Taking Charge of Our Own Healthcare
By Keith Friend, Fort Worth, TX
At a time in my life when most are thinking of their family’s future relating to kids going to college, weddings and maybe even future grandkids, I was hit with a very different future, or even no future at all. At the age of 41, I had been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.
After my diagnosis, I went home – my mind still racing – to find a haunting statistic: the 5-year mortality rate for patients with this stage of colon cancer is 92 percent. Determined to be part of the eight percent, I have worked closely with my doctors. And thanks to the innovative treatments that are currently available, more than 115 chemo treatments and 4 ½ years later, I am happy to be alive. Since I have been so fortunate, I have become dedicated to being an advocate for other patients who might be going through the similar experiences.
In the U.S., we have always valued the need to both develop new medications for patients and give physicians access to the information that will help them better treat their patients. We know that decisions about the best course of action for each individual patient are something that must be decided between the patient and his physician. Taking a “one-size-fits all” approach to medicine would not have worked for treating my cancer.
And it will not work for other patients either.
It is important to remember that every body is different. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun taking steps that lead me to worry that there is work being done that will interfere with the patient-physician relationship. The sacred nature of this relationship – and the results it provides – is why I can write this column today.
For example, HHS has begun a $30 million pilot project to establish a “government detailing” program. This program calls for government contractors to visit individual physicians and encourage them to change their prescribing decisions based on comparative effectiveness research (CER) study results.
While it may sound like a harmless, if not positive, approach towards giving physicians access to more information to make better decisions, the patient community should be concerned with where this new program could lead. Three things make me worry about this program – it isn’t transparent, it involves the government trying to cut costs, and it relies on judgments about how doctors should change their treatment recommendations.
These new “government detailing” programs could interfere with the doctor/patient relationship by pressuring physicians to follow recommendations based on broad population averages that do not reflect the differences of individual patients. Because every patient is different, CER results that detailers recommend may not be in the best interest of a specific patient. It would be hard to find someone who is against sharing the latest medical research. I am concerned, however, that the government’s contractors might use CER results to interfere in the relationship between my doctors and me.
In addition to encouraging doctors to use the latest CER results, government detailers will also be urging doctor’s offices to implement U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendations. Unfortunately many of these recommendations have been criticized by members of the patient community.
In 2009, the Task Force received overwhelming pushback when they recommended that mammography screening for average-risk women under forty was unnecessary. They concluded that the benefits did not outweigh the downfalls of screening, which included stress that can be caused by false-positive results and the need for further testing. Given my experience, I can say without reservation that some stress is well worth being alive!
In fact, the recommendations were rejected by the American Cancer Society and caused an uproar among patients, particularly breast cancer survivors, who attribute routine mammogram screenings to saving their lives. While not the case for all Task Force recommendations, there are serious dangers of pressuring a doctor’s office to follow their recommendations.
If my team of doctors had taken that one-size-fits all approach for me, I think I would be part of that 92 percent statistic I mentioned earlier. Every time I have a re-occurrence, I consult my medical team and, through them, I receive expert opinions to make my decision. A standard treatment or cookie-cutter approach for colon cancer would not have worked for me. Simply, I need to be in charge of my healthcare, not government detailers.
With healthcare reform, it is not easy to be aware of how every component of the new law will affect us. But when the government begins visiting our doctor’s office and tells them how to treat us, we should all take caution. After all, patients’ lives are at risk.
Keith Friend is a 5th generation Native Texan. In June of 2008, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and is looking forward to celebrating the 5th anniversary of this diagnosis this summer.
At noon on Tuesday, May 21st, Southeast Texas Tea Partiers rallied in front of the Edison Building in Downtown Beaumont where the local IRS office is housed. The group came out in response to recent allegations of scrutiny by the IRS of right-wing political groups.
In an act of solidarity known as “Rein In the IRS” Tea Party members across the nation were holding similar rallies. Headed by Southeast Texas Chairman Jeff Sadighi, the group also included members of the Texas Nationalist Movement and several staff members of US Congressman Steve Stockman CD36; including Brad Lewis, David Covey, Jonathan Covey and Mike Sheeran.
