Monday, November 22

The FDA, Federal Drug Advocate

Over the last few days I have seen and heard a few of stories that well illustrate why we should dump the FDA, and get the Federal Government out of the healthcare business.

Now a good number of people will be screaming, "But who shall protect us from the evil drug companies?" in response to this, but my response to them will be "Who is protecting us now?".

First if you have not heard already, Dr. David Graham of the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, in a Senate hearing told it like it is.

And what he said was of no suprise to me. Dr Graham basically said that the FDA is an arm of the drug companies it is suppose to regulate.

It provides only protection for the drug companies, not from. If you want protection, be an informed comsumer and insist that your doctor does his homework!

I trust my doctor over anything the FDA says, but ask questions and if a doctor does not seem interested in talking to you about your concerns, find a new one that will. That is what I have done.

Read Dr. Graham's Dr. Graham's warning regarding the FDA

I also had a double revelation over the weekend, first from a program on NPR, then while verifying what they said with a doctor friend of mine.

Here it is. If a doctor wants to charge less to a Medicare/Medicaid patient for service, by law they cannot.

The patient cost of treatment for these patients is in the Federal law , which means if a doctor wants to lower the cost or fore go payment from the patient, they are not allowed to.

How is that for making healthcare more affordable?

I remember hearing an interview with a doctor awhile back, I believe he was from Maine, that had stopped seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients altogether.

One would first assume that he did this out of greed, but no it was out of compassion for his patients.

Without the costs of complying with the numerous Federal regulations, he was able to reduce his fees to levels not see since the 60's or 70's, and provide low income patients with affordable healthcare.

This doctor's office visit cost was $5 or $10! Tests where charged for at cost, but he does fewer expensive tests because he does something almost unheard of today. He sits down and talks to his patients.

How is that for reducing costs? How was he able to do this, simple. The savings he saw from not having to file reams of paperwork with the Fed were passed on to his patients. His costs were lower, and the savings where passed along to his patients.

This is how healthcare works in a free market environment.

If you research the causes of balloning healthcare costs you will find that it is tied to two major events.

The first is employer paid heathcare coverage, the second Federal healthcare programs.

Employer coverage caused people to think that healthcare was free, so at the first sign of a cold, which your doctor can do nothing about, they ran to the doctors office. They became bad consumers of the healthcare product, and continue to do so to this day.

The determental effect of the Federal Government becoming involved in providing healthcare was the paperwork associated with complying with their rules. Where there was once one person doing billing, there is now a complete billing department required to hand the ins and outs of getting the Feds to pay the bills. I have first hand experience regarding this, and it is a nightmare trying to comply with each and every little regulation on the books, and they change on an almost daily basis.

The answer to affordable, safe healthcare, get the government out of it!


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