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  • The Wasting of Taxpayer Money October 29, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD If you are looking for proof of the fact that the wonderful folks in D.C. are more interested in lining the pockets of their pals than demonstrating good stewardship of the loot from the robbery …
  • Giving Birth in America is Most Expensive in the World October 27, 2014
    While a woman is preparing for giving birth, one worry she doesn’t want to have is about the cost of delivery. Insured women are finding that some policies do not cover maternity care, services that most often do not have …
  • Physicians are Not Medicine’s Top Earners October 24, 2014
    Physicians are the most highly trained members of the medical industry’s force, yet have median compensation.  The largest salaries go to the Medicrats who oversee the business of medicine. Insurance CEOs average $584,000 compared to surgeons ($306,000) or a general …
  • Health Benefits of Honey October 22, 2014
    Honey has been used as a natural sweetener long before sugar. Bees collect pollen from  plant to plant, which is passed along from bee to bee until it eventually is deposited into the honeycomb. They beat their wings to evaporate …
  • Rotten Food and the VA Hospital October 20, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD Imagine for a moment that you own and operate a restaurant knowing that if you provide spoiled food and rotten service, you will subsequently make more money.  You openly employ strong-arm and intimidation tactics to …
  • Hospitals want patients to pay in advance October 17, 2014
    Hospitals are asking for payments from patients before they leave the facility so they don’t end up with unpaid bills. Knowing the costs before the procedure is important because insurance deductibles are increasing and so are procedure costs. Obamacare policies …
  • Massachusetts is First State To Require Health Care Price Tags October 15, 2014
    Massachusetts has started a new era of shopping for medical care. You can go to your health insurer’s website and find the price of everything you may require listed, from an office visit to a scan or procedure. For the …
  • Physicians Remove Government from Medical Equation October 13, 2014
    by Gerard Gianoli, MD Doctors in Nevada and across the country are protesting against the government’s intrusion into health care, but we aren’t voicing our concerns using bullhorns and pickets. Instead, many of the state’s 5,400 physicians are protesting silently …
  • Revolutionary Idea Could Change Medicine October 10, 2014
    For those of us who get woozy when having blood drawn for routine testing, a simple pin prick may be the blood test of the future. Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO and founder of Theranos, says that her company can run …
  • Why Accountable Care Organizations Are Failing October 8, 2014
    by Richard Amerling, MD Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a key piece of the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) “reform” plan, are failing because they must fail. ACOs are based on faulty assumptions, poor economics, and junk science. They would not exist …
  • Common Sense Travel Restrictions to Stop Ebola: Dr. Jane Orient October 7, 2014
    Dr. Orient appears on Cavuto – October 6, 2014
  • What Employers Can Do To Reduce The Cost Of Obamacare October 6, 2014
    The Obamacare mandate will be enforced on large employers in 2015 and small employers in 2016. Large companies who self-insure can have a plan that does not cover hospitalization, mental health care, or emergency room visits.  Small companies have to …
  • Ralph Weber Talks About Fixed Pricing – Video October 3, 2014
    You can ask the price of a procedure at a hospital, but may ask several different people before finally getting an answer. Listing set prices for procedures has lead to medical tourism. People will travel to get the price they …
  • Here’s The Thing #5 Fixed Pricing HD October 3, 2014
  • Economists Say Third-Party Payment Key to Increases in Medical Cost October 1, 2014
    The rapid increase in medical costs starting in the 1970s is commonly ascribed be market imperfections. However, federal and state governments have long suppressed the functioning of the market system in the medical industry, write Maureen Buff and Timothy Terrell, …
  • Health Insurance Exchanges Waste Taxpayer Money September 29, 2014
    Obamacare may surpass Cash for Clunkers to become the prime example of federal taxpayer resource mismanagement. For every dollar in premiums for exchange coverage, taxpayers paid 94 cents in subsidies to either enroll people or encourage them to do so. …
  • Mesothelioma: An avoidable cancer? September 26, 2014
    by Sue Redmond Did you know? Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium (80% of which occur within the lining of the lungs). The only known cause to mesothelioma is exposure …
  • Government Healthcare is Breech of Contract September 24, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD One of the smartest people I have ever met is a property and contracts lawyer, someone from whom I have gleaned countless and valuable insights over the years.  He has advised me, among other things, …
  • Dr. Alieta Eck Campaign Update September 24, 2014
    Dr. Eck http://EckForCongress.com speaks to colleagues at AAPS 71st annual meeting on September 5, 2014.
  • Is There A Provider In The House? September 22, 2014
    by Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD Physicians have a proud heritage. We can boast Dr. Benjamin Rush, a founding father, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, and opponent of slavery. And Dr. James Derham, born …

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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