Holding signs with statements such as “Intimidate Retaliate Subjugate,” “Flat Tax Now – Abolish the IRS” and “There is no Left or Right. There is only Liberty or Tyranny” the group chatted with passersby, handed out information and gave interviews to local news reporters. According to the SETX Tea Party, the event was an important one because “The IRS has crossed a line and set a precedent where individuals and their businesses may be targeted and harassed based solely on their political views or volunteer memberships.”
US News reported that the protests were originally scheduled only for Cincinnati, where the IRS has said employees responsible for the targeting were based, but Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin received requests to protest across the country.
Here are a few pictures from the rally.
Follow Karen Brantley on Twitter: @karenbrantley1
Cincinnati IRS “staffers have been threatened with their jobs if they are caught talking to the media.”
From Capitalism Institute
The IRS targeted liberty-oriented groups. We know this now. Obama’s response was fake “firing” someone who was going to be gone next month anyway while still trying to cover-up how deep the actual scandal went. And how deep does it go?
The IRS tried to swing the election towards Obama. As Investor’s Business Daily reports, emphasis mine, “USA Today found that in the 27 months after Feb. 2010, the IRS did not approve a single Tea Party application. Over those same months, however, dozens of applications submitted by liberal groups that were engaged in the same type of activities and were seeking the same tax status as the conservative ones sailed through the agency.”
In other words, between the midterm election and the presidential election, the IRS stopped the Tea Party from growing in order to combat Obama. In a close election, that can be the difference between victory or defeat. That’s election rigging. That’s fraud. That’s illegal. That means people should go to jail.
Top 10 facts we learned in the Benghazi Hearings – via
Two “stand-down” orders were given while the #Benghazi attacks were in progress.
The “protest” about a YouTube video was a complete fabrication by the Obama administration.
Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s lawyer at the State Department, told witnesses not to speak to House investigators.
The diplomatic personnel on the ground acted with incredible, unheralded heroism.
Democrats came to rebut the eyewitnesses with talking points.
Democrats kept bringing up Funding for the Embassies, Cummings, Maloney, Connolly, 149 Total voted to Cut Funding.
18 Days till the FBI could get to the Crime Scene.
Aircraft over Libya would have been granted permission to fly and no one asked.
Ambassador Stevens Called Mr. Hicks and Said they were UNDER ATTACK!
Mr. Hicks WAS NEVER INTERVIEWED BY THE FBI.
From Doug Ross -
While you’re checking the timeline, you can watch this playlist of some of the most compelling testimony from the hearings. I may add more if they come available. Alternately,I think the entire video is up at CSPAN3.
Texas Representative Steve Stockman garnered the illustrious “Fun Tweeter of the Day” award at Bluegrass Pundit, possibly due to this tweet:
Right now Jodi Arias is regretting not killing an ambassador or Philadelphia infant.
— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) May 8, 2013
See more Stockman tweets at:
Speaking of Twitter, there was a ton of commentary being flung around on the Tweetosphere as the hearings progressed. Doug Ross compiled a few. Here’s one of my favorites:
Republicans are at a hearing investigating Al-Qaeda attacks on #benghazi, Democrats are at same hearing investigating attacks on Obama.
— El SOOPer!! (@SooperMexican) May 8, 2013
Read more at Doug’s place:
Michelle Malkin warns:
Also, A.F. Branco has posted a roundup of his previous cartoons on the Benghazi debacle:
In this latest PJ TV Trifecta, Bill Whittle, Steve Green and Scott Ott respond to Obama’s assertion that we should ignore those who urge vigilance against tyranny.
NRA 2013 Annual Meetings in Houston, Texas – Speeches from Sarah Palin, Taya Kyle, Ted Cruz, John Bolton, Rick Perry and more [video]
The NRA is holding its annual convention in Houston, Texas this weekend. Here is a playlist including a few notable speeches from Friday.
Former AK Gov. Sarah Palin, Ambassador John Bolton, TX Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, NRA CEO and EVP Wayne LaPierre, Mark Levin and wife of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle – Taya Kyle.
Click on the playlist button at the bottom of the video frame to switch between speeches.
The convention can be seen live at NRA.org http://home.nra.org/home/list/2013-nra-annual-meetings
Isaiah 5:20 - Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
As if there was ever any doubt, one can no longer question whether Obama is using his position to insult the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob and likewise all God-fearing Americans.
Planned Parenthood killed a record 334,964 babies in the year 2011 – 2012 and Obama loves it.
