DAY IN DC FOR THE GOOD OF PATIENTS-empowering physicians to put patients first.

In the Oath of Hippocrates, physicians promise to work for the good of their patients, according to the best of their ability and judgment, and to do no harm. We support a return to this ethic in American medicine, and oppose policies that harm patients by subjugating care to the interest of the government and third parties.

Reform Issues:

  • Overregulation and mandates restrict access, stifle innovation, impede transparency, block competition & raise costs.
  • Fraud, waste, and shortages are rampant because special favors to middlemen.
  • Employer-based and government-run insurance discourages rational insurance practices.
  • Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupting the federal government, states, and doctors.
  • In the era of COVID, the consequences of usurping of patient and physician autonomy and freedoms are becoming increasingly apparent and dangerous.

Proposed Solutions: to protect freedom, increase options, encourage competition, and unwind unsustainable spending.

  1. End mask, vaccine, and other mandates and policies that intrude on patient autonomy. This also includes protecting Americans from World Health Organization policies that too often become mandates.
  2. Protect physician and patient freedom of speech in all venues, including the Internet. The government and media must not limit legal speech and must be transparent about their sources of funding and control. (See Texas HB 20.)
  3. Protect physician and patient autonomy in treatment and vaccination decisions. Early treatment for COVID saves lives and should not be improperly blocked by government or other bureaucrats. See AZ SB 1416 and MO HB 2149). Vaccine mandates are hurting vulnerable patients at low risk for COVID and must end. (See FL HB 1B, 3B, 5B, 7B).
  4. Protect due process rights of physicians who too often face retaliation, simply for advocating for patients, by employers, hospital administrators, licensing boards, and others who control their ability to practice. Needed reforms include repealing HCQIA’s qualified immunity for sham peer review, reform of the National Practitioner Databank, and rights for physicians employed by private equity controlled corporations.
  5. Work toward independence from China CCP medications, tech, manufacturing, goods and WHO influence.
  6. End regulations blocking alternatives to ACA, employment-based, Medicare, and Medicaid plans, while allowing those who wish to keep their current government plan to do so.
  7. End ACA’s ban on physician owned hospitals. Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act of amended section 1877 of the Social Security Act to generally prohibited those who know best how to care for patients from running the facilities where care for the most seriously ill and injured often takes place.
  8. Encourage transparency. Health care entities receiving taxpayer-subsidized funds from any source must disclose all prices that are accepted as payment in full for products and services furnished to individual consumers. Transparency by agencies (FDA, CDC, NIH, etc.) that control and influence health policy and treatment guidelines is also paramount. Transparency in training, so that patients know the qualifications of the clinicians caring for them, is also needed as patients are increasingly pushed to obtain care from individuals with significantly less training than physicians. Databases disclosing potential conflicts of interest must include all entities receiving or offering payments (e.g. device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, PBMs, GPOs, hospitals, insurers) not just physicians.
  9. Remove legal protection for kickbacks. Remedy GPO and PBM abuse of safe harbors by encouraging Congress to repeal 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(3)(C) and amplifying HHS-OIG efforts to stop exploitation of 42 C.F.R. § 1001.952(j) and related regulations. Ending kickbacks is a crucial aspect of ending America’s reliance on China for drugs and supplies.
  10. Decouple Social Security benefits from Medicare Part A. Citizens should be permitted to disenroll from Medicare Part A without forgoing Social Security payments. This would immediately decrease government spending and open the potential for a true insurance market for the over-65 population.
  11. Repeal Medicaid rules that decrease Medicaid patients’ access to independent physicians. ACA requires physicians ordering and prescribing for Medicaid patients to be enrolled in Medicaid. This creates barriers for Medicaid patients who seek care from independent physicians but wish to use Medicaid benefits for prescriptions, diagnostics, and hospital fees. This is a particular problem for Medicaid patients seeking treatment for opioid addiction.
  12. Explicitly define direct patient care (DPC) agreements as medical care (instead of insurance) so patients can use their HSAs, HRAs and FSAs for DPC.
  13. Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  Examples of needed reform include repealing the requirement that an individual making a tax-deductible contribution to an HSA be covered by a high deductible health care plan; increasing the maximum HSA contribution level; allowing Medicare eligible individuals to contribute to an HSA. HSA reform will help end tax discrimination. Individual’s payments for medical care should not be taxed differently than payments made by employers.
  14. End Restrictions on Health Sharing Ministries. Open the door for secular charitable sharing plans. Health Care Sharing Plans engage in voluntary sharing and are not a contractual transfer of risk.
  15. Encourage indemnity insurance and competition instead of managed care HMO plans. No limited networks of physicians and facilities.
  16. Address shortcomings of the No Surprises Act, that unfairly increase insurance company control over the ability of patients’ to access care from the physicians of their choice on mutually agreeable terms and that increase red tape for physicians.
  17. Increase options for addressing pre-existing conditions. Invigoration of competition, by implementing the above changes, would bring a variety of products for patients with pre-existing conditions, including reinsurance, and inexpensive guaranteed issue and renewability protections, and most importantly, lower overall cost of care.

