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  • Hospital Closures Bring “New Day” in Healthcare February 25, 2015
    Hospitals are operating with fewer beds or closing, as patients seek more affordable medical care at clinics and outpatient surgery centers. A low occupancy rate makes for a high-priced facility, which is not competitive. These closures are due to the …
  • Do Your Part to Protect Your Heart – February Special February 23, 2015
    February is Heart month. Protect the health of your heart, preventing heart disease and stroke, with a simple blood test. Below are the February specials from DirectLabs. Lipid Profile – $19 (Regular Price $29, $98 Retail) Test includes: Cholesterol, Total …
  • The Various Dimensions of Mammogram Screening February 20, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Every year, over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 40,000 will die from it. When breast cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat. Forty million mammograms are performed each …
  • Crashing the Free Market Party February 16, 2015
    by G. Keith Smith MD Riding in to rescue the victims of Obamacare and other government healthcare schemes are guess who? The legislators? The regulators? Don’t make me laugh. It is the growing group of healthcare free marketeers. The celebration …
  • Dark Chocolate is Good For You and Your Valentine February 13, 2015
    Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients, one of the best sources of antioxidants, and can improve health and lower risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is very nutritious. It contains a fair amount of soluble fiber and is full of …
  • The Fraser Institute: Education Spending in Canada February 12, 2015
    Despite a steady decline in student enrolment, spending on public schools in Canada has skyrocketed.Teachers’ unions and activists repeatedly claim that education spending is being cut and school budgets are in peril. That’s simply not true and ignores the reality …
  • Eye-Tracking Test Detects Early Alzheimer’s Disease February 11, 2015
    One in nine Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease. There is no way to revive dead cells, but if detected early enough, the disease progression can be slowed with treatment. Spinal fluid analysis and PET scans can detect the approaching …
  • OMTEC 2014 – Emerging Trends in Orthopaedic Device Packaging February 11, 2015
    Laura Bix, Associate Professor, School of Packaging, Michigan State University discusses current and emerging trends in orthopaedic device packaging at OMTEC 2014.
  • Fee for Service Healthcare Just Makes Sense February 9, 2015
    Contrary to what the HHS has stated, the fee-for-service payment model has nothing to do with abuse or wasteful spending. This model has been the standard method of payment for a wide range of goods and services from the beginning …
  • A Healthy Heart at Any Age February 6, 2015
    Any age is a good age to take care of your heart. Smart choices now can pay off for the rest of your life. There are some simple steps to keep your heart healthy during each decade of life. All …
  • FRASER INSTITUTE 40th Anniversary 2014 February 5, 2015
    The Fraser Institute is an internationally-recognized research and education organization, ranked first among Canadian think tanks and in the top 20 globally. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, …
  • Cut Your Costs by Just Not Paying February 4, 2015
    If patients all got healthy, medical costs would plummet. And if doctors weren’t paid for caring for patients who don’t get healthy, costs would also plummet. This seems to be the reasoning behind the Obama Administration’s ambitious plans for payment …
  • Measles – What You Need to Know February 2, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Over the last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 67 cases of measles traced to Disneyland, and the number continues to rise. This was a souvenir people didn’t plan for. For a disease that …
  • Free Markets are Destroyed by Congress, Not Created January 30, 2015
    By Jane M. Orient, M.D. When people clamor for Congress to pass a “free-market health plan,” they are forgetting two things: Congress only does laws, which restrict freedom. We need fewer laws, not more. And the free market is by …
  • Ralph Weber Talks MediCrats with FreedomWorks – Part 3 January 26, 2015
    MediBid is the free market answer to rising healthcare costs. Employer-sponsored plans, as well as self-insured individuals, make up most of MediBid’s customers. On MediBid, a patient makes a procedure request which gets sent out to physicians and facilities around …
  • Medical Debt Still a Problem for Those With Health Insurance January 23, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Medical debt can affect anyone of any age in any state in any income bracket. Medical debts account for more than half of debt collections on credit reports. One in three Americans struggle to pay medical bills, …
  • Q&A with Direct Pay Physicians January 22, 2015
    Direct pay physicians answer colleagues’ questions about third-party-free medical practice. From January 9, 2015, New Orleans AAPS workshop.
  • Ralph Weber Talks MediCrats with FreedomWorks – Part 2 January 21, 2015
    The pitfalls of Obamacare are that it makes healthcare affordable to the employee, yet unaffordable to dependents. Some plans cover children, but not spouses. This means less options for families. The independent physicians are being bought out by hospitals and …
  • Cash and out-of-network: good for medicine as free agency is for sports January 21, 2015
    Andrew Schlafly, J.D., General Counsel, AAPS, opens the 21st Thrive, Not Just Survive workshop held Jan. 9, 2015 in New Orleans, LA.
  • Opting Out of Medicare January 20, 2015
    Lawrence Huntoon, MD, PhD, presents via Skype at the AAPS 21st Thrive Not Just Survive Workshop on Third Party Free Practice, January 9, 2015

Alieta Eck, M.D. On How Government Job Creation is Not Always a Good Thing

Government Job Creation Is Not Always a Good Thing

By: Alieta Eck, M.D.

