Sunday, November 22, 2009

US Senate majority invites Bismarck to run US health care. Welcome to European decadence, America!

The US Senate has chosen the Bismarckian road to decadence. Americans will be faced with rationing of medical technology, downgrading of care for the elderly, ever rising insurance premiums, health inflation and higher taxes. Europeans are familiar with the scenario.

Regulation costs money.
The minute coercion steps into any market (and mandatory insurance is coercitive by essence), it sparks an exponential growth of controllers & bureaucrats.

Conversely, over regulated health care leads to a scarcity of nurses and physicians
- as Europeans now realize. Their doctors end up spending more time filling forms than writing prescriptions while patients queue for treatment!

American medicine long led the world in terms of innovation
. This is unfortunately doomed to change: irresponsible ideologues have voted mediocrity into US health care. Europe will no be able to piggyback on American therapeutic advances for much longer.

Voting makers of bad laws out of office will not root out mandates from health care. Politicians from all horizons can live with them. For ordinary citizens, of course, it's another matter.

The battle however is not lost! Civil disobedience
, in particular when constitutional principles are at stake, shows the way citizens may have to combat infringements to their fundamental liberties in health care...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Envy, demagogy, Obamacare and the destruction of wealth

The tax surcharges crafted in the latest version of the Obamacare bill will hit hardest those considered wealthy.

Punishing wealth is a seasoned tool of demagogic reform. Envy always finds a constituency that enables irresponsible political leaders – such as those that are conspiring to confiscate American health care and more – to tax their way to their misdeeds.

Envy is the demagogic motor that drives redistributive “social justice" as Anthony de Jasay demonstrated in "The State". Envy fuels destruction. Wealth, however can unfortunately only be confiscated once. Once it has been taken away by government and wasted by its bureaucracies it cannot be confiscated again. The same could also be said of health! Though in this case the elderly and the destitute will be hit before the young and rich.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kill Altruism in the Name of Morality

Barak Obama equates compulsory health insurance with "a core ethical and moral obligation". However, compelling citizen A to pay provider B for care of patient C is not the same thing as “looking out for one another.” The moral premise that claims to drive Obamacare is tainted by coercion. It will deliver nothing but bureaucratic hubris, patient suffering and taxes.

Read AAPS News of the Day

Public welfare and its clones invariably kill altruism and charity whenever and wherever they are instituted. The minute government takes the reins of health care into its hands, it submits providers to the tyranny of political expediency while patients have to compete with other far more powerful groups to obtain their share of government redistribution. A cancer patient or his family will never meet the clout of industrial lobbyists or of environment fanatics. Obamacare already openly targets Medicare budgets.

In health care as in any other field of life, government coercion is never moral: it ultimately leads to strife or to slavery.

Read: "The End of Welfare and its effect on the poor"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spin & Tax, Tax & Spin: The Treacherous Trail to the Bismarckian States of America

America's spin doctor in chief demonstrated - in a forceful attempt to impose his views on health care - how deep the gulf can be, that separates political rhetoric from reason. His eloquence did not suffice however to blur hard facts. Forcing Bismarckian iron social security blueprints into the American way of life will come with more taxes. Who will be the most hit by health tax furies is still a matter of speculation. Stirring envy however is a well known tool of socialist plunder: successful executives are already on Obamacare's tax hit list. Health industries will predictably come next. Middle class income earners will not be spared for long.

Patients may have to wait more time for their turn to come... not only to get care! It took 15 years of mandatory health insurance before soaring insurance costs got the Swiss parliament to start digging into patient's purses. And this is only a beginning.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sovietizing health care: here comes the time of "official truths"and unofficial censorship

Sovietization of society did not only include massive State intrusion into health services, it also implied tight control of public opinion and ruthless persecution of dissenters. The times of Pravda - obedient servant of "official truths" and party line in the former USSR - is indeed behind us. Today's "official truths" elbow their way in more subtle ways... as the unofficial censuring of a thoughtful League of American Voters ad opposing Obamacare demonstrates.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spin doctors might save Obamacare. They will not save patients!

