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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daschle at HHS?

Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader from South Dakota, gives his objectives in a June 2008 speech. His analysis of the health care crisis is this:

Daschle is for fluoridation which is known NOT to prevent cavities; it causes many other severe health problems. The fluoride based drugs cause problems as well.

Maybe if RFK is open to overseeing EPA we can get rid of fluoride once and for all.

Daschle is for mammogram which the FDA has always known the procedure promotes breast cancer.

Electronic records are known to be easily hacked. The data is also collected and sold or otherwise circulated without your permission. HIPPA saw to this little hidden fact.

What are Daschle's ideas on supplement parity and protected access to services outside the medical mafia?

Lots of questions need to be asked.

Maybe he is the political pick but are his ideas too out of date. Is he really reading the research or just parroting what he's been given from the propaganda grist mill at CDC et al?
US Healthcare has three major problems: 1) Cost containment. We spend $8000/capita – 40% more than the next most expensive country in the world (Switzerland). Last year businesses spent more on healthcare than they made in profits. General motors spends more on healthcare than they do on steel.

2) Quality control. The US system cannot integrate and create the kind of efficiencies necessary. The WHO has listed us as 35 in overall health outcomes. Some people ask, "If we have a quality problem, why do kings and queens come to the US for their healthcare?" They come to the best places like the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, or Johns Hopkins. They don't go to rural South Dakota. We have islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity.

3) Access. People are unable to get insurance if they have a pre-existing condition. 47 million people don't have health insurance. We have a primary care shortage, and hospitals turning away patients because they're full.

His solutions are these:

Universal coverage. If we don't have universal coverage we can't possibly deal with the universal problems that we have in our country.

Cost shifting is not cost savings. By excluding people from the system we're driving costs up for taxpayers – about $1500/person/year.

We must recognize the importance of continuity of care and the need for a medical home. Chronic care management can only occur if we coordinate the care from the beginning, and not delegating the responsibility of care to the Medicare system when the patient reaches the age of 65.

We must focus on wellness and prevention. Every dollar spent on water fluoridation saves 38 dollars in dental costs. Providing mammograms every two years to all women ages 50-69 costs only $9000 for every life year saved.

Lack of transparency is a devastating aspect of our healthcare system. We can't fix a system that we don't understand.

Best practices – we need to adopt them.

We need electronic medical records. We're in 21st century operating rooms with 19th century administrative rooms. We use too much paper – we should be digital.

We have to pool resources to bring down costs.

We need to enforce the Stark laws and make sure that proprietary medicine is kept in check.

We rely too much on doctors and not enough on nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and physician assistants. They could be used to address the primary care shortage that we have today.

We have to change our infrastructure. Congress isn't capable of dealing with the complexity of the decision-making in healthcare. We need a decision-making authority, a federal health board, that has the political autonomy and expertise and statutory ability to make the tough decisions on healthcare on a regular basis. Having this infrastructure in place would allow us the opportunity to integrate public and private mechanisms within our healthcare system in a far more efficient way.

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