Conclusion: Congress has passed law after law that disrupts the patient-physician relationship, corrupts medical decision making, and increases costs. During the COVID era, overregulation and regulatory capture is a greater threat to our nation than ever.   Harmful laws and policies cannot be fixed by adding new regulatory burdens or further usurping patient and physician autonomy. True reform starts with repealing laws and correcting errors, restoring the freedom, under constitutionally limited government, that made America great.

Freedom does not force people off plans but gives more options.

A case-in-point on how the media can mislead you, sent in by Beverly Gossage of http://www.hsabenefitsconsulting.com/

1) CNBC professes to tell you who will lose their insurance if the ACA is repealed. Not might…WILL…they say. :/ Their number is 25 million.

2) They outline 3 groups but fail to mention that most people are in all 3 subsets. So their number is erroneous.

3) Truth: none of these people would be forced off a plan. Of course, there would be a ramp off the ACA and the current plans would be grandfathered as new options would become available subject to state regs not federal. States can amend their regs to tailor them to their state.

4) Freedom does not force people off plans but gives more options.

The Ten Commandments of Healthcare

“Socialism is great until you run out of someone elses money.” ~Margaret Thatcher

Remember: Doctors for America was Doctors for Obama(partisan organization)

Read more: “Both Parties are Responsible for Healthcare Disaster” by Dr. Wax, published in Medical Economics, June 27, 2017 http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/both-political-parties-are-responsible-healthcare-disaster

Who loses in a true free market solution for health care? Not patients.

Friend of IP4PI Dr. Rico writes in:

Just ask yourself who loses out in a true free market solution – Insurance cos, Elites of academia and Quality/Certification cartel, and administrators and it’s clear why these special interests object so strenuously. It’s no secret there will always be millions of people who can’t pay for insurance, but let’s identify those costs clearly so taxpayers will understand the impact, as they are the ones paying for it. There can’t be a worse method of shifting costs to taxpayers than the current ACA subsidies. To state that current system works great as long as subsidies are maintained is ridiculous.

-Edward Rico, MD, MBA, FACE

Trump calls a congressman physician to lead real patient-centered reform at HHS

IP4PI joins patients and physicians across the United States in cheering the appointment of Congressman and orthopedic surgeon Tom Price, MD to head the Department of Health and Human Services in the incoming Trump administration.

Dr. Price has a long history of standing up for the patient-physician relationship against the myriad forces seeking to intervene to the detriment of quality patient care.  And indeed, proponents of top-down government control are quickly sounding the alarm  realizing they have an enemy in the congressman & good doctor from Georgia.

We look forward to supporting Dr. Price in his efforts to roll back ObamaCare, MACRA, MU and many other failed policies harmful to American medicine. Proven patient-centered solutions can then be unleashed to increase access to high-quality, low-cost medical care.

Congratulation’s Dr. Price on this well-deserved new job!  We are here to help you in this crucial and challenging work over the coming years.  The future of American patients and physicians will depend on it.

The only way to truly “save medicine” in America

Jef Fernley, DO shares his letter to his Congressman and physician-colleague, Representative Andy Harris, MD.

Hey Andy!

I’m not a huge fan of the frequently Left leaning Medical Economics, (though I am a huge proponent of the Austrian school of economics, as I’ve undoubtedly made clear in the past.)

Their article merely reminded me that I’d been meaning to reach out to you. With a new administration and Republican domination in DC, there is undoubtedly an enormous line already formed for requests of the new hierarchy.

I will add only this, for now. The State/Government does ONE thing when it interferes/regulates/manages/governs free markets, it distorts the signals to both entrepreneurs and customers. We don’t need to “replace” Obamacare with anything. We don’t need to sift through the ACA for the “best parts” to save. The only way to truly “save medicine” in America is to REMOVE the hand of Government COMPLETELY. Continue reading

Key concepts as we work to restore patient freedom and Make American Medicine Great Again

Now that there’s a fighting chance to save patients from the disaster of ObamaCare, let’s keep focus on some of the pivotal ideas that will restore low-cost, high-quality care for the maximum number of Americans, i.e. Make American Medicine Great Again:

Health insurance was originally intended to be optional inexpensive stop-gap damage control against large financial losses for catastrophic disease or injury. It has become government #ACA mandated income redistribution through #ACO cronyism disguised as an entitlement program.

The “unaffordable careless act,” aka ACA, not only had high deductibles but the highest premiums in history as it was first dollar coverage driven by government fantasy. 