An armada of spin doctors has been called at the bedside of Obamacare. Their mission is simple: to save the health overhaul project from a growing tide of grass root objections that rise from all corners: taxpayer groups, physicians, seniors.

Considerable resources are being spent in campaigns designed to discredit or intimidate opponents to Obama’s pet project while little is done to explain how much it will cost & even less to clarify what it will look like. Obamacare spin doctors use classical dialectic and propaganda recipes familiar to readers of Machiavelli and Schopenhauer (I prefer to keep Lenin & Goebbels out of the picture… out of respect for America!) .

A well worn stratagem consists in distracting attention from essential objections by focusing on what appear like unfounded critics or exagerations: such as those that predict that Government-driven reform will lead to euthanasia…

Seniors are the first logical victims of regulated medical services. However, mandatory euthanasia is not a likely outcome of modern Government-driven health reforms. Socialized health care systems such as those of the UK, Canada or even the Netherlands (that boasts an euthanasia-friendly legal framework) do not need active euthanasia to reduce the burden of senior citizens on their faltering redistributive pensions or health care systems. Physician scarcity, overcrowded hospitals and waiting lists achieve this just as efficiently.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Can common sense defeat health care demagogy? US polls tend to prove so!

Reason seldom has an easy way when it challenges charismatic leaders who fuzz reality with unrealistic promises to satisfy ideology. And health care is particularly vulnerable to emotional arguments... One could have feared that Obama and his advisers would have a smooth ride to socialized health care. Yet current polls show that a majority of Americans begin to see through the demagogic smoke that obscures the bottom line of irresponsible road maps for health reform... and that they are making their voices heard.

Swiss citizens demonstrated the same wisdom when 71% (!!!) of them told their politicians that they did not need a single payer (i.e. a single decider) to manage their health care. This was not in polls mind you, but in a referendum vote on March 11th 2007 that international media largely ignored. By the way: close to 80% of Oregon voters did the same in 2002!!! (read more)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The 4 Toxic T’s that Take you to Nobamacare

  1. TAXES
  2. TAXES
  3. TAXES
  4. and more TAXES

When they promise more taxes, most politicians love to keep their word. Health care allows them to get away with this unscathed… Indeed citizens ultimately find out that they have payed more (surtaxes & premiums) when healthy, to get less (care and compassion) when sick. By then it’s too late for them to protest!

Read about the health surtax

Aug 6th: The Overhaul - How to Pay More TAXES for LESS CHOICE

Obama and others explain how American health care will be moved towards public system... but say little about its corollary: a single decider system. And the decider won't be you!


Aug. 3rd: Obama Officials WANT THEIR HEALTH TAXES

Health care taxes not only mean more pork, they also mean veterinarian care for humans... When we're old and ailing, officials will decide whether we get treatment or a mercy shot!

Aug. 1st: Update on Nobamacare SUPER TAXES

Families and small businesses (the kind that never hit bail-outs or stimulus jackpots) will be the first struck by health surtaxes headed for bureaucratic waste!

More about the health surtax

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obamacare puts Obamacracy at test

The Swiss democratic system ensures that no major reforms are implemented without careful and lengthy parliametary assessments that examine all opinions and aim at some degree of consensus. Although their seasoned democratic process is not foolproof and has not stopped the Swiss from implementing reforms that fail to yield expected results (particularly in health care), it has protected them from the mischiefs of demagogy and has kept tributes to special interests within affordable limits.

