Week Seven of a Nine Week Mission, to Seek new life for the Senate, to Boldly shuttle Harry Reid back to irrelevance!
Focusing on the Senate races, is it worth ten bucks a week to you (three gallons of gas?) to eliminate Reid’s control and give the Senate responsible leadership again?
With that in mind, this week we look to the Senate seat in Colorado. Can you contribute just $10 to Senate candidate Cory Gardner?
Real Clear Politics has Gardner up 3.0 and rates the race as a toss up.
You can contribute to Cory Gardner here. Good luck and Godspeed, Cory!
(If you mark your contribution as “Ten Buck Friday”, they’ll see if the blogosphere can give them a little bump.)
Visit Our Fellow Ten Buck Friday bloggers:
Update: Some video on Cory at Nonsensible Shoes
Via KTRH and Twitter:
@EricHughesSD: MT @seanagnew “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” – UPS drops 15k spouses from insurance, cites Obamacare http://t.co/kk6Rz8NEHD
All is proceeding according to plan.
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.
From the TCN mailbag:
Also under consideration: HCR 77
“A bill filed by a state legislator to reaffirm Texas’ intent to defend its state sovereignty raises for the first time the potential of defending that sovereignty by leaving the Union.”
HCR 77… will direct the legislature to put DC on notice that they are violating the 10th amendment with Obamacare and many unfunded mandates.
Senator Cruz delivers his first major floor speech before the Senate proposing an amendment to defund Obamacare.
Dr Benjamin Carson should run for president. He gets it.
Much to the surprise of no one paying attention, one of the world’s largest restaurant chains is testing ways to deal with the upcoming Obamacare law.
Darden reportedly was a big supporter of the new law. Now it is scrambling to make adjustments to their bottom line as a result of it’s passage.
Darden, the world’s largest casual-dining company and one of the nation’s 30 largest employers, said it offers health insurance to all its approximately 185,000 employees. Many are offered a limited-benefit plan. That type of coverage is being phased out under health-care changes, which will ban annual limits for most plans.
About 25 percent of Darden workers are full time, meaning they work more than 30 hours a week. Though employees say Darden already offers traditional health insurance to full-timers, Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski said the cost of providing that could become higher for Darden under the Affordable Care Act. Because that law requires everyone to have health insurance, more workers will likely choose its coverage, Kalinowski said.
“Even a modest jump up in the amount of employees that decide they want the insurance you’re offering could have a meaningful impact on your bottom line,” he said.
The challenge to Obamacare, that is.
Did the Chief Justice have a change of heart? Did he finally remember where he placed that wooden stake?
I’m not holding my breath. But it is an interesting development.
Just two days prior, the U.S. Supreme Court revived hope – long thought dead – that Obamacare, the president’s signature achievement, might yet be ruled unconstitutional. The High Court shocked the legal community by opening its new term with an order giving the Obama Justice Department just 30 days to respond to Liberty Counsel’s petition for rehearing. Liberty Counsel filed the petition on behalf of Liberty University and two private individuals.
An appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act, or AIA, barred the court from addressing the merits in Liberty Univ., Inc. v. Geithner, which challenged the individual mandate (Section 1501) and the employer insurance mandate (Section 1513) of Obamacare.
In addition to the constitutional arguments that Congress lacked authority to pass the law, the suit also raised the Free Exercise of religion claim because of the forced taxpayer funding of abortion.
A couple of days ago, TCN posted a couple of video interviews with business owners explaining their frustrations with the overly burdensome taxation and regulation associated with Obamacare. One of those videos featured Judy Nichols, a Beaumont, TX restaurant owner, who cancelled or put on hold plans for a new location due to the stipulations included in the new law. The interview on FOX was quite brief so I thought it would be helpful to hear the entire presentation that helped bring her to the national stage as given at the Obamacare Town Hall, hosted by the SETX Tea Party in July, 2012.
Obamacare Fallout: Business owners sell or cancel expansion plans due to crippling new taxes and penalties
And this is helping the economy… how?
Thanks to Bobby from the News Tips page.
It’s not just the marketing companies. Your local businesses are being forced to re-think planned expansions because of the new burdens placed upon them by our elected officials: A Beaumont, Texas Papa Johns franchise owner reveals she was forced to cancel a new restaurant due to Obamcare.
Medical malpractice cases, like most areas of civil justice, traditionally are judged by state courts under state law rather than by the national government. This is because, as American Founders such as Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall explained, the Constitution reserves most such matters to state control.
Yet the current U.S. House of Representatives—led by some who otherwise assail federal overreaching—have twice passed H.R. 5, a bill that would largely transfer control over medical malpractice lawsuits to the federal government. Fortunately, the measure has not passed the Senate. It is, however, being touted as part of the GOP plan to “replace” Obamacare.
Under Title 1 of H.R. 5 (the so-called HEALTH ACT), Congress would assume expansive authority over state court procedures. The bill requires state judges and juries to adopt federal standards of proof, federal damage rules, federally-mandated standards of guilt, federal statutes of limitations, and a federal schedule for attorneys’ fees that overrides agreements between attorney and client. H.R. 5 also dictates that certain legal information be withheld from juries. A portion of the bill with the Orwellian title of “State Flexibility and Protection of States’ Rights” provides that the measure overrides state law, with only minimal concessions.
Advocates of H.R. 5 claim the Constitution gives Congress authority to adopt the measure under Congress’s Interstate Commerce Power. This always has been a dubious argument, but has become more dubious in light of comments and holdings in the Supreme Court’s health care case.
Read the whole thing: Obamacare Decision Suggests U.S. Malpractice Bill Unconstitutional – Tenth Amendment Center.