Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
This story is about the biggest victory in the history of health freedom battles EVER.
It was a banner day, last Thursday, November 3rd, 2005, in California, for the powerful North American Health Freedom Movement. Years of hard work, organizing, button-holing of legislators and the governor’s office, educating the media, making alliances where we never had before – paid off. In spades…
The once powerful “quackbuster” influence in California health care politics was broken, years ago now, and, as of last Thursday, the apparatus it set up to control health care in California has been dismantled. Health care quality has, once again, been brought under the control of the citizens of California. And, things are about to change radically.
Very radically. For the California Medical Board is the first State to officially shift its focus – and will now target, en masse, and with new muscle, and new funding, those responsible for “organized medicine” being the number one killer of Americans.
The report ““Death by Medicine,” released earlier this year shows that “It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States“:
The number one cause of unnecessary death in the United States, called Iatrogenic deaths (783,986) is shown in the table below, re-printed by permission of the authors:
|Hospital ADR||106,000||$12 billion||Lazarou1 Suh49|
|Medical error||98,000||$2 billion||IOM6|
|Bedsores||115,000||$55 billion||Xakellis7 Barczak8|
|Infection||88,000||$5 billion||Weinstein9 MMWR10|
|Outpatient ADR||199,000||$77 billion||Starfield12 Weingart112|
|Unnecessary Procedures||37,136||$122 billion||HCUP3,13|
The number two cause of unnecessary death in the United States is Heart Disease. Statistics show “The 2001 heart disease annual death rate is 699,697.”
The number three cause of unnecessary death in the United States is Cancer. Statistics show “the annual cancer death rate, 553,251.”
The total number of known unnecessary deaths, per year, directly due to the American Medical System is 2,036,884.
For years the staff of the California med board, like most other State health regulatory agencies, focused their attacks on “good” doctors – those that stepped out of the drugs, drugs, and more drugs paradigm to find newer and better solutions for their patient problems – and conspicuously ignored the activities of the “bad “doctors – those that were responsible, of late, for making “organized medicine” that number one killer of Americans.
It was, and is, commonly believed that California med board enforcement teams made decisions to spend limited enforcement dollars prosecuting doctors not on the seriousness of their actions, but on their potential to NOT be able to afford a defense.
In other words – they went for the “easy hit.”
The California based Union of American Physicians & Dentists (UAPD) once told me that about 55% of all California MDs were “solo practitioners,” working in small, individual offices – but that 95% of the prosecutions by the med board were filed against those same “solo” practitioners.
Why? four reasons, I think.
(1) Because doctors working for hospitals, HMOs, etc., had the protection of HUGE legal defense budgets, and the services of lawyers that could wipe the floor with anything the med board could face them with.
(2) Hospitals will not report MD problems to the Medical Board – hiding from the board their activities – to protect their defective doctors.
(3) State investigators and prosecutors had been focused on prosecuting “good” doctors through alleged “training” (propaganda) provided, I think, by the Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB), and other “quackbuster“ influenced, or controlled, groups.
(4) Investigators and prosecutors are, simply, poorly trained in the issues, and functionally incapable, of even understanding the complex issues of health care enforcement.
As you have read from one of my earlier newsletters – “The American Medical System is Broken…”
So, what actually happened?
Thursday, the California Medical Board heard the FINAL report of the “Enforcement Monitor,” thrust on them, at our request, by the California legislature. The Board, and the board staff, have already adopted, and put in place, fifty (50) of the sixty-five (65) recommendations in the FINAL report. Within that report is a significant change in focus – and the setting up of the apparatus, including the legislation, and the additional funding necessary, to go after “bad” doctors – with a vengeance.
California, to its credit, has become the first State to proactively address the horrifying fact that “organized medicine” is the number one killer of Americans – and do something about it.
I applaud the members of the California Legislature and the Medical Board for this LANDMARK action.
The report, frankly a model for every State, addresses seven basic issues of enforcement – in detail. The report, upwards of two hundred (200) pages outlines how an enforcement agency actually works, and makes recommendations on how to improve it. Download a copy of this startling report for yourself, by clicking here.
So, what do we do with this?
This report will be officially presented by delegates of the California Medical Board to the Federation of States Medical Board (FSMB) in April of 2006 – and I have no doubt that the New York ad agency that controls the “quackbuster“ operation will conduct a campaign to stop this process from going nationwide.
However, the powerful North American Health Freedom Movement has groups in every State. I urge all of you to consider formally presenting California’s actions, and report, to each State’s Medical Board – and very nicely, but insistently, demand that they do exactly the same thing – and if they don’t – go immediately to the State Capitol, and sit down with the Chairman of the Senate and the House of Representative’s Health Committee – and lay the cards on the table…
In summary – we started out to simply get the staff off the backs of cutting edge MDs, and other practitioners in California – and we changed the practice of California medicine forever. Take a look at the numbers in the graph above – won’t it be nice to reduce those numbers to near zero?
Yes, this is the biggest victory in the history of health freedom battles EVER. For years we’ve been fending off attacks from the very people that were massively killing Americans – we’ve turned the tables.
In California we have more to do. “Victory” just makes us work harder.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate