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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for August, 2009

The Totalitarian Theories of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

Monday, August 31st, 2009

In the Opinion Page of the August 27th issue of the Wall Street Journal, Betsy McCaughey has carefully catalogued Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s unfortunate rantings and the dangers that lurk in his concepts. I am urging everyone I know to read the article (go to the opinion site at www.wsj.com to which I have linked). One must question the ethical and moral pinnings of a physician who spews these detestable ideas. In his hoped for depraved society, infants, young children and the elderly would be disposable objects, not worth the time and money required to obtain quality health care. It is frightening to realize that this dangerous man is President Obama’s close advisor on health issues.
Dr. Emanuel dismisses the Hippocratic Oath, which has been the core value guiding physicians for 3000 years. The Oath reminds doctors to do no harm and focus on the care of the individual patient. A patient is in a unique position ––– he or she, when ill, comes to a doctor in a vulnerable state. So, that patient must have complete trust in the competence, honesty and moral fiber of that physician. For that patient to be uncertain whether the physician’s recommendations are offered because of a sociopolitical agenda promulgated by social engineers in Washington destroys trust and corrupts the patient-physician relationship, the basis for humane and successful medical care, and indeed the very essence of the Judeo-Christian ethos.
We must all vigorously resist and condemn Dr. Emanuel’s utterly abominable theories and make certain they do not become part of any so-called health care “reform” plan.

Don’t Be Fooled By Health Co-Ops

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Obama’s “health care” effort is in trouble.  So, he and his spokespeople are retreating slightly ––– they’ll accept health insurer Co-Ops instead of a public insurance plan.  Don’t be fooled ––– this is embryonic single payer  “light.”

1. They are still insisting insurers do the following:
a. No pre-existing conditions.  Guarantees people access to health insurance at rates             that wouldn’t price the ill or near-elderly out of the market.
b. Expansion of eligibility for Medicaid up to 300-400% of the poverty level.

But these efforts  don’t require Co-Ops.

2. There is no need to provide consumers with non-profit alternatives. There are               plenty of mutual insurance companies and many Blue Cross/Blue shield plans that             already offer insurance in many states.

3. The proposed Co-Ops would require billions of taxpayer dollars in “start up”                  subsidies and would require on-going subsidies by taxpayers; and would cause              private insurance crowd out and ultimately lead to conversion to a government run              plan.

4. Co-Ops would not have to hold amounts of capital that private plans would, and             would not have to pay income taxes on premiums that private and non-profit                 insurers do.

5. Co-Ops would eventually provide enough pressure to insist on centralized                 negotiations resulting in benchmarking off Medicare reimbursement rates.

Co-Ops are unnecessary and are merely a back door to a single payer system with no     real benefits and a large potential cost.

Why Milton Matters

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I’ve come across a Web site that was established to honor the 400th anniversary of John Milton’s birth in 2008. I’ve linked to it, and it’s well worth accessing and learning about Milton’s life and the gifts he has bestowed to the English language.

Words Of Wisdom

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Aristotle was right when he observed that courage is the most important of the virtues because without courage we cannot practice the other virtues.

MedPac: What’s It’s Role Going To Be?

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Obama’s MedPAC expansion plans said to have received “cool reception” from lawmakers.

The New York Times (8/14) reports, “If President Obama has his way,” MedPAC chairman Glenn M. Hackbarth “could become one of the most important people in government, with the power to say how Medicare spends more than $450 billion a year.” MedPAC currently “has just 36 employees and a budget of $10.5 million,” but the president has proposed creating “a potent rate-setting body modeled” on the agency, one that would have the power to “propose broader ‘reforms to the Medicare program.'” However, the idea “is meeting resistance from lawmakers, doctors, hospitals and even some advocates for older Americans.” While the “proposal has received a cool reception in Congress,” it “has been welcomed by health economists and fiscal hawks eager to reduce the federal budget deficit and slow the growth of Medicare.”

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