Obamacare: What we know NOW

March 23, 2012

States in opposition?  Should States Implement Obamacare’s ‘Essential Health Benefits’ Mandate?  Also:  Ala opts out of Affordable Care Act component

Why breast and other cancer survival rates will plummet after Obamacare:  Radiologist speaks out video.

Why more trauma centers? Boom in trauma centers can help save lives, but at what cost?

Are you still a member?  How the AARP made $2.8 Billion by supporting Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare  [Read more]

Do we want a free health care market?

March 18, 2012

Then why have common sense reforms that will produce one been opposed, defeated and/or vetoed at the Legislature for the last 2 years – even with a Republican Governor and Republican supermajority?

The short answer is swarms of  lobbyists.  The longer answer is Legislators succumbing to lobbyists on issues that should be very clear. [Read more]

Healthcare Delivery Innovation Alliance

March 18, 2012

Sen. Barto addresses the HDIA forum in Phoenix on March 1, 2012.

As employers and others intricately involved in health care, I don’t have to tell you about the challenges to providing affordable health care – you live it every day.  But just to set the stage,  RAND recently estimated that health care consumed 79% of the dollars that otherwise would have gone into paychecks for the average U.S. family during the 2000s.  Employer-sponsored health plan premiums climbed 9% in 2011, and they’re due to rise another 9.4% by 2014, according to Medicare’s actuaries. [Read more]

Protect your medical records

March 18, 2012

The main purpose of the latest Electronic Medical Records bill – signed into law this year – was to include electronic prescribing as an acceptable method for prescribing controlled substances as long as they follow all the DEA rules and regs.

That’s good.  Federal ARRA legislation (the loathsome “stimulus” bill)  rewards doctors for e-prescribing, expecting fewer medical errors and better use of up-to-date patient records will result in fewer diagnostics, better care and lower health care costs.  This is a great goal.   The jury is still out as to whether it will do these things, but it’s likely to improve patient care….as long as patients’ consent and privacy rights and information are protected in these systems.  [Read more]

Regulators Win – Arizonans Lose

March 18, 2012

People need health care.

The good news is volunteer physicians are prepared to deliver it – for free.  Not only across the ocean in Uganda and south of the border, but in the inner cities and on the Indian reservations across the United States, including Arizona.

The bad news is our regulations make it more difficult for them to serve their fellow man here i Arizona than across the world. So they don’t come here.

Enter a solution:  SB 1189. This bill would remove the chief obstacle standing between Arizonans in need of health care and the health care professionals ready, willing and duly licensed from other states – to serve them:  an Arizona-specific license. [Read more]

‘Wrongful Birth’ lawsuits simply wrong

March 18, 2012

Liberal bloggers from around the country caused needless hysteria over my sponsorship of Arizona’s SB 1359, wrongful birth; wrongful life tort reform, claiming it gives doctors license to lie to their patients.  It doesn’t.  That would be wrong.

The measure, signed into law by Governor Brewer, will protect physicians who have done nothing wrong from predatory lawsuits in cases where patients sue their doctors, arguing they would have aborted their child if the doctor had correctly diagnosed a birth defect or fetal anomaly while their baby was in utero.   But ask yourself:

  • Why should physicians who have done everything “by the book” – except know the unknowable – remain in legal crosshairs?
  • Is life with a disability not a life worth living?

Wrongful life/wrongful birth lawsuits implicitly endorse the view that the life of a disabled child is worth less than the life of a healthy child. [Read more]