News Capsules (Spring 1997)

Author: 
Compiled by Medical Sentinel Editors
Article Type: 
News Capsules
Issue: 
Spring 1997
Volume Number: 
2
Issue Number: 
2

HMOs Are NOT "Free Market"

M. Stanton Evans, the prominent journalist, has vindicated AAPS and many of us who have (1) exposed managed care and HMOs for what they are: collectivist engines harnessed for the rationing of medical care; and (2) denied the contention that HMOs are “free market.” Writing in Human Events (12/6/96), he states:

“The net result of these confusions [Republicans and conservatives supporting managed care (HMOs, the central feature of the ill-fated Clinton health plan)] is the hazy idea that HMOs are ‘free market’ devices of some sort, and thus deserve our backing.

“In this grim scenario, HMOs are unusual only in that they have turned denial of health care into a science. Their most distinctive feature is their backwards method of reimbursement — in essence, paying doctors more for doing less....The truly insidious aspect of this setup is that it pits the financial interest of the doctor against the medical interest of the patient.

“HMOs will gladly tell you about the preventive checkups, aerobics classes and free orange juice they will give you; but they won’t tell you that your doctor is paid more for providing you less care.”

 

IRS Used to Silence Political Opponents?

The IRS, reports The Washington Times (1/26/97), is “conducting intrusive audits in high-profile conservative think tanks and advocacy groups, some of which are named as ‘enemies’ in internal Clinton administration documents.”

Among those under investigation are not only non-profit groups tied to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, but also 7 conservative organizations including The Heritage Foundation, Citizens Against Government Waste, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and the Western Journalism Center. To date, no centrist or liberal organizations, reports The Washington Times, has been subjected to the IRS audit.

But conservative groups have not been the only ones targeted for IRS audits, “ever since Patricia Mendoza ‘insulted’ the president while attending a festival in Chicago last July, the IRS has been harassing them. The Mendozas were accused of owing $200 in back taxes and told they would have their property confiscated if they did not pay the bill.” According to The Washington Times (2/7/97), Mrs. Mendoza allegedly yelled at the president, “You suck and those boys died (a reference to the 19 killed in the barracks in Saudi Arabia).”

The Washington Times has reported that Billy R. Dale (of Travelgate fame) and attorney Kent Masterson Brown, who sued to open the secret proceedings of the Health Care Task Force on behalf of AAPS, have  also been audited.

 

First Government-Free Hospital to be Founded in Idaho

Physician-administrator and AAPS member, Philip Krueger, M.D., and business entrepreneur Ron Whiteside of Patient’s Choice  announced in January their intention to proceed with plans to found the first totally government-free, truly free-market hospital in the nation. For this endeavor, Dr. Krueger has had the blessing of the medical staff, the new governing board of the hospital, and the support of the small, rural community, located 150 miles south of the Canadian border in Idaho. Their intention is not only “to prove Medicaid and Medicare can be replaced by voluntary free-market compensation” and to provide high-quality, private, no-strings-attached medical care to their patients, but, if necessary, act as an another safety valve for their northern neighbors skipping queues.

Godspeed! For further information contact Ron Whiteside, 400 N. 4th Street, #300, Boise, ID 83702.

 

Switzerland Update

Surrounding Senator Alphonse D’Amato’s (R-NY) allegations of Swiss banks profiteering from Nazi gold, the Swiss cabinet agreed to set up a commission to study the allegations and a compensation fund for Holocaust victims from dormant Swiss accounts. Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, outgoing Swiss president, nevertheless, has denied the allegations and has firmly refused to accede to demands for Swiss government restitution.

According to the Associated Press (The Washington Times, 1/12/97), Delamuraz has made it clear that critics, especially in the U.S. and Britain, are using the controversy “to demolish Switzerland as a financial center,” and incoming president, Arnold Koller, has also let it be known that he will not cave in to political pressures: “Arrogance and unfair methods” would not force the Swiss to pay unfair compensation before the facts are settled.

 

FDA Commissioner Resigns

FDA Commissioner David Kessler has resigned his post saying he has accomplished his “objectives.” He claims he had been asked to stay on board in the new Clinton administration, but National Review (12/23/96) commented this alleged proposition was doubtful “in view of his recently revealed cheating on job-related travel expenses...[which misdeeds] he has virtually admitted — falsifying travel vouchers, double-billing travel expenses, and the like — by returning money to the government.” The report added, “Clearly this commissioner needed a warning label.”

 

Ukrainian Medical Care Conference

Mark Johnson, M.D., a urologist and AAPS member from Nashville, Tennessee, hosted an interesting conference and round table discussion on January 11-12, 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia,  for a visiting Ukrainian delegation, including Valeriy O. Siomin, First Deputy Minister of Health of the Ukraine, seeking expertise in free-market medical care. Among the faculty invited were Michael Tanner of the CATO Institute and Dr. Merrill Matthews of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

 

Books in Brief

A History of the Life Sciences by Lois N. Magner, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, 1994, 2nd edition, 496 pp., ISBN: 0-8247-8942-3, $39.95 (Hard cover), Illustrated, Indexed.

This book is a welcome tome adding to the history of medicine and tracing the intellectual progress from the earliest civilization to the present era of genetics and molecular biology.

 

Boy Clinton — The Political Biography by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington, DC, 1996, 356 pp., ISBN: 0-89526-439-0, $24.95 (Hard cover), Indexed, Appendix with full documentation.

A compelling biography of our sitting president by the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator. Tyrrell not only deals with some of the known facts about Bill and Hillary Clinton, but also delves into other lesser known matters that will not be discussed by the mainstream media. The portrait “is less than flattering...”

 

Proyecto Para La Reconstrucción Completa De Cuba by Jose A. Mijares, MD, Tampa Libros, 3608 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL 33607, 1-813-876-1534, 1993, 3rd edition,   575 pp., $34.00 (Soft cover).

Dr. Mijares, a Cuban-American patriot, eminent surgeon, and AAPS member, provides a blue-print for the reconstruction of Cuba following the expected, eventual collapse of the Communist regime of dictator Fidel Castro.

Although Dr. Mijares is a proponent of Cuba returning to the Constitution of 1940, in the final chapter of his book, he propounds a Manifesto Conservador Cubano (the “Cuban Conservative Manifesto”) which injects into any future Cuban government key points extracted from America’s two great founding documents — the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

The book is written in Spanish and belongs in the library of Spanish-speaking physicians interested in Cuba and her aftermath, following the defeat of the last reigning bastion of Marxism in the Western hemisphere.

 

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1997;2(2):43-44. Copyright ©1997Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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