Americans may not be so fortunate. The scramble of US legislators to push health care reforms (that have failed elsewhere) without due consideration of caveats from professional and patient groups puts Obamacracy at test. AAPS Myth-busters blow one more whistle:

Read the AAPS article

Friday, July 24, 2009

The 5 F’s you will not find in Government run healthcare

Americans have started reading the small print in socialized health reforms pushed by president Obama. Unsurprisingly, they do not really like what they see. Shawn Tully editor at Forbes Magazine has already identified five freedoms Congressional health reform schemes would do away with. Loss of freedom to choose your doctor is only a starter!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fax-a-thon launched against socialized medicine in America

Californian Chuck de Vore’s VoterRight website offers a free fax tool to Americans who oppose social-fascist health care reforms. Over 1000 faxes reached the White House on July 23rd, the day of Obama’s speech on healthcare. The tool is still available at .

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obama's Pied Piper Rush to Rationed Health Care

Obama wants new health care laws voted by October. Two declared objectives: cutting health costs and “taking care of the uninsured”. The true name of the game is to increase the power of insurers at the expense of patients, doctors and health industries. A classic recipe for rationed care. Costs will indeed be cut. So will access to diagnosis, treatment and care. The same cannot be said of non productive expenses (paperwork, control, lobbying): they will go uphill, but… husssh, bureaucrats are good at spin, nobody will notice !

The current share of GDP that Americans invest in their health care results in great part from the sum of innumerable individual choices. Other countries face overt or occult rationing of medical services: they spend less of their GDP on health because administrative third parties (and not those in need of care) choose how much is to be spent on patients and who is allowed to get the care. That's where American "health care overhaul" pied pipers want Congress to go. All the rest is wind.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Before you invite Government into health care: Don't forget you will be a patient one day!

Experts interviewed on the advantages and drawbacks of European state-run health care systems by Associated Press medical writer, Maria Cheng, all voice the same caveat: Be VERY careful before allowing Government into health care. (Read More)

Demagogic health predators claim that high costs of health care justify more Government action in the field: Those who know how to count and compare know that inflation in health care is a direct outcome of government intervention. A recent Fraser study shows that health bankruptcies are also part of Government health packages. (Read More)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Swiss Doctor Associations Bow to Mandatory Insurance Predators

After calling for “pencil strikes” to protest against lab test rationing, Swiss doctor associations now lamely ask physicians to get back to the paperwork… despite the fact that federal health authorities regally ignored their demands. The causes of this inglorious retreat remain unclear. What is evident is that once again, predatory health insurance cartels will have the last word… and as always at the expense of practitioners and patients.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The 4 Insidious I's of Government Run Health Insurance

Irresponsible use of health services by consumers
Inflation in the health care sector
nterference of bureaucrats with patient care
Indifference to human suffering

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Obama's Doctor's Diagnosis of ObamaCare... and the Neurosurgeons

Chicago physician David Scheiner who was Obama's doctor for over 20 years, believes his president's health reform concept is cut off from the realities of patient suffering and will hurt primary care. No one will contradict him there. Yet at the same time Dr Scheiner calls for more government intrusion through an extension of Medicare and proposes savings by capping neurosurgeon incomes.

Scheiner is 71 years old. He is an internist. He may be unaware of breakthroughs in the neurosciences that will ultimately enable neurosurgeons to cure costly chronic neuro-psychiatric conditions. Leaving aside the predictable alleviation of human suffering (that has by and large become irrelevant in current health care reform debate), such progress also entails major and durable savings in terms of health care dollars. Litigation costs have already spawned a worrisome scarcity of specialists in one of the most difficult and yet promising areas of surgical practice. Intrusive targeting of neurosurgeons' incomes will only make this shortage worse.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Voice of Patients

Socialized medicine drives altruism out of health care. It also dulls the compassion of doctors. Except for groups such as the AAPS, physicians fail to speak out against political agendas doomed to increase patient suffering. Compassionate and articulate voices are now rising from other quarters. Amy Menefee, who conducts Patients United Now and Betsy Mc Caughey former Lt Governor of NY State are making compelling cases for patients threatened by intrusive health reforms.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The 4 deadly R's of Social-fascist health care Reform

