Report From the States

Ohio --- A Testimonial

Nino M. Camardese, MD

In my testimony before the Ohio State Committee of the Legislature on April 12, 2000, as a past president of AAPS, I explained: "to memorialize Congress to repeal existing laws and oppose the adoption of future laws that interfere with the right of Medicare beneficiaries to enter into private, voluntary legal arrangements with their physicians."

Speaking as to the patient-physician relationship and the practice of medicine, I stated, "All patients should have the right to contract privately with the doctor of his/her or their choice, including Medicare patients." I cited Section 1801 of Medicare establishing a "prohibition against any Federal interference," Section 1802 "Free choice by Patient guarantee," and Section 1803 "Option to Individuals to obtain other health insurance protection."

One reason I felt private contracting should be clearly delineated is because "when patients have control over their medical spending, they become more prudent consumers of medical care thereby reducing utilization and medical care costs."

In addition to constitutional and legal references supporting private contracting, I cited Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution which states in part, "No State shallpass any law impairing the obligations of contracts..."

The following precedents cited in the U.S. Supreme Court support the practice of private medicine:

* Linder v. United States 268 U.S. 5, 18, 45 S. Ct. 446 (1925) The Court ruled: "Obviously, direct control of medical practice in the states is beyond the power of the federal government."

* U.S. v. Anthony, 15 F. Supp. 553, 555 (S.D. Ca., 1936) and U.S. v. Evers, 453 F. Supp. 1141, 1150 (M.D. Ala., 1978), the Court ruled: "the direct control of medical practice has been left to the States."

In conclusion, I testified, "House Concurrent Resolution #58 is a most timely and propitious resolution which reemphasizes the great need for all Americans, particularly our elected and appointed officials, to do our utmost to preserve, protect, and pass on our great heritage of freedom, under our limited constitutional government - to future generations..."

Dr. Camardese is a member of the editorial board of the Medical Sentinel and a member of the AAPS Board of Directors. E-mail address:

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2000;5(4);142. Copyright©2000 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)