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Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 8:20amSanction this postReply
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I am new to Rebirth of Reason but I know that I'm at the right place to find support for preserving, protecting, and promoting freedom in medicine.

As you know, Washington politicians are poised to inject a lethal dose of statism into the heart of our healthcare system — an industry already clogged with more government control than any others. This massive dose of statism will induce grave waves of arrhythmia — inflation, price controls, doctor shortages, waiting periods, and rationing.

We must act NOW to bring a halt to this leftist-led, lemming-like leap into the sordid sea of statism.

So I thought you would like to know that on July 4, 2009, I founded a new organization, Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine, issued a Declaration of Independence for Doctors, declared a philosophical war on statism in healthcare, and established a growing internet presence at www.doctorsonstrike.com to provide the philosophical and political ammunition necessary to wage this important war.

Inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, I am actively encouraging doctors to shrug off the burdens of statism. I am calling on doctors to go on strike against any new government-run healthcare plan and resign from existing ones (Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE).

I want the country to know — in advance — that doctors will strike if a new government healthcare program is established. A doctors’ strike will hopefully mobilize voters to persuade politicians to vote against any public option: When the public knows in advance that doctors are planning to strike, they will hopefully flood politicians with angry calls, emails, and letters. Will the politicians ever listen? I don’t know, but the public will soon be learning the answer to another question, “Who is John Galt?” Stay tuned. . .

I am asking that you take the following three actions:

1. Tell your two senators and your representative that are against any government takeover of health care. We provide sample emails and set up a very quick and convenient way to do this at our website:

http://www.doctorsonstrike.com/politicalammunition.html

2. Ask your like-minded friends, family members, and acquaintances to do the same by simply forwarding this email to them.

3. Let others know about Doctors on Strike.

You may also want to post a link to www.doctorsonstrike.com on your own website and subscribe to my blog where I have been posting my daily comments sprinkled with some healthcare humor and sharp-tongued jabs at statism:

www.doctorsonstrike.com/blogdoctorsonstrike.html

Here is a sample:

“Our self-appointed “Quack-in-Chief,” strutting forward a bit too bouncily toward the nearest microphone, holding his head a bit too high, acting a bit too much like he is auditioning for a lead role as a doctor in a hit TV series, “Obama’s Anatomy,” is engaging in political and economic malpractice by precipitously prescribing a massive dose of statism — exactly the wrong medicine at the wrong time for what ails our economy, in general, and our healthcare system, in particular.

“The Congress, overflowing with quintessential quacks from both houses of Washington’s version of a Holiday Inn Express, smartly offers as second opinions their variations of statist healthcare reform ad nauseam.

“The left-winged birds-of-a-feather in the media are flocking together, waddling around "The Chief Quack", sycophantically quacking the same quackery, ducking their obligation to air both sides of the healthcare debate, virtually assuring that a half-assed hatchling of a healthcare plan will soon be hatched.

“The philosophical allies of freedom — rational self-interest and individualism — are unlikely to win a decisive battle any time soon against the philosophical allies of statism — altruism and collectivism.

“We cannot in good conscience do nothing. We are all doctors now — doctors and patients alike — because the health of our health care system is in the care of these Washington quacks!”


Thanks,

Gregory L. Garamoni, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
904-631-3938
garamoni@gmail.com
www.DrGaramoni.com
www.doctorsonstrike.com



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Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 4:05pmSanction this postReply
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Hi neighbor,

Checked out your website, and I wish you luck. You may find many useful observations by scanning through older ROR posts, that could help you with content for your website.

jt



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Post 2

Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 5:50pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Jay, I will do that.

I'm pleased to report that since its inception two weeks ago www.doctorsonstrike.com has been visited by people from 20 different countries.

Here in the USA we have been visited by people from 45 different states.

Any support from RoR members would be greatly appreciated.
(Edited by Gregory L. Garamoni on 7/16, 5:52pm)




Post 3

Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 9:09pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Garamoni,

Welcome to RoR. I like what you are doing with your website. Have you heard of Richard G. Parker ("Objective Medicine")? Your goal seems similar to his.

I've interacted with Dr. Parker in the past and he made a good impression on me. However, an internet search just preceding this post reveals that his website is totally changed from one defending free market medicine into a commercial website -- and that there is/was a potential controversy between him and the infrequent RoR participant, Gennady Stolyarov II.

I remember when his website had philosophical essays. Now, it's just a commercial remedy site which doesn't even work well. It's as if he's been "replaced" as the webmaster or something.

