From our local paper, “The Oklahoman,” the most recent Saturday edition:

“Ray Walker took his job because he wanted to be better enabled to help his mother as she aged.  Walker serves as the divisional director of the state’s Medicare Assistance Program. Walker’s job is to help people make health care decisions that are best for them.  Part of that job includes helping older adults and their caregivers understand Medigap, the term used to describe supplemental insurance that covers what traditional Medicare doesn’t.”  

I guess it’s not enough that your tax dollars fund the Medicare Ponzi scheme.  You also get to pay a guy to explain to Medicare beneficiaries the ins and outs of buying policies that pay the bills the bankrupt scheme doesn’t cover!  Think about it.  What other insurance do you have that needs a back up insurance policy?  Hmmm.  Ahh, limited, constitutional government!  But wait, there’s more!

Again from our local paper, “The Oklahoman,” the most recent Sunday edition:

At a recent news conference at our state Capitol:  ”Changing health care is hard – changing behavior is even harder,” said Gregg Koehn, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality chief executive officer. “We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we can together make a difference.”  

Continuing:  ”The Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality hosted the news conference, which served as an announcement of ‘Oklahoma Healthcare Quality Week.”  ”The foundation is a state-based ‘Quality Improvement Organization,’ a term that means it’s contracted through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve the effectiveness of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries, according to the center’s website. Koehn said over the past few years, the organization has helped about 1000 primary care providers implement electronic medical records.  About 200 providers have achieved Stage 1 Meaninful Use, he said.  ’Meaningful Use’ is the set of standards defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Incentive Programs that governs the use of electronic health records and allows eligible providers and hospitals to earn incentive payments by meeting specific criteria, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

Apparently, we not only need a government program like Medicare – we need a government program to improve the effectiveness of Medicare!  We are paying these clowns to have news conferences like this.  Declaring this Oklahoma Healthcare Quality Week will make a big difference, don’t you think?  

One of their greatest accomplishments?  Bringing us more electronic medical records!  And forcing the “meaningful use” garbage down the doctors’ throats.  To say that incentive payments are available to those adopting “meaningful use” criteria, isn’t exactly true.  What they mean is that for doctors who don’t adopt this set of criteria, the purpose of which is to provide the bureaucrats with patients’ confidential health information, those doctors will be paid less.  That’s not exactly an incentive payment, is it?  The’ve called the stick a carrot, I think.

I have called the electronic medical record scam, the KGB of medical intelligence.  Patient’s private and confidential information will be transmitted via this technology to folks whose job will be to deny care to those believed to cost the system the most or those who are politically expendable.  ”That can’t happen here,” you say!  

Sorry. It has already begun and the henchmen like Mr. Walker and Koehn are with us and working hard for the boss man.  Principiis obsta, finem respice ( Resist the beginnings, consider the ends).  

G. Keith Smith, M.D.