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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Doctor's View of the Healthcare Debate

A Doctor’s View of the Healthcare Debate

Health care as we know it today is over. Patients complain now about waiting 15 minutes to be seen in the office, wait till they can't get an appointment for weeks or months! Medicine has become a business, like any other free enterprise company. Without appropriate reimbursement, increasing overheads and burdensome government controls, the business fails. This is the direction we are heading.

As a local doctor seeing local patients, we can no longer invest in new state of the art technology, we have patients purchase their own supplies and drugs and bring them to the office, we function on skeleton staff, continue to pay exorbitant malpractice premiums, not to mention providing costly health insurance to our staff and families and our medical offices sees 25% more patients daily to keep our business afloat.

You tell me how adding 40 million new patients to the US health care pool with Medicaid like coverage, which actually cost us money to provide their care, is going to fix the system?
I agree health care spending is out of control. Yet, allow our free enterprise system to run itself. Healthcare is not a right in this country. It costs money like anything else. If you want to be healthy, take care of yourself and don't rely on your government to care for your self-inflicted obesity: Diabetes, arthritis, heart disease come from poor nutrition and sedentary life styles.

Allow a two tier system to flourish. Continue health care insurance, without allowing huge profits to the insurance companies and using that money to lower premiums, allow a state and federal Medicaid system for only those who cannot work, paid by increase taxes on junk food, cigarettes and alcohol. Let the American citizen decide on what their health is worth. They have no problem buying a new iPod, new 50 inch plasma TV or car, but when it comes to health care no one wants to pay!!!!

Enough said! Doc Rock (Williamsport, PA)

Editor Note: Dr. Steve Rockoff is a successful Urologist in Williamsport, PA and a close friend of my sister Carroll. According to my sister, Doc Rock is a great guy, great doctor, father of four, and a solid conservative.

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let's Rethink Healthcare Reform

Let’s Rethink Health Care Reform

I wanted to take a minute with you are share what is on my heart about healthcare reform. As most of you know, Congress is creating legislation on Healthcare Reform, which the President wants to bring to a vote before the August congressional recess. I think many would agree that we need to make some changes to the current arrangement that would make healthcare more accessible and more cost efficient. However, the legislation that is being rushed through (you might want to ask yourself, why the hurry!) will do neither. In fact, on page 16 of the house bill, there is a provision, that will make it illegal to carry private insurance. Do you want your current health insurance replaced by government health insurance which is being modeled after Medicaid? It will cost Trillions of dollars and the Congressional Budget Office has reported that they can't really even give an accurate estimate of the cost, because they haven't been given enough time or information to evaluate the legislation.

Healthcare is 1/7th of our economy. I would bet that everyone reading this overview, has a friend or relative, or they themselves are employed in some capacity in the healthcare industry. Have any of you stopped to consider what will happen to those people's jobs? If as proposed, most people are moved to a government run health insurance modeled after Medicaid, revenue to healthcare facilities, doctors offices, nursing homes, etc will drop dramatically. No one that currently provides healthcare even breaks even when they provide care to people on Medicaid. It is there as a safety net, and we all absorb the cost of providing care to the poor, as well we should. So if revenue drops dramatically, what becomes of the nurse, the ward clerk, the radiology tech, the orderly, the secretary? How many small facilities will have to close because they cannot even break even? Will healthcare be limited to a few large impersonal facilities, run on a tight budget providing substandard care?

Let's move onto another aspect of the proposed healthcare reform ...rationing, which is inevitable under the proposed plan. How many of you reading this email has friend or relative or you yourself are a cancer survivor? What happens to the cancer patient who has to wait 6 months or more for surgery or chemo? Survival rates in the US are significantly higher than countries with nationalized healthcare, primarily because of the quality and promptness of care we receive. Which one of you or your friends or relatives is alive today because they received the proper care in a timely fashion? Who would you suggest we make wait for chemo or surgery...the one with the best chance of survival? What if your mother, wife, sister coworker is placed in that position? I find that a frightening idea. Right now, time is of the essence. Congress is considering this legislation NOW. It is being marked up in committee as I write this overview.

Please take a minute and call or write your Congressman and Senator. Tell them to defeat this legislation. NOW!!!Here is a link to a website to help you find out how to contact your congressman or senator. need healthcare reform, but not this 1,100 page piece of legislation, which few have even read, not in such haste, not on the backs of small businessmen and women. Let's take our time and make honest, helpful reforms that the majority of the American people could support.

Carroll Pawlikowski
Williamsport, PA

Editor's Note: Carroll is my sister who is the business manager for a private practice health care provider in north central Pennsylvania. This blog is her recent e-mail without edits. Enjoy!

(c) 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,