Ed




Post 4

Friday, July 17, 2009 - 1:51amSanction this postReply
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In an email to me yesterday, Richard Ralston of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine (AFCM) refused to support Doctors on Strike for Medicine.

Here is my response:

I have the utmost respect for what you have been trying to do for so many years on behalf of freedom in medicine. I also feel sad that despite your efforts you have been pissing into the winds of statism that are now blowing back into your face with hurricane force.

Boy oh boy, if I were you, I'd really feel pissed off, big time!

You stated, "I did not find the basic thrust of your approach (a strike) likely to gain much support from physicians and think it replaces reasoned argument with an obviously empty threat."

If you take the time to read the material presented on www.doctorsonstrike.com, you will find well-reasoned arguments (The Declaration of Independence for Doctors) backed not by "an obviously empty threat," but by a full-throated threat, fully backed by the principle of justice, succinctly summarized in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: "The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it."

Also, when you are not busy depositing your nonprofit contributions to your organization, take some time to Google "doctors on strike." You might find some inspiring threats by courageous doctors that are not by any means "empty."

You said, "I regularly cooperate and meet with other organizations on health care issues. I have never seen you there or heard of you until you sent your email. Where have you been? On what basis do you now demand instant support and denounce anyone who does not provide it?"

I know you have tried your best to cooperate--yet failed. I remember reading about tragic figures like you in Atlas Shrugged. And I do admire and respect you for what you have tried to do.

I also admire and respect the efforts of countless extinct species that struggled, but failed to survive in the face of evolutionary adversity. Your "reasoned" approach has had its day in the sun, but now must be eclipsed by a new, more aggressive stance against the aggression we face by the statist quacks in power. There was a period of oppression before the Declaration of Independence. And then there was period of aggression. And then there was the birth of a new, free nation.

I am here to say that I refuse accept the fate of the dodo bird. I am here to say that I no longer sanction the evil of governmental interference in the practice of health care. I am here to encourage other health care professionals to draw a line in the sand. As the founders of our country said in their own way, "Enough is enough."

I have followed their example in the Declaration of Independence for Doctors that I published on July 4, 2009. Doctors need to draw a line in the sand--now. If not now, then when? If not doctors, then who--the politicians? The politicians have crossed the line. We are now at war.

You said, "I regularly cooperate and meet with other organizations on health care issues. I have never seen you there or heard of you until you sent your email. Where have you been? On what basis do you now demand instant support and denounce anyone who does not provide it?"

Is this the old Objectivist pedigree argument rearing its ugly ad hominem head again--with a primacy of consciousness twist? No one should listen to me because you've never heard of me or seen me rubbing elbows with anyone powerful enough to anoint me as an official Objectivist spokesperson? I could give a rat's ass. Perhaps you should re-read this passage from The Fountainhead:

"Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received--hatred. The great creators--the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors--stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The first airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won."

You said, "Perhaps you are disappointed that other organizations have not lined up to endorse you."

I've only been doing this for two weeks--TWO WEEKS. And I bet my organization has had more views in more countries and states during the past 14 days than yours did. Yes, I am disappointed--very disappointed--that you do not endorse Doctors on Strike for freedom in Medicine.

But I have been a gadfly all my life, so I'm not surprised by any hardening of the attitudes in the old guard.

You said, "Your shrill tone certainly indicates a degree of frustration which is unlikely to recruit many allies." During the past 43 years, I've heard people characterize Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, and even John Galt as being shrill. While I don't pretend to walk among these intellectual giants, I admire them for being passionately reasonable and reasonably passionate in their defense of the rights of man. "Passionately reasonable, reasonably passionate" is, by the way, the slogan for Doctors on Strike.

I see Drs. Yaron Brook and Harry Binswanger appearing on the Glenn Beck Show. This libertarian (Christ Almighty, I'm flummoxed because I thought Objectivists should not be sanctioning these philosophically-unanchored dudes!) has a passionate presence with reasoned arguments that any emotionally repressed Objectivist would die for!

Shrillness has a very effective place in the marketplace of ideas--especially when there is a crisis and an urgent, emotional call to action is in order.

I see nothing on your website that reflects any sense of urgency--even though we are being marched pell-mell into health care hell.

Again, I respect what you have done over the years. Enough of not enough is inexorably enough already.

Gregory L. Garamoni, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
904-631-3938
garamoni@gmail.com
www.DrGaramoni.com
www.doctorsonstrike.com



Post 5

Friday, July 17, 2009 - 1:57amSanction this postReply
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This is a copy of what I just sent to an "Objectivist" organization, Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine, or, as you will see, ironically, FIRM :

I just read your email calling attention to a patient group supporting freedom in medicine.