Ransom: All pay for health care through mandatory premiums & taxes
Redistribution: Politicians & interest-groups decide where booties go
Regulation: Bureaucrats tell caregivers how to give care
Rationing: The aged & the severely ill get queues but not cures

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dear American citizens: Allow your country to remain a caring nation

"Dear President Obama (...) There should never be anyone standing between a person and his/her caregiver..." This blatant truth hammered by an American citizen in an open letter to his president is unfortunately only evident to those who need care. Statistically: 4% of any population at any given time (though close to 100% of humans sooner or later)... To make things worse patients seldom vote! And politicians (including probably President Obama) know this. This makes the health care sector fair game to all kinds of interest groups... mostly alien to those whose lives depend on caregivers.

Egoism and short-sightedness of citizens in good health leads them to accept the political line that health care is tantamount to costs and that these need to be reduced. In fact, the more of its GDP any nation chooses to invest in health care the more it can be said to be a caring nation. Provided of course that regulators and other intrusive third parties are not entitled to confiscate part of these investments on the way... as that is where investments against human suffering become costs and waste!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Swiss Voters' Blow to "Evidence based" Medicine Will Muddle Regulators

Two thirds of Swiss voters called for mandatory insurance to include coverage of alternative medicines. This vote reflects the growing popularity of "natural" therapies and exotic imports such as Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine. The inclusion of complementary medicines will predictably increase global costs in mandatory insurance and lead to higher premiums.


The intrusion of paying third parties and their bureaucratic watch dogs in the alternative therapy sector will alter the crucial one to one relationship between patient and health healer: this will inevitably dull the placebo effect linked to the faith and magic that goes with alternative therapies. The good news is that mandatory coverage of non-scientific complementary therapies will make it difficult for mandatory insurance regulators to continue using the "evidence based" myth as a tool for rationing orthodox medical care.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Profit Keeps Health Care Healthy

Profit benefits all whereas deficits and losses punish many. Health care is no exception as Richard Durana's healthy study on the value of profit in health care demonstrates. Entrusting health services to government management or subsidy is a recipe for for deficits and waste. It inevitably leads to regulatory harassment of providers and to the rationing of care. Richard Durana's case for more market in this crucial sector of society is based on solid economic analysis. Beyond economics, there is also a moral case to be made for profits that reward professionals and industries that work towards the common good. Wealth gives them incentives and resources needed to pursue their battle against human suffering and disease. Government regulation and rationing does just the opposite.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Constricting Growth of Healthcare Stakeholders : A "Simple Formula" for Mismanaged Care

The US managed care industry proposes a "simple formula" for health care reform that hinges on the reduction by 1% of the annual growth of "all stakeholders in the debate" and indicates it has already started working on trimming its own growth (Source: BioPharma Today). Should BioPharma follow suit?

The ultimate (and noble) mission of BioPharma tech industries is to create products that diminish human suffering. Growth of these industries is mainly achieved by the production and marketing of successful therapeutic products. If you forcefully cut down by 1% the annual growth of Bio-Pharma technology you jeopardize cures of chronic disease in the same proportion and perpetuate the costs of many chronic illnesses. Such a "solution" is not only economically counterproductive (chronic illness is ultimately more costly than cure) it is also immoral insofar as it favors human suffering. As for the managed care industry's vows to reduce its own growth by 1% : one can suspect that this will be achieved by incremental rationing of care and restricting access to cure; a seasoned way of passing on the costs of irresponsible "simple solutions" to suffering patients.


Patients are the central stakeholders in the health care debate (although for obvious reasons, their voice is not a loud one). Reducing the "annual growth" of the number of patients by 1% can be done in two ways: by curing more patients through growth of Bio-pharma innovation; or conversely by killing more patients by restricting innovation or rationing access to cure. The US managed care cartel seems to have made its choice!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grèves médicales et cancer bureaucratique

La grève est contraire à la tradition médicale. Elle traduit des frustrations profondes de professionnels exacerbés. Grèves et manifestations n'existeraient pas si l'intrusion de tiers ne venait pas perturber le contrat Hippocratique qui regit tacitement les rapports entre médecins et patients dans un marché libre.


