Faria: Rationed care is coming our way!

When I get a chance I read Viewpoints, the busy electronic version of the Macon Telegraph (MT), which frequently has heated discussions. On September 5, a discussion centered on a MT reader who stated that although in good health at age 75, his doctor would not perform a PSA test or a colonoscopy because "it was not needed" and besides "something else would kill me before colon or prostate cancer does [given his age]."

ObamaCare cartoonIt is very unfortunate that physicians are already impeding access to needed medical care (rationing) in preparation for ObamaCare.  A very astute blogger posted an article of mine on this subject published in the MT back in 2010. It reads in part:

"And we better get used to the rationing and lack of choices we will increasingly be facing, as American medicine becomes more and more socialized...After years of medical innovations and advances and increasing cancer prevention (e.g., mammography, colonoscopy, and PSA testing) with the associated increases in survival rates in breast, colon, and prostate cancer — the word is out in the media and the medical politicians that some breast, colon, and prostate cancers may be 'slow growing and not as invasive as we thought,' and that, 'after all, they may not require treatment!' " Yes the word is filtering out through the public health establishment and the AMA that we should all go along with rationing care, and some doctors are listening.

The explanation for rationing medical care is not because of the science, but for what the social planners, supported by elitist bioethicists and organized medicine led by the AMA, call "the rational allocation of finite health resources" — treating patients not as human beings but as mere statistics. PSAs perhaps may not be medically justifiable at age 80, but the word on mammography and colonoscopy is not in yet. We should err on the side of preserving life! Let me tell you story: A great aunt of mine was found by colonoscopy to harbor a colon polyp at age 83. Her surgeon who practiced medicine according to the individual-based ethics of Hippocrates, and not the population-based utilitarian ethic espoused by government bioethicists, told her it would become malignant, and so she had it resected. Today, 13 years later, she is 96 remains healthy and still enjoys working in her garden and flowerbeds.

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is an Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International.

This letter to the editor was published in The Macon Telegraph on September 12, 2013.

Copyright ©2013 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Comments on this post

ObamaCare monstrosity!

Obamacare and Egyptian revolution compared
Rinda Wilson, The Macon Telegraph, September 29, 2013 

...Here are just a few of the dozens of steps the president has taken to implement this train wreck of a abomination known as Obamacare.

• Big corporations start complaining about Obamacare before the presidential election. President Obama gives hundreds of “waivers” to keep them quiet until after the election.

• Federal workers vote 90 percent to 10 percent to keep their sweetheart health care instead of Obamacare. Obama exempts them from the law that everyone else has to obey.

• The president makes one of the agencies that is the most feared by all -- the IRS -- the enforcers of the law that they themselves don’t have to obey. Later, the IRS is revealed to use its power to harass conservative organizations.

• Congressional staff whines about not being able to afford the Affordable Care Act. The president quickly exempts them from the law and offers to pay 75 percent of their premiums if they decide to choose ACA.

• Pro-lifers realize their taxes will indeed have to pay for abortions even though they were promised otherwise. The president lets them take their concerns to court, and meanwhile, offers to hire hundreds of Planned Parenthood employees to help “facilitate” the health-care law.

...Thousands of poorly trained, unvetted new hires to pore over Americans most sensitive health and financial records, including their Social Security numbers. Fears that identity theft experts will push to be hired are ignored by the president.

• Already, big businesses have been given a year’s delay by the president to comply with his bill. Similar pleas from small businesses and individuals to delay compliance are ignored.

• Seniors read (in The Telegraph) that the assisted living money that was promised in Obamacare had to be deleted -- something about “not being affordable.” President Obama appoints a committee to look into it.

...If you read the Associated Press piece in The Telegraph last week, you know that all the scary things that will supposedly happen -- delayed Social Security and military checks, airports without security and controllers -- all that’s hype used by the libs to scare the low-information public that confuses the severity of the possible shutdown over the budget (slight) with the debt ceiling crisis coming up in a few weeks (serious)

And please don’t labor under the illusion that Obamacare can be “fixed.” Every fix that benefits one group means less money to run this behemoth. That will result in higher taxes (Obamacare already adds at least 20 new taxes) on the diminishing number of Americans that still pay them.

http://www.macon.com/2013/09/29/2691216/obamacare-and-eygptian-revolutio...