That's great, but will any of you support ever what I am doing at www.doctorsonstrike.com?

The silence is overwhelming, here. Why?

One of the cardinal virtues in Objectivism is justice. I am not getting anything close to the positive support that I deserve in support from any of you. I am not getting anything close to this. I get nothing but silence from you.

I have been a student of Objectivism before Diana, Paul, and many of you were even born. You may be sipping on tea with the Peikoffs, but I have been learning from him and other Objectivists since 1967.

I endured Molotov cocktails being thrown at our tables representing the Students Defending Individual Rights (SDIR) at the University of Wisconsin in the late 1960's.

I have sent several messages here without response. If you take issue with my positions, well, let's debate it. Is not that the reasonable (no, excuse me, Diana, the "rational" thing) to do?

If there is something else going one, let's discuss it. I know you are all busy, including posting pictures of your selves on vacation on your blogs, but freedom in health care deserves more than silence.

I'm tempted to give this group an Axis II personality disorder diagnosis, but I will professionally refrain--for the moment--from pathologizing people I do not know in public.

FIRM, as I am observing it, is a small group of Colorado physicians and well-wishers with a presence on the internet that gives the false impression of being an activist organization with a national reach.

I see nothing of the sort going on here. All I see is a "read this" or "read that" post from people in Colorado. Unless I'm missing something--and, trust me, that would not be the first time--I would diagnosis FIRM as suffering from two disorders: (1) severe delusional disorder, subtype grandiosity, and (2) FIRM Erectile Dysfunction for being flimsily flaccid in the national debate on health care reform.

This email is fully intended to get a full rise out of you. But I expect that you will not dignify me with any response.

My nickname at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was "Dr. Dick" because I led a study in which we intrusively studied erectile dysfunction in depressed males. And I know how to be intrusive. And I know about ED in males. And I know what it is to be a prick.

As "Dr. Dick," I know I'm here being a prick, and I really am trying to stick it to you. But what the "F" is up with you? Why don't you respond to my messages? Are you a hopelessly flaccid group, or what?

Looking at the increasingly national reach of my own new website, I wonder if you suffering from some sort of press envy?

After all this foreplay, I'm hoping that with all this pointed, prodding, but hopefully well-received, well-lubricated, and firmly grasped (pun intended) humor, that I will finally get a rise out of you.

I may have to post this piece on my next blog because I'm just so amused by my own unconventional sense of humor. But I'm worried that you might be too stiff to appreciate what is unconventional?

What's up (or unable to get up), docs?

Gregory ("Dr. Dick") Garamoni, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
904-631-3938
garamoni@gmail.com
www.DrGaramoni.com
www.doctorsonstrike.com



Post 6

Friday, July 17, 2009 - 9:03amSanction this postReply
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Here's a way to pull out in front of the ARI-endorsed organizations: instead of going on strike against new statist inroads, try striking against some of the old ones.  Occupational licensing is a good candidate, since AFCM tends to look the other way on this issue.  Declare that you and your members won't go back to work until these laws are repealed in at least one state.



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Post 7

Friday, July 17, 2009 - 1:00pmSanction this postReply
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An Israeli doctor said to a medical conference, "Medicine in my
country is so advanced, we can take a kidney out of one person, put it
into another and have him looking for work in six weeks!"

The German doctor stood up and said, "well medicine in my country is
so advanced, we can take a lung out of one person and put it into
another and have him looking for work on 4 weeks"

The Russian doctor got up and said "My country is even more
advanced, we can remove half a heart from one person, put it into
another and have them both looking for work in just 2 weeks!"

Not to be outdone, the American doctor stood up and addressed the
conference, "Well" he said "My country is so far advanced in medicine,
we can take an Asshole out of Chicago , put him in the White House, and
have half the country looking for work in 24 hours!"



Post 8

Friday, July 17, 2009 - 1:01pmSanction this postReply
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I came across his name and travelled the same cul-de-sac.



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Post 9

Friday, July 17, 2009 - 3:50pmSanction this postReply
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Gregory,

I'm reminded of the expression "you can catch more flies with honey..."

When your purpose is to engage people and convince them that your views and your approach are right, it seems ineffective to begin discussions with harsh reproofs. It is particularly unfortunate when those other persons are already predisposed to your position, and only need to be convinced about the methods you choose to defend it.

