Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Newsletter That Empowers Medical Consumers

The Newsletter That Empowers Medical Consumers

January 31, 2017

By Anna Morris, Co-Editor, FFOA News Network

 Democrat Care blithely put one sixth of our economy and all of our lives and deaths under government control. Politicians hope they can keep the voters in an uneducated state with one group demanding full repeal and another main group demanding more government control and more government benefits, single payer if possible.

     The sick and injured = patients = medical consumers. Unlike the millions of other things we buy such as food, clothing, vehicles, homes and businesses, we the medical consumers have no control and almost no input into our care. That is why a monster like Obama Care / Democrat Care can come from nowhere and knock us flat. Our only recourse then is to finally kick the offending party out of power and hope the winning party will have better solutions. 

     Very real life and death has been reduced to politics because of a conspiracy to keep medical consumers ignorant. It began with the likes of the AMA which cut consumers out of the process. Now our lack of knowledge has turned to fear and the politicians revel in complete control of the people through health policy. They have grabbed us by our soft, private parts and they are squeezing with the intent to never let go. Perhaps that is why President Trump seems to have back-burnered Democrat Care with a weak executive action on day one. Does he too count on our continued helplessness through ignorance?

     In our defense, unless we worked and kept working in the medical profession, we had no idea what was going on. Mostly we could read about political "solutions" in whatever "news" sources we absorbed. Most of us brushed shoulders with Medicare through elderly or disabled relatives or friends. Perhaps we have some idea of state Medicaid. For most of us our knowledge of "health care" is what happens when we get sick or injured; the experiences are good or bad and usually we recover. Toward the end of a long life, or if someone is terribly unlucky, a patient may have extended experiences with medical care in the case of a chronic condition.

     What everyone does know is that the cost of medical care is capable of bankrupting most of us.

     We will be at the mercy of this rotten system unless we educate ourselves! Several years ago when I began writing for FFOA I was trying to recover from a dehumanizing experience with the medical system that had left me in a dying condition with no doctor. Understandably angry and bitter I also wanted to know why doctors, specifically in Oregon, had suddenly decided some of my friends and associates were unworthy of care because, "There was not enough to go around." Whether I was writing or not I have always had the mind of a journalist so I asked questions that were seldom answered since most doctors shuffle their feet and say nothing when asked a question about their profession. "Not enough to go around," was offered by one doctor when asked why some patients, cigarette smokers specifically, were sometimes dangerously neglected, shamed and marginalized. In one case a patient was denied pain medication after surgery because she did not agree to enter "smoking cessation classes." When did doctors become sadists, why and why is this allowed?

     So a lot of my articles have been from the abused patient perspective. We were drowning in Democrat Care with no end in sight; government and the system torturing patients, in my opinion, needed to be exposed for whatever good it would do. 

     Early on I subscribed to the KevinPhoMD e-newsletter which I read occasionally. It contains a lot of short articles from the doctors' and nurses' perspective. In the beginning I hoped to find answers to my specific questions in the newsletter and when I did not, I seldom read it. When President Trump was elected largely on the promise to scuttle Obama Care, the left started yowling about Republicans letting folks die in the streets. (They always say this though President Reagan signed legislation back in the 80s that requires emergency rooms to take everyone, regardless of ability to pay.)

     The new administration at least gives us hope that Democrat Care will be eased though our ignorance is extended as we fear what is euphemistically called the replacement. Why is it exactly that we the medical consumers are kept out of the process? Why do we quiver in fear, hoping Trump Care will dump the individual mandate that forces us to buy insurance we don't want because the Supreme Court calls it a tax? How do we the consumers take back the profession that literally holds our lives in its talons? Why are we waiting for GOVERNMENT and politicians to dish up "solutions" that many of us will find unacceptable?

     We remain helpless because most of us have no idea what happens in the medical profession from THEIR side and for the most part we have little access to the information that will set us free and make us part of the process. We all have the opportunity now to offer our solutions from the patient/consumer perspective.

     KevinPhoMD.com is the best one spot, easy to understand source I have found in four years. I challenge everyone reading this to put that address into the search bar, sign up, read and get educated. 

     Some article titles are: "Americans think that most physicians have it made. They're wrong.", "Remember the mothers of sick children", "The ER demonstrates the inverted priorities of American society".

     For a starter article, read that last one about the ER, written by Edwin Leap MD. He describes our compassionate law that makes the ER available to everyone regardless of ability to pay and the entitlement attitude of some patients. "We've created a monstrosity of entitlement," Dr. Leap writes. He continues, "I care for the poor, I love the poor and have always tried my best to help those in genuine need."

     Why our medical care is so messed up is complex and hard to understand. Obama's Democrats used the mantra that the "system is broken" then they proceeded to completely destroy it in ways that further obscure ways to fix it. The articles in KevinPhoMD.com provide us with small packets of information covering everything from electronic records to Medicare under paying rural doctors to the need for physicians to show more compassion. 

     Living in the Oregon/Idaho border area I write primarily from the perspective and experience of rural medical care. (Severe abuse of someone close to me happened in a big city hospital and that is also a basis for my quest for information.) Until I really started reading articles in KevinPhoMD.com I had little idea about rural health care differing significantly from care in cities. It was not something easily found in Google searches. I learned in Dr. Pho's newsletter about Medicare paying less to doctors in rural areas. This certainly must have something to do with the difficulty of keeping doctors in rural areas. Once again GOVERNMENT is screwing up and it is time We The People reclaimed the government.

     Once upon a time in America public schools were devised so that voting citizens were empowered with basic knowledge. (This is overly simplistic but let it stand for now.) When it comes to medical care the government intends for our eighth grade educations to limit our ability to understand the complex. We cannot take it back and gain control if we are ignorant.

     Instead of waiting in fear for government to tell us how it will save us from ourselves, let us educate ourselves on what is really happening. We can start by subscribing to KevinPhoMD.com. What if all of us in rural areas contacted our elected representatives and demanded that our doctors receive the same pay from Medicare as do their big city counterparts? That would make us part of the process instead of residents on the plantation praying for a benevolent master. 


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