White House snubs healthcare fraud offer
NOTE: I wrote this article when I was a staunch conservative. Now that I am partially liberal, I'd like to eventually update it to give a more balanced perspective, which I did elsewhere in my blog when I explained how Obama's motivation for reforming healthcare may not be as politically Machiavellian as I once presumed. I apologize for being overly cynical in this posting.
Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM's CEO and Chairman of the Board, offered to give the White House ways to curb healthcare fraud and abuse. Mr. Palmisano said, “We could've improved quality and reduced the cost of the healthcare system by $900 billion . . . I said we would do it for free, to prove that it works. They turned us down.”
IBM is filled with brainy people. If they have ways to improve quality while saving taxpayers $900 billion, President Obama has a professional and ethical responsibility to at least listen to those ideas. For him to flat-out reject such an offer to help is evidence that Obama's primary goal isn't to help the nation.
Writing about the healthcare crisis years ago, I said that the federal government did not want to solve it; they wanted to perpetuate it to use the ongoing problem as justification for it taking over the healthcare system.
Obama won't be happy until all healthcare decisions are made in Washington. He is eager to exterminate health insurance companies, health savings accounts, and doctors who won't do what government bureaucrats tell them to do even when they have an IQ of 90 and no medical training. Clearly, Obama's goal was never improving healthcare or saving money; it was for him to control your life—and death.
While working the night shift in the emergency department, an inpatient code was called overhead. The ER doctor was supposed to stay in the ER, according to hospital policy. Generally, that's a good idea, because that hospital had a very busy ER. On this particular night, though, the ER was quiet. I felt I could be of more use to the coding inpatient than I could waiting for some person to roll into the ER. I told the nurses to page me if anyone in dire trouble came in, and I ran upstairs.
Good thing I did. A man in his thirties was being treated by the residents for asystole, which means that his heart stopped—with no contraction or electrical activity.
Without boring you with ACLS details, asystole can be mimicked on a cardiac monitor by ventricular fibrillation when the electrical axis of the fibrillation is in a certain plane (OK, this may sound like Greek, but bear with me—you'll get the gist of the story, regardless). It is standard procedure to select a different lead from which to view the electrical activity of the heart before concluding that true asystole exists. This is analogous to looking at a piece of paper ten feet away when the paper is viewed from the edge; it looks as if nothing is there. Turn the paper so that it faces the viewer, and it is readily visible.
When I told the nurses to change the lead, it was obvious that this patient was not in asystole; he was in ventricular fibrillation (a.k.a. “v-fib”). V-fib is serious, but not quite as hopeless as asystole. More importantly, v-fib can sometimes be converted to a normal rhythm by defibrillation (i.e., “shocking” the patient). I ordered a shock, his rhythm normalized, and he lived.
When the American people voted for Obama, we gave him the impressive title of President, but we did not give him any knowledge, experience, or wisdom. Obama is an expert in community organizing and spreading the wealth around, period. He didn't even know how many states we have, or what a P/E ratio is, nor does he know much about healthcare. His ego and need to control you is so strong that he refuses to listen to people, such as IBM's Palmisano, who do know more and offer free help, as I did in coding the above patient.
When I entered that patient's room, the chief resident was more than happy to let me run the code because he knew that I knew more than he did. His facial expression melted from consternation to relief and joy. Had he rejected my offer, the patient would have died. (Note to the NAACP and Media Matters: this patient was black.) Imagine that happened, and the patient's mother discovered the resident refused an offer to help on a code that wasn't going well. She might rightfully have asked, “What were you thinking?”
Well, Mr. Obama, what are you thinking? The American people are not dumb as you presume. We've carefully observed your succession of blunders and concluded that no one could be that inept, unless helping our country was much less important than helping your primary benefactor, George Soros, whose specialty is profiting from economic damage that he inflicts, and dating women young enough to be his granddaughter (one of whom alleges he physically assaulted her).
Just as putting a man in a white coat does not make him a doctor, putting a man in the White House does not make him competent or even a friend to the American people. Actions speak louder than words. Obama says he wants to help our nation recover, but his rejection of IBM's generous offer proves otherwise. Obama flashes million-dollar smiles while stabbing us in the back, yet he hopes we're dumb enough to vote for Democrats on November 2nd. Think again, Barack.
UPDATE: I am now much less reflexively anti-Obama than I once was. He's done a superb job for some of his supporters, but he seems to want to help only them at the expense of others. Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong about that. While I don't support ObamaCare in its current form, I also don't support the current system in which insurance companies screw their customers, as I found out. I knew what those #@$!*+%^ did to patients who'd call me (sometimes at home) begging me to help them battle greedy insurance companies, but until they did it to me, I didn't fully realize how unethical they could be.
- The case presented above in which I intentionally broke a hospital rule illustrates how doctors can save lives by thinking for themselves instead of mindlessly following inflexible policies that cannot possibly accommodate every conceivable situation. Obama wants to force doctors into following his rules—or else. Doctors who break rules will be penalized by the government, subjected to fines so large that they will need to choose between doing what is best for patients or bankrupting themselves.