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  • Third Party Free Medical Practice Case Studies March 28, 2015
    Dr. Kathy Brown, Jack Brown, and Dr. Keith Smith speak at the 69th Annual Meeting of AAPS, September 2013. http://www.oregonderm.com/ & http://surgerycenterok.com
  • A Tale of 2 Prices…or 3?‏ March 27, 2015
    by Ralph Weber About a year and a half ago, Perry Hunt needed a hip replacement. He had been in constant pain for years and owned a construction company, and could not afford to take the 6 months off that …
  • Tisha Casida interviews Ralph Weber: Free Market Solutions to Healthcare March 25, 2015
    Tisha Casida with Rebellion.life interviews CEO of MediBid, Ralph Weber, about his work educating the public and the government about common sense health care solutions. MediBid is an online marketplace with true transparency, listing not only prices, but qualities and …
  • Small Business Coverage Uncertain Future with Association Health Plans March 23, 2015
    For the last 20 years, small businesses in Washington state have relied heavily on associations and trusts to provide healthcare insurance for their workers at lower cost than in the open market. The system is popular and works well, a …
  • Outpatient Surgery Saves Patients Time and Money March 20, 2015
    The death of Joan Rivers after a routine procedure has some asking about the safety of outpatient surgical centers. First off, it is important to make sure to know if you are a good candidate for surgery and what to …
  • Study Finds Hormones Can Help Younger Women Through Menopause March 18, 2015
    Hormone replacement therapy used to only be given to women who had completed menopause, relieving hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other symptoms. In 2009, about 8 million women used HRT, most over the age of 60. A recent Cochrane review finds …
  • Retail Health Care Clinics Multiply with Increasing Demand March 16, 2015
    Integrated care facilities offer primary care, specialty services, labs, and diagnostics all under one roof. These clinics follow a model common in Latin America. This consumer-focused type of providing medical care is gaining in popularity and increasing in number since …
  • Avoiding Caregiver Burnout March 13, 2015
    Over 43.5 million Americans care for older parents, grandparents, spouses, or other loved ones. Most family caregivers are spouses or children. The demands of caregiving can be overwhelming and can take a toll on your health, relationships, and sanity – …
  • It is Safe to Assume They Lie March 11, 2015
    by G. Keith Smith, MD I laugh every time I see headlines bragging about the number of people enrolled in “Obamacare.”  What choice to people have, after all?  ”Buy this crappy insurance plan (that you wouldn’t buy unless you were …
  • FinalHayes1 March 11, 2015
  • Physician Burnout – What To Do March 9, 2015
    Signs of physician burnout can range from decreased enthusiasm for work, increased cynicism and a low sense of accomplishment.  Where at one time the physician may have felt a burning passion for medicine, he may feel that “light” burning out, perhaps …
  • Increasing Wait Times for Hip Surgery Ruin Patients’ Lives March 6, 2015
    Frustrated patients in British Columbia are in constant pain as their wait times for hip replacement surgeries increase. Wait times for joint replacements have increased in most Canadian provinces despite promises from the government to address the problem. B.C. is …
  • Staying Physically Active: How Much Exercise is Right for You? March 4, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Everyone knows that the key to keeping a healthy body is a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. What is considered “regular” differs from person to person. The Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA) first …
  • Supreme Court to Hear New Obamacare Case This Week March 2, 2015
    Later this week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, the results of which could affect the future of Obamacare. This case addresses if consumers who buy health insurance at HealthCare.gov are eligible to receive tax credits …
  • How to Fight and Prevent Sugar Cravings February 27, 2015
    The average American consumes about 16 teaspoons more sugar per day than what is recommended. Sugar causes the brain to release serotonin, creating a natural high, and the endorphins leave us wanting more. Kicking a sugar addiction can be tough, …
  • 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 …

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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