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  • Implanted Heart Devices Affected by iPads May 27, 2015
    A new study has found that the magnetic interference from iPads could alter the settings or even deactivate implanted defibrillators. This interference comes from the magnets imbedded in the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover. Magnets in the heart devices …
  • Canadian Cancer Patient Says Korean Surgery Saved His Life May 22, 2015
    Gerd Trubenbach of British Columbia was diagnosed with cancer, as a huge tumor was growing in his neck. His family doctor suggested that the tumor could not be removed and there was nothing else that could be done. The wait …
  • How to Prevent Hemorrhoids May 20, 2015
    Many people have hemorrhoids at some time, and they are a common problem. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal, which can be painful but not usually serious. They are caused from too much pressure on the veins in …
  • Emergency Room Visits Increase with Obamacare May 15, 2015
    Obamacare predicted that expanding health insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits. A new study has found that newly insured people are actually visiting the ER more often, 40% more often than those who are uninsured. …
  • Transparency: Changing the US Healthcare System May 13, 2015
    Ralph Weber, President and CEO of MediBid, is interviewed by David Saltzman of ShiftShapers. Mr. Weber has been in the benefits business since the mid 1990s, serving clients in the US, Canada, and around the globe. A lack of information …
  • Appalachia Sees Increased Cases of Hepatitis C May 11, 2015
    Infections of Hepatitis C, a contagious liver infection spread by blood contact, has more than tripled in Appalachia – Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – fueled by prescription drug abuse in rural areas. About 73% of patients are under …
  • An American Response to Losing ObamaCare Subsidies May 8, 2015
    by Jane Orient, MD This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court could, in King v. Burwell, uninsure 8 million Americans by finding that subsidies are illegal outside State Exchanges. Some Republicans are saying “Let it burn.” For Democrats, it’s “ObamaCare or nothing.” Can …
  • Arthritis Awareness – May Lab Specials May 6, 2015
    Nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children in America have arthritis. By 2030, 67% of the population will suffer from one type of arthritis.  Arthritis, joint pain or joint disease, is the leading cause of disability in the United States. …
  • American Women are Drinking More Heavily May 4, 2015
    Barbara Feder Ostrov, Kaiser Health News Whether quaffing artisanal cocktails at hipster bars or knocking back no-name beers on the couch, more Americans are drinking heavily – and engaging in episodes of binge-drinking, concludes a major study of alcohol use. …
  • Shortage of Available Surgery Causes Deaths Worldwide May 1, 2015
    Millions of people die worldwide with treatable conditions because of the lack of routine surgeries, more than from malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis combined. Five billion of the seven billion people in the world cannot get needed surgery or pay for …
  • Cleaning Tips for a Healthy Home April 29, 2015
    Cleaning your home not only makes it look and smell better, it also can improve your family’s health.  Here are some activities you may not have thought of that will make you and your home healthy and safe: Dust Everything …
  • Using Mobile Devices at Night is Bad For Your Brain April 27, 2015
    Dr. Daniel Siegel, a psychiatrist from UCLA, states that staring into a glowing screen late at night is harmful to your brain and body. Staring at any screen at bedtime, be it computer, smartphone, or ipad, is worse than previously …
  • Few Patients Use Quality, Price Information To Make Health Decisions April 24, 2015
    by Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News Despite the government’s push to make health information more available, few people use concrete information about doctors or hospitals to obtain better care at lower prices, according to a poll released Tuesday. Prices for …
  • Shopping Tools Save Patients Cash on Medical Care April 22, 2015
    Vicki Burns of New Mexico needed a total hip replacement in 2012, but could not afford the hospital’s non-negotiable cash estimate of $79,000. Within two days of placing a patient request on MediBid, she received two bids. She chose a …
  • Hysteria’s History Episode 3 April 21, 2015
  • 20th Century Experiment Attempts to Turn Back Time April 20, 2015
    Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist, conducted a radical experiment in 1979 – the results of which were never published. Last fall, this study was featured in the New York Times. The study examined how aging’s effects could be altered or …
  • https://youtube.com/devicesupport April 17, 2015
  • Make Spring Cleaning a Workout April 17, 2015
    Chores you do around the house and garden can burn calories and stretch and tone muscles if done correctly. Short episodes of mild exercise can improve your fitness level if done with intensity and speed. Adding 30 minutes of chores …
  • Provisioning for the Opt Out Journey April 17, 2015
    Ophthalmologist David Richardson, MD on how to prepare for opting out of Medicare. From AAPS 70th Annual Meeting, September 2013, Denver, Colorado.
  • What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity April 16, 2015
    The United States was once considered the land of opportunity where entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford, Ray Kroc and Steve Jobs contributed to a flourishing economy by providing new products and services at prices people were happy to pay.Today America’s …

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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