Friday, May 07, 2010

Healthcare Reform and the Mid-Term Elections

Who says health care reform can't make us laugh?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is facing a tough re-election challenge from Sue Lowden, former Chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party and a former Nevada state senator.

Ms. Lowden has criticized the recently-passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, suggesting instead that patients could barter with their doctors for payment in order to reduce costs.

Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A., explains her plan for replacing mandates and confusing plans with chickens. Really.

A very funny clip.


  1. AnonymousMay 07, 2010

    This would be even funnier if I didn't think she was serious!!

  2. AnonymousMay 07, 2010

    You would be surprised how many people believe that.

  3. Dr. Fein,

    Please tell me where I can get a copy of the Health Chicken Insurance Directory.

    Thank you for your help.

  4. Sure thing, Mike, happy to help. Please send 3 bags of feed to my office and I'll mail it to you.



  5. AnonymousMay 07, 2010

    Can I barter with the IRS? Let me send the Feds some chickens for my taxes.

  6. AnonymousMay 07, 2010

    Okay, ha, ha, sophisticated city guys and ironic wiseacres like Dr. Colbert are only familiar with healthcare that is paid by someone else when you wave a plastic card at the provider.

    One of the our local family physicians once accepted a Labrador retriver puppy as payment for delivering a child (late 1950's, as I recall and the dog went on housecalls with him well into the 70's) and another GP told me he had gotten a sack of black walnuts as payment for an office visit.

    Back in the day, when someone didn't have a health plan or the ready cash to cover a medical bill, but had too much pride to accept charity from the doctor, he'd give what he had or could scrounge up for a payment. And the doctor would solemnly accept it.

    IMO one of the problems with today's healthcare system is that too many consumers have an expectation that they will receive the absolute best care available and they won't be obliged to pay for any of it. (Check the write-offs at any hospital to see how many patients just walk away from bills.) Recapturing some of that old sense of personal obligation for paying for our own healthcare might be a good start to resolving some of the issues we're seeing with today's healthcare situation.

    Tom Connelly
    Sun Pharmacy

  7. Tom,

    You raise a good point. If consumers had more skin in the game, then they would focus on costs rather than play today's "everything is free to me" game. Obamacare does very little to address this issue and arguably makes it worse.

    However, Lowden makes her point in such an artless ways that it begs to be mocked in today's health care environment.

    But now that I think about it, the latest anti-PBM bill touted by NCPA wants to remove the use of any financial incentive to influence a consumer's choice of pharmacy. Hmm, I smell a controversial blog post...


    P.S. Based on your suggestion, I will ask my doctor if he'll take a puppy instead of cash. ;-)

  8. AnonymousMay 11, 2010

    Tom and Adam,

    Take this one step further...

    Prior to the late 80's and early 90's, before pharmacy reform took off (via pbm control), retail pharmacies had the ability to help patients with pricing.

    Specifically, if a patient could not afford the full price of his meds, we could simply lower our price for that patient without any retribution from a third party payer.

    Today, a price override to help a patient is considered a false claim....and has landed many a druggist in prison.

    It's no surprise there is a pricing FLOOR in our health care sector today, which no provider would be willing to fall below.

    Yep, a pricing floor. Antitrust cocktail anyone?