Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just the facts, ma'am

With the vote on the health reform legislation expected to take place within hours, it would be nice to believe that we can begin moving to the stage where people begin looking at what the legislation will and will not do-- not based on speculation or the political rhetoric--but what is actually in the legislation itself. I realize that this is unlikely, since we all tend to engage in cognitive dissonance when confronted with information that does not square with our own pre-conceived notions, political leanings, and philosophical bent. I know I do it, as much as I try not to, and I am sure this is true of just about all of us. Still, there are trusted and highly credible sources of information that I hope will be of value to anyone who is open to learning more about the legislation and its potential impact:

Today's Washington Post has an excellent interactive tool that shows how the legislation will benefit different categories of people and in different income brackets: insured married with children, small business owner, and Medicare beneficiary, and uninsured middle-age couple, uninsured single father of two, and a recent college graduate.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has an excellent summary of the legislation, which can help you answer questions about what is actually in the bill. You can use that chart to search for key words.

There are two independent fact-checking organizations, and, which provides accurate information to debunk the misinformation being spread by proponents and opponents alike. For instance, they address the claims that the legislation authorizes the federal government to ration care (not true), will result in massive cuts in benefits to Medicare recipients (also not true), or deny women access to mammograms (not true), or impose a government-run health care system like Canada's and the U.K's (not true). Politifact's lead article offers the top ten facts to know about health care reform. These sites don't just take issue with inaccurate information from opponents, but also misinformation from proponents, including President Obama, such as the statement that most people's insurance premiums will go down (not true).

I remind readers to look the information on ACP's own Web site, including FAQs, a two page summary of how the legislation compares to ACP policy, and a more detailed section by section analysis of the bill.

Finally, the Kaiser Family Foundation's March health care tracking poll provides some important insights into the public's views on health reform, showing that the public is divided on the merits of the legislation and the next steps in Congress, but that many don't have a good understanding of some of the key elements in the bill. For instance, the survey found that most respondents were unaware that the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the legislation will reduce the deficit, not increase it.

1 comment :

Leonidas300MD said...


My farewell to ACP , this blog and my wager challenge to ACP.

Very nice that you have your "fact checkers, Kaiser Family Foundation , Washington Post tool and the rest to "validate"
ACP positions . It reminds me of the functions of the "Ministry of Truth " in Orwell's 1984 . Lies and distortions validated by supposedly "non-partisan" organizations like Kaiser and washington Post. Too bad we have never seen anything from Cato or Heritage Foundation. Ah, how stupid of me . Those are political organizations and have agenda's, not like Kaiser Family Foundation, or the Washington Post. How could have been so stupid?

And so I will sign off from this blog as it serves no purpose other than to promote anti-physican, anti-patient , government run/takeover of medicine.

I shall become involved in another organization which will listen to its members and represent them. The ACP and the irrelevant AMA are hopelessly committed to saving themselves, but it will be futile as MDs will look elsewhere for their voice.

Before I do , let me challenge any ACP offical to the following wager:

This will be my 1000 dollar wager made in public. 10 to one , I get 100 and ACP offical gets 1000 , I am willing to bet 5 ACP officals including Bob Dougherty.

Here is the challenge , assuming the Bill passes and is not subsequently substantially modifed: I bet 3 years from now, far more Americans will be covered by insurance polices in the public exchanges than ACP or the Obamacare supporters have predicted, 2.) unless somehow outlawed , a 2 tiered medical system will evolve where patients pay some type of access/noninsurnace fee to contract private MDs and at the same time a worsening problem for all patients to find MDs will occur, 3. Medicare will pay even less for all E/M services PCPs commonly utilize and overall PCP income will be worse despite 30 million new patients supposedly having coverage.4.) Unless forced by law, even less med student PCP careers. 5. Medical premiums will continue to rise for people who actually pay for them , not people who are given free money to buy down the expensive policies 6.) MDs , particularly PCPs will be in constant red tape hassles with all sorts of government agencies including the IRS, RAC etc. These red tape hassels will be worse than ever expereinced with private health insurance under managed care 7.Premiums will cost far more than CBO predictions. 8. No meaningful tort reform

Ok, who at ACP is drinking the ACP kool aid and will take my bet?