Public forum — Rationing medical care!

9-12-13 — Comments in the Macon Telegraph about this article

uneed: “Dr. Faria Thank God there are still Physicians like you that have NOT forgotten that Oath and Ethics of Hippocrates.  
You have covered this topic extensively and as it is occurring in our faces at this very moment I am appalled at the still ignorant people when it comes to giving the Government POWER over their "Life and Death Decisions."

Please continue to push our Representatives to Defund/Repeal — whatever it takes to rid this country of Obamacare... because it is already almost too late.
Thank you so much for your continued fight FOR Our health care in America.”

Dr. Faria: Thank you so much uneed. The fact there are still lawyers, doctors, superb nurses (like you) and concerned citizens, as you find on this remarkable forum, encourages me to continue the information fight, which is now discussed all over the world. Russia is now more free market oriented than the United States, and her taxes more reasonable (at 13% federal flat tax, while still having a safety net) tells you something about the direction we have been taken by the “experts.”

In another article on Corporate socialized medicine, which is what we are getting, I wrote: “Today’s ethics of corporate socialized medicine and managed competition propound that the physician place cost considerations and the interest of third-party payers above that of his or her patient. That is, they want physicians to practice what the Swiss philosopher, Professor Ernest Truffer, calls a veterinary ethic that rejects the traditional individual-based, medical ethic requiring a physician to care for his/her patient according to the patient’s specific medical requirements, in favor of a new ethic which consists of caring for the patient as if he/she were a sick animal, not in accordance with its specific medical need, but according to the wishes of its master or owner—the person or entity responsible for paying the medical bills. ” This is important because this is part and parcel of and supports the related population-based ethic that I mentioned in the article. Again thank you.

Hollywould: “I guess it is up to the doctor. My dad is 81 and had a colonoscopy last week. Had some polyps removed and has a couple imbedded that they are removing soon. 81 is the new 60. He still plays golf and lives a good life, goes to see his grandson's play ball and generally is in good shape.”

Dr Faria: Excellent comment. And with freedom of choice, the advances in the standard of living in free market capitalism and medical care, 80 is the new 60 and 60 is the new 40. (I have to remember that, ha!) I say free market capitalism (and also add freedom) because in the former USSR, the life span was barely over 50; now it is gradually climbing! Putin has done more for Russia than Obama has done for us!  I wonder if the Russians would trade?
And yes it is up to the doctors, and that is why freedom of choice is important. We are blessed in Middle Georgia with excellent, conscientious, and devoted physicians, but there are some doctors, who are beginning to practice by population-based ethics, as I have discussed in my article and comments. Thank you for your comment!

Sparky: Dr. Migue Faria, please feel free to jump in the Viewpoints discussions.  You are missed.”
Dr Faria: Thank you very much. I thought I had retired, but it seems that now I'm busier than ever. I will try to do so if I find time. I greatly and sincerely appreciate your kindness. You should come and visit my website and post comments there as well. The same goes for all my friends here.

Charles Horne: “I am 82, and have just recently, this month, experienced  what you have described. I was denied a need that the hospital felt I needed, but the current regs would not allow it. 
so, when you get to my age, you must rely on God for your help.

Dr Faria:  Dear Mr. Horne,
I have been talking about this looming problem for years. It has been coming down the pipe, planned by the health planners, and now with ObamaCare in the wind, efforts have been intensified, and the government's bioethicists are finally prevailing over the medical establishment. Led by the AMA, of which I also happen to be the most severe critic for years, medical organizations are falling into line and proceeding, of their own accord, with rationing and "the duty to die!"

I have written, posted articles on my website, and also given interviews on the subject. I still have a casette tape recording one of these interviews in 1999 where I denounced this impending unethical practice. They call it "rational allocation of resources"; it is in fact unethical and inhuman because patients do not have free choice, even when they are willing to pay for those services — equal misery like in Cuba and the former Soviet Union, except that some humans are less equal than others! I wish you would describe your incident a bit more because it may help others understand the reality of which I have written. Thank you kindly for your comment!