I think it is also important to capitalize on your strongest assets - one of which is your position in the community. As a practicing doctor of Psychiatry, there is a certain amount of respect that is automatically afforded you - the respect accorded to a professional. Consequently, people expect the voice you use to be one of calm, assured, professionalism. That is the voice that will hold peoples attention long enough to make them think, and to honestly weigh what you are saying.

If, instead of your professional voice, you speak as an alarmist (certainly understandable in these times), or speak insultingly, or try to sound like any common Joe Blow, you only undermine the respect reserved for your position - and thereby lose important credibility among your audience. What you want to achieve speaking to your audience, is far more important what your opinion is of your audience. I'd suggest using more discretion, and using the same professional voice with your audience as you would use with your patients.

Again, good luck,

jt



(Edited by Jay Abbott on 7/17, 3:54pm)

(Edited by Jay Abbott on 7/17, 3:56pm)




Post 10

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 3:42pmSanction this postReply
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This is outrageous, so absolutely outrageous!

The fascists who dominate the House Ways and Means Committee, marking up the Health bill:

Rejected 25-15 an amendment from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that would have eliminated the public plan option;

Rejected 22-19 amendment from Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) that would have prevented providers from being forced to participate in the public plan;

Rejected 21-18 an amendment from Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) that would have required members of Congress and their dependents to enroll in the public plan option;

Rejected 21-19 an amendment from Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) that would have based payment rates on the private market, rather than on Medicare;

Rejected 26-15 an amendment by Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.) that would have prevented comparative effectiveness research from being used to deny care based on cost.

(Source John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog at http://www.john-goodman-blog.com/all-in-a-days-work/#comment-43995.)

Contact your legislators and give them a piece of your mind. I've made it easy for you to do this on the "Political Ammunition" page at the website for Doctors on Strike at www.doctorsonstrike.com.

Docs, get ready to go on strike!

This is our war--one we cannot afford to lose. We are all doctors and patients now. We are allies. I provide some powerful ammunition to win this war. Use it to win!

Gregory L. Garamoni, Ph.D.
Founder & Executive Director,
Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine
www.doctorsonstrike.com



Post 11

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 4:51pmSanction this postReply
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I have to say that I am NOT the LEAST bit in favor of preserving the Health Care System the way it is, not one bit.
My best friends mom is a physician and she herself has expressed how fed up she and other doctors as well as patients are with the current laissez-faire healthcare system. I have to say that if I faced a serious illness I would rather go to a country like Sweden for medical treatment that have everything I own taken from me by HMOs/Health Insurance. Now a full government takeover is too drastic as a first step, but at the very least there needs to be some kind of nationalized health insurance for those who need it but to preserve competition private treatment should remain an option. The way the healthcare system works now is that a diagnosis of a serious illness is just an excuse for HMOs to take EVERYTHING that you have from you! And worst of all, the criminalization of physician assisted suicide is based entirely on the interest of HMOs and against the wishes of patients: They keep you alive as long as possible so they can continue bill you and/or your loved ones! Since I am not involved in any sort of executive/management position at an HMO nor do I derive any profit from these corporations I Do Not support their interests having precedence over the well being of patients.
(Edited by Anton L Feichtmeir on 7/20, 8:19pm)




Post 12

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 5:26pmSanction this postReply
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Oh dear...

So, Anton, you're advocating rationed health care?
(Edited by Teresa Summerlee Isanhart on 7/20, 5:28pm)




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Post 13

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 5:41pmSanction this postReply
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How cute...he thinks we have a laissez-faire health care system already...

Sounds like another nutter I just read online. I'm loathe to reprint it, except as a "horror file" item, so we know what we're dealing with. Notice the emphasis on "consumer driven health care," with no mention of the freedom of the doctor...

From an article entitled "Cronkite, Christian Radio and Canadian Health Care" on the phillyweekly.com website:

"Now, let me inject a little personal experience into this story. Whenever I begin talking about our country's desperate need for national health care, some wingnut brings up Canada and how awful their health care is: The waits. Bureaucrats deciding what services you can get.

Don't believe them. It's a LIE. I know it's a lie because my son and his mom ARE Canadians, and I have personal experience with the system.

You know how much we paid out of pocket for his birth? NOTHING. You know how much we pay for dental care and medical care, out of pocket? NOTHING. You know what the waits are like? NOWHERE NEAR AS LONG AS WE WAIT HERE IN THE US. You wanna talk about waits Mr. Libertarian dude? How about last year when my "primary care physician" told me I'd have to wait about two months to get a tick bite checked for Lyme Disease.