The Daily Caller reports that in his speech to Planned Parenthood today (the first by a sitting president) Obama praised the nations leading abortion provider saying:
“Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you. God bless you.”
Galatians 6:7 - ”Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
With the recent defeat of the Gun Control bill in the senate and subsequent agitated response by the president claiming 2nd Amendment advocates lied about the legislation, it might be time to find out what the people who actually deal with violent criminals on a daily basis think about the issue.
Never before has such a comprehensive survey of law enforcement officers’ opinions on gun control, gun violence, and gun rights been conducted.
In March, PoliceOne conducted the most comprehensive survey ever of American law enforcement officers’ opinions on the topic gripping the nation’s attention in recent weeks: gun control.
More than 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals took part in the survey, which aimed to bring together the thoughts and opinions of the only professional group devoted to limiting and defeating gun violence as part of their sworn responsibility.
Totaling just shy of 30 questions, the survey allowed officers across the United States to share their perspectives on issues spanning from gun control and gun violence to gun rights.
Top Line Takeaways
Breaking down the results, it’s important to note that 70 percent of respondents are field-level law enforcers — those who are face-to-face in the fight against violent crime on a daily basis — not office-bound, non-sworn administrators or perpetually-campaigning elected officials.
1.) Virtually all respondents (95 percent) say that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would not reduce violent crime.
2.) The majority of respondents — 71 percent — say a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of some semi-automatics would have no effect on reducing violent crime. However, more than 20 percent say any ban would actually have a negative effect on reducing violent crime. Just over 7 percent took the opposite stance, saying they believe a ban would have a moderate to significant effect.
See PoliceOne’s Gun Control Survey: 11 key lessons from officers’ perspectives for the nine remaining poll results.
Interestingly, according to a Gallop April 4 – 7 poll found at CNS News:
Only 4 percent of Americans think guns and gun control are an important problem facing the country, according to Gallup, and far more Americans are concerned about the economy, unemployment and the federal debt.
So, if gun restrictions are clearly not good from a law enforcement perspective and the people don’t place a high priority on the issue at all, one has to wonder; why the big push to establish this new gun control law? I think any clear-thinking person can answer that question for themselves.
Much like anything else the Obama administration does, the obfuscation and misdirection on gun control continues unabated among other disturbing anti-Second Amendment fanaticism. Even though Senator Feinstein’s gun grabbing amendment fell by the wayside, the push for background checks for purchases and transfers between private citizens moves forward, pushed by the leftist media as a rational reaction to uncontrollable insanity. These calls for more restrictions on law abiding citizens, in the view of this commentator, are the true examples of insanity at best and a prelude to registration, confiscation and despotism at worst as not-so-subtly hinted at recently by El Vice Presidente’ Biden.
Big Jolly Politics reports, via Breitbart:
On March 28th, 2013 Vice President Joe Biden told the coalition “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” that:
“and lastly, but not least, the Assault Weapons ban and the limitation on the size of magazines, let me say this as clearly as I can: this is just the beginning…”
Houston’s Mayor Parker is a member of the firearm-grabbing coalition “Mayors Against Illegal Guns“. How does Mayor Parker define “illegal guns”? In the mind of Progressives, the definition is a firearm owned by the 99 Percent of law-abiding, legal firearms owners (Progressives, Hollywood-types & their bodyguards are exempted from this definition, of course).
Luckily (sarc), the UN has stepped in with an attempt to sideswipe the Second Amendment debate here in the US with its own Gun Grabbing – Arms Control Treaty masquerading as a Gun Grabbing – Arms Control Treaty which, incidentally has the full support of none other than Obama admin and former Sec. State Hillary Clinton.
I feel so much better with that knowledge. (more sarc)
Thankfully, we Texans have an advocate by the name of Attorney General Greg Abbott:
I was on FOX News today talking about the UN Arms Trade Treaty. If the President continues to support this threat to our liberties, TEXAS WILL LEAD THE CHARGE to overturn the treaty. Stand with me – sign my letter to Pres. Obama! http://bit.ly/Z7cgLf
Pres. Obama said he will use 23 Executive Orders to force his gun control measures. I will fight them all to protect OUR 2nd Amendment Right! Stand with me by signing today! http://bit.ly/10m7rRE