Aujourd'hui, le médecin ne peut plus se contenter de soigner ses patients. Il doit également combattre une bureaucratie pathologique qui l'empêche d'exercer correctement son métier. Malheureusement les grèves de médecins sont le plus souvent menées sans analyse étiologique. En s'attaquant au symptôme Couchepin, les meneurs du movement actuel de protestation FMH en tête, ne s'attardent pas suffisamment sur les questions morales soulevées par la réglementation arbitraire de notre profession. Nous n'avons pas encore saisi l'enjeu d'une bataille d'idées qui oppose l'Etat et ses saprophytes à ceux qui se battent pour une société plus lbre.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Hidden Cause of "The Crisis of Capitalism": War Destroys Capital

Exactly a year ago, in March 2008 Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, estimated the global costs of the US military adventure in Irak at $3 trillion and predicted that this would severely harm the US economy. Stieglitz was being optimistic. He did not foresee that when the finances of the first industrial nation of the world collapse, a domino effect on all industrial partners follows.
War does not produce capital. It creates suffering and destruction. In past times, these were mainly circumscribed to warring states. Globalization has changed this. Peaceful countries are punished almost as harshly as military ones.
Wars are ruinous ventures that no nation can afford but that only states can launch. It is unfair and incorrect to blame the current woes of world finances on a failure of capitalism. They are the consequence of carefully encrypted war economies of nations heavily involved in military quagmires... Our economic crisis stems from eight years of hard state destructive action in places such as Irak, Afganistan, Gaza, Georgia... Further state action to correct it (eg. by printing paper money to fill the the financial craters caused by war) will only make this crisis worse.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Regulated Health Insurance is not a Deus Ex-machina

America's $90 billion cut of "stimulus" booty captured by Medicare, together with further plans (currently estimated at $65 billion a year) to expand regulated health insurance will only stimulate overgrown health bureaucracies and create more mandates (i.e. more pork) at the expense of taxpayers. Whether this will help a single patient is another matter.

Insurance is no more than a tool amongst others designed to parry unpredictable risks or unpleasant certainties that afflict the course of human existence. It does not make people healthier, it does not make doctors more efficient, it does not create hospital facilities and will not stop individuals from passing away when their time has come. By crediting regulated health insurance with magical powers that it does not have and at great expense, politicians shove out other market forces that address provision of health care more efficiently and humanely than big government and its bureaucracies.

Human progress stems from incremental trial and error learning processes that span over generations. Some lessons are learned the hard way. It took more than half a century of gulags before eastern Europe discarded totalitarian utopias spawned by hardcore socialism. Democratic societies may take longer to discover that keynesian wishful thinking applied to worn out social security recipes delivers neither health nor security but costs dearly: not only in terms of wasted resources but also in terms of liberties.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama's Raw "New" Deal: A Billion Buck Bid for Bad Medicine

Future generations may have to pay twice for current political profligacy: Out of their empty pockets when the debts of mind boggling government deficit spending come due. In their flesh, when they test the kind of rationed medicine that their forefathers bought in a frenzy without checking what lay inside the package.

The Cato Institute blows the whistle in:

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Of Wealth and Philanthropy - The golden legacy of St John Chrysostom

Nicoleta Acatrinei is an unusual scholar: she is at the same time a professional economist, a graduate in theology and a working mother. Her blend of religious faith, natural curiosity and interest for economic anthropology put her on the byzantine track of St John Chrysostom one of the fathers of the Greek Orthodox church. When we first met in 2005, Nicoleta alerted me on the role of this pivotal 4th Century Antiochian figure whose preachings on wealth and altruism are probably as important to market ethics as are the legacies of Aristotle or of St Thomas Aquinas.