So don't let anyone bullshit you about waiting lists, because it's not true. As for government bureaucrats making decisions for me? How is that any different than the corporate bureaucrats who are already doing the same thing, as Cigna's former-VP-for-Communications-turned-reform-advocate Wendell Potter points out:

I also have seen how the industry's practices -- especially those of the for-profit insurers that are under constant pressure from Wall Street to meet their profit expectations -- have contributed to the tragedy of nearly 50 million people being uninsured as well as to the growing number of Americans who, because insurers now require them to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets before their coverage kicks in -- are underinsured. An estimated 25 million of us now fall into that category.

What I saw happening over the past few years was a steady movement away from the concept of insurance and toward "individual responsibility," a term used a lot by insurers and their ideological allies. This is playing out as a continuous shifting of the financial burden of health care costs away from insurers and employers and onto the backs of individuals. As a result, more and more sick people are not going to the doctor or picking up their prescriptions because of costs. If they are unfortunate enough to become seriously ill or injured, many people enrolled in these plans find themselves on the hook for such high medical bills that they are losing their homes to foreclosure or being forced into bankruptcy.

THAT is what this fight is all about: getting people the coverage they need so they don't go broke when a catastrophic illness arrives, and ensuring that when it comes to health care, patients matter more than profits."
(Edited by Joe Maurone on 7/20, 6:37pm)




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Monday, July 20, 2009 - 6:06pmSanction this postReply
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Now, one of my bosses is Canadian, and he's convinced Obama is out of his effing mind. He says that in Canada it's NORMAL to wait a month for bypass surgery after a heart attack.

That just don't seem very normal to me.



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Post 15

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 9:20pmSanction this postReply
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Here is a fun little video of an undercover investigation of
Canadian Universal Healthcare










Post 16

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 10:33pmSanction this postReply
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I've got a poll going on over at Objectivism Online:
http://forum.objectivismonline.net/index.php?showtopic=17046

You might want to cast your vote--if that's okay with the moderator here, of course!

Results so far:

Should doctors go on strike?

Should doctors "go on strike" by refusing to participate in ObamaCare?
Yes [ 7 ] [87.50%]
No [ 1 ] [12.50%]

If ObamaCare passes, should doctors "go on strike" by stopping their participation in other government plans (Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE)?

Yes [ 7 ] [87.50%]
No [ 1 ] [12.50%]



Post 17

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 7:52pmSanction this postReply
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Well consider this: Why shouldn't patients have some leverage as to how much they pay doctors according to the QUALITY of care that they receive? As far as the freedom of Doctors in concerned many hospital physicians are overworked which certainly has negative impact on the care they are able to give to their patients. If patients had more options as to how much they are Willing to pay then physicians based on their satisfaction of the care they receive to give physicians an incentive to provide as best care they possibly can? That's how it works in law. An attorney that wins say, 80% of cases is going to have a better reputation and get more future clients than one who only wins 50% of cases they're involved with.



Post 18

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 3:28amSanction this postReply
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Anton:

Well consider this: Why shouldn't patients have some leverage as to how much they pay doctors according to the QUALITY of care that they receive?
Why do you assume the president's proposed "change" will lead consumers to higher quality care?  Is there any evidence it will anywhere?


 As far as the freedom of Doctors in concerned many hospital physicians are overworked which certainly has negative impact on the care they are able to give to their patients.
If this is true, the reasons are not being examined. Why?

 If patients had more options as to how much they are Willing to pay then physicians based on their satisfaction of the care they receive to give physicians an incentive to provide as best care they possibly can?
I thought we had something exactly like this now. No?


That's how it works in law. An attorney that wins say, 80% of cases is going to have a better reputation and get more future clients than one who only wins 50% of cases they're involved with.
Yes, but this is  far far far away from what we'll get with this proposed "change" in the system.




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Post 19

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 9:44amSanction this postReply
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Why should I pay for other people's health issues any more than for their food or housing?  If I wish to - and I well may in some cases - I would contribute to a charity.  Otherwise, it is organized theft and treason to the responsible to provide benefits to the irresponsible. 

I think I will look at outsourced healthcare like going to Thailand, India, Israel, China, or other countries and just pay cash for what I need if this happens.  If we truly had fee for service, with insurance available for catastrophic situations, and a truly 100% free market, we would not have any of these issues at all.

On another note, perhaps some enclosed private systems can be created, where you pay a fixed cost for having treatment available by a group of private doctors - we need something like that, a sort of self-created insurance program entirely privately run. 




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