We already have national health insurance. It is called Medicare.
In just a few short years, you will reap all the rewards and suffer all the consequences of this system, because you essentially have no other options.
Every year, Medicare costs more and delivers less. Medicare beneficiaries already reap five times more from this system than they pay in. Don't expect Medicare to save you when you reach retirement age.
With both Republicans and Democrats now advocating prescription drug benefits, we are looking at double or triple costs, no matter what they tell you. Anyone who dares to speak against this brainchild of President Clinton is accused of being against old, sick people.
But it's easy to care with other people's money. Clinton knows this better than anyone. In his waning, lackluster months, Clinton has opened yet another can of worms for other people to sort through and resolve.
It won't be long before we Baby Boomers are the old, sick people Clinton is pandering to. The Yuppies, the Gen. X-ers and the others coming behind us will be expected to foot the bill for our medical expenses and our prescriptions, just as we did for our parents.
The trouble is, there are many more of us than there are of them. And, the Yuppies and the Gen. X-ers are not the bleeding hearts we were. When they have to make the choice between keeping you on life support systems or in a nursing home or even getting a good pacemaker, they may choose a new sports utility vehicle over you.
Medicaid already reimburses $5.00 for physician-assisted suicide in Oregon. The five bucks pays for enough phenobarbital to put out your lights forever. Is this a trend? When we turn 65, will Medicare reimburse for euthanasia too? Now there's a prescription drug benefit for you!
Wake up and act before it's too late. Take advantage of options and feather your own nests while you still can.
One option is a Medical Savings Account, described in detail on my web page at http://www.healingcenterpc.com.
Katharine C. Otto, MD
England and Gun Control --- Moral Decline of an Empire
Just to illustrate from personal experience that British laws are a bit out of hand...I recently traveled to Greece, and had a short layover in Heathrow Airport in England. While there, I was detained, searched, and questioned by MP5 (machine gun) carrying officers because my keychain was considered a dangerous and illegal weapon by the British government. (Any of you familiar with a Kubaton keychain will immediately recognize the awesome power and obvious threat made by this heinous weapon of mass destruction....)
They confiscated the "weapon" to be destroyed (that's one less keychain to menace the world and frighten children), and I narrowly made my connecting flight only due to my incomparable charms in convincing an airline attendant to hold the plane until I could get there (...read here, in actuality, God's grace).
The one thing I will have to say, however, is that the officers were eminently polite as they treated me as a potential dangerous threat to Queen, country, and the general peace. It was rather like having someone say at gun point, "Excuse me, I know this is an imposition, and I must insist, but would you mind terribly much bending over...."
Edgar Suter, MD
Thank you very much for the Medical Sentinel e-mail press releases. It is very good to see an honest journal telling the truth about the decline of medicine in our socialist state. I am proud to be a member of AAPS.
R. Thorne, MD
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Medicine --- A Profession of an Industry?
In the July/August issue of the Medical Sentinel, Curtis Caine, M.D. makes the statement (in his article, "Part IV: The Practice of Medicine is Not an Industry," pp. 141-142) that the Constitution of the U.S. forbids the federal government from interfering with the practice of medicine and the Constitution makes inviolable the sacred contract between a patient and his physician.
I checked his references to the Constitution and found the following: In Article I, Section 8, the next paragraph is the only reference to science that I could find is the following: Article I, Section 8,
Clause 8: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"; and in Article I, Section 10, paragraph 1, (or in any other part of Section 10 ) I found no mention of the doctor/patient relationship.
Article I, Section 10, Clause 1: "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."
Clause 2: "No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress."
Clause 3: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."
What gives here? Are we reading the same document? I find it hard to believe that this is just blatantly false information that is being put forth in your journal. Please enlighten me.
Steven Jay Strober, MD
Dr. Caine Responds
Dear Dr. Strober,
I am delighted to receive your correspondence of July 16 for at least three reasons: 1) if one person has read Part IV of the "Industry" column, maybe others have too; 2) my veracity is being checked (I am tempted, on occasion, to intentionally make an error just to see if someone catches it!); and 3) it is encouraging to find that of 260 million U.S. citizens, at a minimum, two own a copy of and are conversant with the Constitution. Hooray --- there is hope for America!
You address two matters: A) government in medicine, and B) the patient/physician contract.
A. You properly quoted Article I, Section 8, paragraph 8 having to do with patents and copyright, but Section 8 has eighteen paragraphs that delegate the specific areas in which the creating States authorized their creature, the Fed, to act. In no one of the "Congress shall have power to..." assignments is the practice of medicine even remotely intimated as a legitimate area of Federal involvement.
To preclude liberties being taken by an errant Congress, paragraph eighteen stipulates "Congress shall have Power...To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers..." [Emphasis added.] Thus, since only delegated powers may be carried into execution and medicine is not delegated, Congress is forbidden to make laws regarding medicine.
To weld this fact down immovable, the Tenth Amendment orders, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution...are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." No room is allowed to escape the prohibition.
To top it all off beyond a shadow of a doubt, Amendment IX stipulates that the people delegated some of their inherent authority to their respective States when the citizens thereof founded the States, and when their States subsequently delegated some of those State authorities to the Union, the people retained all of the others, QED.
Hence, Part IV of the "Industry" article correctly maintained "...the federal Constitution in Article I, Section 8, forbids the federal government to interfere in the practice of medicine, totally."
B. In the market economy of this Constitutional Republic, the practice of medicine is a freely entered into contract between a sick patient and his personally selected physician, just like buying a car or renting a house. The physician contracts to provide specific medical care, and the patient contracts to pay him for that specified illness care. The contract involves a swap, a trade. A car for $10,000. A service for $25.
Contract satisfaction is in the jurisdiction that the States did not delegate to the Union. So, according to Article I, Section 8 and Amendment X, the Union has no authority regarding contracts.
To uphold the inviolability of a contract, Article I, Section 10, paragraph 1 (which you properly quoted, but apparently overlooked) stipulates that "No State shall...pass any...Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts,..." So, neither the Fed nor a State may impair a contract, including one between a patient and his doctor. But both have done so a thousand times - illegally.
Hence, Part IV of the "Industry" article in the Medical Sentinel correctly stated "...the U.S. Constitution...makes inviolable the sacred contract between a patient and his physician."
Thank you for your comments. Please continue to keep me accurate.
Curtis W. Caine, MD
Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2000;5(6);185-187. Copyright©2000 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).