Nicoleta's fascinating
economics cum theology anthropological quest has now materialized into a book: "Saint Jean Chrysostome et l'Homo oeconomicus" (ISBN 978-1-933275-20-8) recently published by the Orthodox Research Institute.

The current financial crisis puts entrepreneurial ethics in the line of fire. An immersion into its fundamentals is not a luxury for those who battle for free markets. Nicoleta's revisit of Chrysotom's golden wisdom could not have come at a better time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

GAZA in distress - news from a friend

I met Omar Sha'Ban founder of PalThink for strategic studies a Palestinian think tank, in July 2008 in Alexandria Va. at an Atlas MBA Course. Omar is a man of peace. He lives in Gaza. As a true man of peace he cannot understand the ruthless violence and destruction his land has suffered through four dreadful weeks. Read his first hand eye-witness account of a Palestinian nightmare in: "Old questions in need of new answers".
Israel is unfortunately no exception. States as institutions are fundamentally made for war. They generally excel in destruction. Humanitarian missions are incompatible with their essence. Entrusting governments with tasks such as providing or regulating health care makes no sense. Patients do not count in the minds of individuals capable of ordering bombs and missiles against fellow human beings... The shelled hospitals of Gaza prove this point beyond dispute.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gideon Sofer and Bureaucratic Patient Killers

As Gideon Sofer, who suffers from Crohn’s disease points out in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed: “The FDA is killing Crohn’s patients, millions of individuals depend on the rate at which new drugs reach the market. Sofer condemns the FDA for ethically questionable protocols that impose placebos on groups of patients in legthy double-blind randomized clinical trials and withhold their access to potential cure.

One can but sympathize with Gideon Sofer who not only struggles against Crohn’s disease but has also had to endure the frustrations that drug regulatory processes inflict on those afflicted by chronic (i.e. currently incurable) and debilitating illnesses. Bureaucracies such as the FDA, or its European siblings do indeed obstruct access to potentially curative new treatments. The shortcomings Gideon Sofer condemns however, are less due to the « deliberate cruelty » of administrative agents than to the inertia of insensitive policy makers.

The real “patient-killers” are obsolete institutional designs originally designed to protect lay and uninformed citizens of past times but that now lead to therapeutic dead ends while violating patient rights and expectations. Regulatory policies have not adapted to an ever-expanding range of patient information lanes or to the exponential progress of pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Worse, the concepts that guide approval processes fundamentally conflict with research towards genetically guided « custom made » therapy and thus stifle essential medical innovation.


The market of ideas offers a blueprint that streamlines access to new therapies and brings back health decision-making processes into the hands of those who are primarily affected by such decisions. Bartley Madden, an independent researcher backed by Nobel Price laureate Vernon Smith, has developed a “dual tracking” institutional design that would enable patients such as Gideon Sofer to circumvent lengthy drug approval processes. This model is not designed to replace FDA drug testing but aims to introduce alternate pathways to innovation. It relies: a) on legal and institutional changes that would allow duly informed patients to access to not yet approved curative substances by contracting directly with the producers. b) On an open Tradeoff Evaluation Database necessary to doctor-patient based assessment of risks and potential benefits of taking the fast lane to experimental therapy.

While open databases are currently being developed for orphan diseases and could be easily expanded to cover wider therapeutic fields, an update of legislative frameworks implies change in political mind-sets. In the United States, legislation that accelerates innovation and enhances liberty should theoretically generate bipartisan support… even in health care! The implementation of a “dual tracking” model would stimulate medical progress and help numbers of patients find their way to improvement or cure before it’s too late for them. It would also signal that ailing humans have a right to life and liberty.

Ref: “The FDA is killing Crohn’s patients” by Gideon J. Sofer WSJ Dec. 30, 2008