things for our greater good, but for its own.

    • richard mcenroe 9:34 AM on 04/14/2010 Permalink | Reply

      I would never have supported Federal health care. “National Health” programs have killed too many people I personally knew and cared for in other countries, and I’ve watched people I care for over here put through wringers by existing government “health” programs here in the US.

  • Sherry 7:30 PM on 03/28/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , healthcare, ,   

    and I know it’s Frank Rich but the idea that the only reason anyone is upset at anything in the healthcare bill is either 1) they want to gin up support for their political campaign (machiavellian Rove type maneuvers of the political class) or 2) they are hayseed rednecks who have a visceral hatred of anyone different than them is a destructive and frankly terribly limited way to think about the American people. It’s dismissive of all criticism as motivated by the very worst of human emotions.

    People take offense and rightly so to being called bigots and racists because they oppose healthcare.

    The 2,700 page bill has many things one should oppose: funding abortion, mandatory enrollment, IRS being given an expanded role of power to enforce. These are troubling things that deserve some reflection and consideration and maybe even criticism. Some of us think a bill with such unseemly large pork payoffs to Democratic friends and allies is a bad thing, an escalation in the pay for votes method of making law that corrupts the representative process by making the most powerful legislator not the most ethical but the one that holds out and then flips to get the biggest piece of pork pie. People also worry that a 1.3 Trillion dollar deficit might not be something we could overcome as a nation and the Democratic hegemony that is in charge is running forward writing checks as if nothing has happened or will happen. These are all legitimate reasons to be upset with the government that have nothing at all to do with the President’s race or Barney Frank’s proclivities or Nancy Pelosi’s gender. They don’t come up. They’re irrelevant.

    To be dismissed by the writers of the media and the political ruling class as idiots because we don’t entirely agree….well that should make us mad. It is meant to insult and to silence. Shut up or you are a racist. Shut up or you are a bigot. Shut up or you are declared an idiot. Shut up or you will be eviscerated publicly as we did Sarah Palin and her family. Shut up or we will destroy you with words and make the world hate you.

    I guess the best we can say in response is, we’ve been warned.


    • fuzislippers 12:30 AM on 03/29/2010 Permalink | Reply

      The Alinsky-style demonization and ridicule tactic isn’t working as they intended. With every attack, our numbers grow. The world does not hate us, and in fact, is fast-realizing that BO is an absolute disaster who is undermining world peace, including that in his own country. He’s fast becoming an object of global ridicule, except by tyrants like Castro and Chavez (and this, of course, causes many an eyebrow to raise the world over).

      The crazy left here at home, however, do believe all the lies spewed, but how long will that go on? How long will our fellow countrymen and women willfully ignore their own two eyes and ears?

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