We are happy to have saved these comments, which vanished when the Macon Telegraph on 9/15/13 suddenly switched to Facebook and quit Disqus format for posting comments.

U.S. care already socialized!

Dr. Elliot Replies — Care already socialized!

The Macon Telegraph, September 16, 2013

Contrary to what Dr. Miguel Faria states, we live today in a world of rationed care. It is rationed based on ability to pay -- those who can afford to pay or who have insurance, get care. Millions today cannot get basic care for treatable conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Is this fair? Should only “elitist bioethicists” be concerned about the way care is rationed today based on ability to pay?

Under Obamacare, there will be more choices for the many who will gain access to medical care, as they currently have no choice but to seek care in the very few free or volunteer clinics, or to wait for their health to deteriorate to a medical emergency and they end up in an emergency room.

Under Obamacare, many who cannot get insurance because of a pre-existing condition will have more choices for care. Many who cannot get basic preventative care today will have the choice of such basic services under Obamacare. Labeling Obamacare as “socialized medicine” is an old scare tactic, but is simply wrong.

In the current American health-care system, approximately 50 percent of care is paid through governmental sources (i.e., it is socialized). Under Obamacare, much of the expansion to cover the currently under insured will utilize free market insurance plans that meet basic requirements. If we want to rein in increasing health-care costs and, as physicians, want to ensure basic health care for all citizens, we need sensible alternatives to the current system, not mere polemics.

-- Richard Elliott, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia, U.S.A.

Orwellian free choice!

Dr. Richard Elliott wrote that "contrary to what I stated," we already have rationed care, and indeed we have! American Medicine is already 50% socialized. What I alluded to is that we are being prepared for more rationing in preparation for ObamaCare. What we have been getting for sometime is a unique American variant, corporate socialized medicine (i.e., the partnership of government with private entities in cahoots with government and receiving monopolistic government protection), and ObamaCare is another giant step in that direction.

The difference between collectivist (fully socialist or communist) and free societies is that in the former, the State rations resources in Orwellian fashion, according to those who are more equal than others; whereas in free societies, the invisible hand of the free market determines allocation of resources by free choice, supply and demand. I prefer the latter.

"Ability to pay" is nonsense! ERs have to serve anyone who comes through their doors; the indigent have Medicaid; the elderly, Medicare. It is the suffocating middle class citizens, not qualifying for either, who are the ones left holding the empty bag, and they are the ones most deleteriously affected by the onerous mandates in ObamaCare. It is the middle class and small business owners that will have to pay a penalty and bear the burden, if they do not already have or provide insurance!

Dr. Elliot mentions, "more choices" under ObamaCare. Nonsense, the fact that the mandate is compulsory (or pay a penalty), speaks volumes! He also mentions "polemics." Here is a writer who attempts to berate me by attributing to me opinions I do not hold, while admitting we already have rationed care, are 50% socialized, and yet wants more of the same socialization he denies exist! Go figure!

Dr. Miguel A. Faria

I wrote this reply immediately after reading Dr. Elliott’s letter to the editor, but held it until now, waiting for it to be published in the Macon Telegraph.

FIGHT OBAMACARE

I urge everyone to push ALL Senators to NOT fund Obamacare (AFCA)

There is NOTHING wrong with Health Care in this country except TOO MUCH government dictation and control. And ANY Dr. that does not ADMIT that is not worth the ounce of paper their Degree is printed upon.

Help Ted Cruz and the handful of Conservatives left in this country and push to defund/repeal —whatever it takes, Obamacare.

Elucidating rather than obfuscating!

Dear Dr. Tisbe,

You have posted an excellent exposition, a truthful elucidation of the term "rationing" rather than creating obfuscation and the tendency toward obscuring facts and ideas, which are frequently carried out unknowingly because of actual ignorance of a concept — or by design by those who intend to deceive!

Thank you as usual for the succinct clarification! — MAF



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