True low cost competitive rate high deductible plans (HDP) should only cover large expenditures as small ones should be paid out of pocket with consumers’ Health Savings Accounts (HSA).  

Patients will decide on the value mix of the services they desire with prices mutually agreed on between patient and doctor. Consumers can have choice of paying fee for service at their discretion or paying for direct primary care ongoing relationship services. When other entities like employers, special interests and government get involved, the relationship and value is put asunder. 

Insurance was never intended to cover every dollar out of pocket. Imagine how expensive your car insurance would be if it covered every scratch, ding, dent, oil change, and every other service and told you where to buy gas every day….

Obamacare cost us trillions to save us millions.

Think about the math; Obamacare cost trillions to save us millions . It has taken over our the healthcare system, insurance system, funneling money to the hospitals and special interests, and stolen everybody’s right to choose to buy or not buy and insurance product. It is the biggest tax increase, biggest taxpayer funded entitlement and biggest theft of out rights in the history of our country. Obamacare Medicaid is not actual care, but a phony entitlement to enslave a population to vote for Washington cartel into perpetuity. I’m no fan of either party and their centralized power and money. We must repeal ACA and change DC now!

Best wishes for good health,

Craig M. Wax, DO
Family Physician
National Physicians Council on Healthcare Policy member

Eliminating The 6 Degrees of Patient-Physician Separation

Our Eliminating The 6 Degrees of Patient-Physician Separation article, penned by IP4PI founder Craig M. Wax, DO has been published at KevinMD.com!  Please check it out and leave your comments:

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/08/6-degrees-patient-physician-separation.html

Calling all Citizens About Your Rights, Privacy & Healthcare Options 

For Urgent Consideration and Action

This letter is from The National Physician’s Council on Healthcare Policy, or NPCHCP. We are a national organization comprised of physicians from many different specialties from a majority of states. In 2009 the Council was established by members of the US Congress for the purpose of gathering practicing physician’s input on issues relating to medicine, surgery and government healthcare policy.

The Council has read and critiqued the nine hundred and sixty two pages (962) of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS Rules spawned from the MACRA Law. By unanimous opinion, even if the stated goals were laudable, the MACRA Rules as written are impossible to implement and will, like the “so-called,’ Affordable Care Act,” or ACA, waste billions of taxpayer dollars and violate your rights to privacy, security and choiceif they are allowed to proceed forward.

MACRA/MIPS will destroy your privacy, security and healthcare options, taking out the solo and small groups first as physicians buckle under MACRA’s financial burden and become salaried employees or leave practice. Implementation will force physicians by law to betray the Hippocratic Oath by linking payment to the collection of intimate and private data on all patients, not just Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. All data must be made available without restriction to CMS and related government entities via the electronic medical record, per the regulations, endangering your privacy and security. The government and insurance industry are exempted from HIPAA, the so-called, “privacy statute.” Further, mandatory reporting and participation by physicians and healthcare facilities is to be used for bureaucrats to publically grade physicians on the pretense of quality. MACRA MIPS will not pay for your healthcare office visits to physicians and facilities, but by a complex series of equations based on your personal, formerly private data. The government is free and clear to ration care by choking payment to death for certain procedures, groups or even individuals as they see fit, with no responsibility to the people it is purported to serve.

In 1965, Medicare was passed with the distinct caveat that the law would in no way interfere with the practice of medicine and surgery. In contrast, the MACRA law allows total government intrusion into every aspect of the practice of medicine, including unfettered access to every person’s personal health data. This includes not just Medicare recipients, but all insured persons, whether individual, corporate or government. This law actually extends CMS reporting requirements to individual privately insured, employer sponsored, as well as, government Medicare and Medicaid patients also. This will most certainly be challenged in court.

The frequent justification for government interference is that the current healthcare expenditures cannot be sustained. Under the auspices of enhancing quality, fixing a flawed payment system and controlling costs, Congress passed another healthcare law few had read. Ironically, the MACRA solution adds billions of dollars in IT, administrative, and software costs to physicians and the taxpayers. At the same time the law takes physicians away from the care of patients. The only winners are policians, IT vendors, hospitals, big pharma and entities selling compliance courses and software. With strong opposition, we can stop MACRA during this CMS Rules Comment Period.

The WSJ on May 7, 2016 reported that Washington rules now impose $1.9 trillion of annual costs to the US economy, or $15,000 per household. Smaller business is the hardest hit. It is our opinion that every taxpaying citizen has an obligation to protect their own self interests of privacy, security and freedom of choice.

We urge you to voice opposition to this government takeover of your privacy, freedom of choice, and healthcare options during the CMS MACRA comment period prior to June 27, 2016. We all can and must do better. 

Here is where you may make your comments:

https://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=CMS-2016-0060-0068

The NPCHCP thanks you for all your help. Let’s take back our rights and freedom NOW.