When economist Milton Friedman observed mine workers in China digging a canal using shovels, he asked why they were not using modern machinery. He was told that this was a “jobs program” and that using shovels employed more workers. Friedman then quipped that they should give the workers spoons, not shovels. China had lost sight of the fact that the purpose of the work was to build a canal to increase commerce and enhance the lives of the citizens. Using machinery would lower the cost of the project and benefit the taxpayers.

When the government hires someone, the goal should be to provide for the common good and benefit those who are footing the bill. Value needs to be a primary consideration, as creating a job for the job’s sake only robs the taxpayer. Every dollar that is taxed or borrowed makes the taxpayer less free and less able to spend his own money on the needs of his own family. Taxes should be carefully spent.

With medical care, the first question must be, “Is providing medical care the proper role of government?” Then secondly, “If the government is going to provide a safety net for the poor, what is the most efficient way to do this?”

When Medicaid began in 1965, poor patients were given a card that entitled them to go to a doctor with the doctor sending the bill to the government. At first this seemed to work. The government paid the going rate—the rate the doctor needed to pay his staff and office overhead. This continued for about 20 years or so, until the law of unintended consequences overwhelmed the system.

Government money flowed. Medical costs went up, and the economy struggled. The government responded by ratcheting down the fees, and physicians dropped out. By 1990, the Medicaid payments were below the cost to provide the service, so patients on Medicaid had difficulty finding a physician.

Along came the idea of the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

FQHCs are privately owned clinics that are non-profit. If they can prove they will be providing care in an underserved area, they are given $600,000 in federal dollars to start. This does not represent good value to the taxpayer. Key employees are well compensated and the board is often given extravagant expense accounts. Travel and “recruitment expenses” can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars without attracting notice.

FQHCs lobby for money from the federal and state governments, get “enhanced” Medicaid dollars, and have full medical malpractice coverage by the federal government. They see the poor, but also see people with insurance or who pay cash. They claim costs of $140-160 per patient visit, so constantly ask for more taxpayer dollars. Politicians, not wanting to appear callous toward the poor, comply.

State budgets are over-stretched, with Medicaid taking one-third, more than the cost of education. Today one in seven Americans is on Medicaid. And bureaucracy inflates the cost by a factor of ten.

It is time to recognize that government charity is too expensive, with minimal funds spent on actual care and a lot spent on paperwork, eligibility determination, fraud and abuse, and attempts to root out fraud and abuse. We could accomplish the same goal of caring for the poor while costing the taxpayer a lot less.

Why not provide protection to physicians who choose to volunteer their services to treat the poor in non-government free clinics? Patients who find themselves ill and poor would know that there is a clinic nearby, staffed by volunteers. The taxpayers would be relieved of having to pay billions in wasteful Medicaid dollars.

If the state covered the liability of such physicians, they would order fewer tests, and this in turn would lower wasteful expenditures, and thus perhaps lower everyone’s health insurance premiums.

Relieving the tax burden leaves more money to use for creating lasting, productive private jobs.

But we will have to convince our President, who thinks that extending unemployment benefits is a way to create jobs. The unemployed aren’t even digging with spoons. They aren’t digging at all!


Dr. Alieta Eck, MDgraduated from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy in NJ and the St. Louis School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. She studied Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ and has been in private practice with her husband, Dr. John Eck, MD in Piscataway, NJ since 1988. She has been involved in health care reform since residency and is convinced that the government is a poor provider of medical care. She testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress in 2004 about better ways to deliver health care in the United States. In 2003, she and her husband founded the Zarephath Health Center, a free clinic for the poor and uninsured that currently cares for 300-400 patients per month utilizing the donated services of volunteer physicians and nurses. Dr. Eck is a long time member of the Christian Medical Dental Association and in 2009 joined the board of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. In addition, she serves on the board of Christian Care Medi-Share, a faith based medical



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