To Fix Healthcare, Restore Americans’ Right to Choose

American healthcare has lost its way. It has become a medical tyranny that takes away personal freedom. The system is focused on cutting costs; giving government insurance to everyone; and most assuredly, augmenting Washington’s power. Patients’ medical freedom -- “my body, my choice” -- has been lost amidst the financial games and political power plays.

President Biden’s “patience is wearing thin” with those Americans who exercise their right to choose, having decided not to inject themselves with an experimental gene therapy (mRNA “vaccination”) that has no long-term outcome data. Washington has literally taken away medical autonomy with coercive federal mandates that threaten loss of employment for being free and independent Americans.

Washington politicians tell us what medicines we must take. They tell doctors what medicines they cannot prescribe for us. The same politicos, abetted by legacy media, allow us to see only the information that fits official narratives. All other data is labeled “misinformation” and censored. What happened to freedom of speech and of the press?

Priorities are turned upside down. Federal health policies contradict themselves. Right-thinking and rule following are more prized than patient outcomes. Non-physicians practice medicine. Bureaucrats ration medical care.

To have affordable, timely, quality medical care, healthcare must go back to its roots: restore personal freedom, return our medical autonomy. Medical care should be decided by patients, not by politicians or federal bureaucrats, even (especially) those with MD after their names.   

Efficiency, not Effectiveness

Physicians are judged by their efficiency, according to benchmarks of productivity, just like an assembly line worker. Efficient doctors see the most patients and therefore spend the least time with each patient. Efficient doctors are thereby ineffective at providing good care.

As a pediatric cardiologist, my benchmark was seeing 4.2 established patients per hour. That allots 14.3 minutes to take a history, do a physical exam, review past records and tests, assess the literature, make a diagnosis, develop a treatment plan, explain that plan to parents, use the electronic system to prescribe medications, explain the medicines and possible side-effects, and fill out a myriad of forms.

To get a good efficiency score, I was supposed to skip proper medical practice above, which cannot possibly be done in 14.3 minutes. I was an inefficient but effective physician. I had low efficiency ratings on my hospital scorecard but high marks from patients.

Who Practices Medicine?

Bureaucrats, insurance executives, and politicians can (and do) practice medicine on you. Doctors do not, because they can’t.

Pharmacy benefit management bureaucrats dictate what medications patients get, physicians don’t. Insurance company contracts determine who operates on patients, when, where, and even if. Triage decisions in the ER are now made by state politicians, not the doctor on the scene.

The only person who is legally and morally responsible for your medical care is your doctor. The only person who should be making medical decisions for you is you. American medical autonomy has been taken away by politician-wannabe-doctors and bureaucrat-MDs like Anthony Fauci who has not cared for a single patient in more than four decades. 

When bureaucrats practice medicine, they gain power they should not have.

Common Terms Redefined

Washington conflates and redefines words in its continuous drive to expand federal power. Medical care is a service provided by a professional: nurse, doctor, or therapist. Insurance is a contract, a piece of paper.  Though politicians, especially President Obama, conflate insurance with care, they are not the same.

People without insurance get care. Many with insurance can’t, especially not in time. The catchphrase “universal health care” actually means universal insurance coverage. Most people believe universal health care means getting the care you need when you need it.

In healthcare, cost does not mean all the money necessary to produce a product or service. It means spending. Adverse patient outcomes are assumed to be provider error. “High risk” refers to large medical bills, not medical danger.

COVID Provides Proof

The response to COVID is proof how far healthcare has strayed from patients’ independence.

What matters to those in authority is following their rules and obeying Washington mandates, not patient welfare. Optimal medical care for a patient is prohibited if that care goes against federal guidelines. The advantages of natural immunity over vaccine-induced protection are suppressed. Americans are required to accept experimental gene therapy against their will. Federal officials not only falsely claim to follow the science, they label any evidence disproving their narrative as misinformation and censor such data.

Those who exercise their free will and reject such treatments are punished. They cannot go where they wish, speak freely, read multiple opinions, or even control their own bodies. Americans who don’t comply with federal mandates lose their jobs, from Navy SEALs to government employees to healthcare workers.  

Firing unvaccinated healthcare workers is especially ironic. These are persons who have medical knowledge superior to Biden; who have access to data not available to the public and ignored by Fauci; who have direct experience with adverse effects of mRNA therapy; and who know their own specific medical circumstances.

Non-physicians have created a new way to practice medicine called, “crisis standards of care.” When hospital ERs are overwhelmed with sick patients, triage decisions are taken away from doctors on the scene and taken over by bureaucrats.

How can an American exercise his or her constitutionally guaranteed medical freedom when Washington punishes those who demand their right to choose? How can Americans make informed decisions when Washington suppresses vital scientific information? Why are doctors held responsible when bureaucrats practice medicine on their patients?

Federal healthcare has taken away liberty. Americans now live under medical tyranny.

Federal Healthcare is Unconstitutional

According to the Tenth Amendment, Washington is prohibited from having authority or “power” over healthcare.  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Over the past century, health care, the service, has been coopted by healthcare, the system. Care has been called a federal responsibility. If Washington is responsible, then Americans are not. When politicians choose rather than individuals, freedom is gone.

Back to Patients 

Self-styled experts and federal politicians say that healthcare is so complex the public cannot possibly understand all the Byzantine intricacies. Our healthcare system is complex, intentionally so, in order to justify making Americans dependent on Washington.  

Health care -- the service -- is ridiculously simple and straightforward: one patient and one doctor with direct, fiduciary connection. The patient chooses a provider and contracts with that provider for fiduciary services and pays him or her. Period. No qualifiers or weasel words. With no one and nothing in between patient and doctor.

If Americans want timely, quality, affordable medical services, they must restore patients’ right to choose. If states want to have safety nets for medically vulnerable individuals, that can easily be done. Washington should play no role whatsoever in healthcare, per the Constitution and the feds abysmal track record, both medical and fiscal, over the past 56 years.  

Deane Waldman, M.D., MBA is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Pathology, and Decision Science; former director of the Center for Healthcare Policy at Texas Public Policy Foundation; former Director, New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange; and author of the multi-award-winning book Curing the Cancer in U.S. HealthcareStatesCare and Market-Based Medicine.  

Image: Pixnio

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