Sunday, February 28, 2010



According to the published summary of a recent Board of Governors meeting, the Florida Medical Association is actively pursuing a reevaluation of its relationship with the American Medical Association. "We also began the process of a very serious and methodical reassessment of the FMA’s relationship with the AMA. Specific time will be set aside at the spring Board meeting to continue the discussion. Please feel at liberty to share your thoughts on the FMA-AMA relationship with me."
In this context the Board also tried to pass a bylaws change making the FMA President Chair of the AMA Delegation. This attempt to undermine the AMA delegations role did not pass. Furthermore, the Florida AMA Delegation did not support Dr. David McKalip run for office in the AMA , but the FMA Board of Governors overturned their decision. This is the same Dr.McKalip who was forced to step down as President-elect of the Pinellas County Medical Association, apologizing profusely for forwarding an e-mail image that portrayed President Barack Obama as a witch doctor in a loin cloth and headdress with bones in his nose. In a statement, the Florida Medical Association said it found "the actions by Dr. Mc Kalip to be hurtful and in poor judgment" but he still remains on its board ( District C, David M. McKalip, M.D., St. Petersburg). At that time he said that he is taking a year's leave of absence from a leadership role at the American Medical Association. He also planned to take a lower public profile in the health care reform debate. Instead, he was celebrated by the Tea party activities and spoke at several meetings. Now the FMA is using him as the ideological bulldozer to destabilize the AMA and Dr. Miguel Machado, a neurosurgeon and former DCMA President, runs for FMA leadership office spearheading the separation from the AMA.
Whats the goal? The FMA want to take the lead to form a new and "pure" national medical organization based on their ideological principles.
Its just astounding that physicians never miss an opportunity to divide the House of Medicine. That's the reason why I left the FMA .
There are many other important issues we should focus on to help physicians to survive and succeed in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. We need leaders who base their decisions on rational thought but not partisanship and ideologies.
I call upon each you to challenge the FMA and Dr. Machado to clearly and publicly state their support for the AMA and their policies. Furthermore, they should assure each and every AMA member that they refrain from dividing the House of Medicine and that they stop collaborating with other state medical organizations(s) to create a separate national medical organization. Dividing us just plays in the hands of our political opponents. As a loyal DCMA and AMA member I expect that my county medical society supports my right to be represented by the AMA and to stop supporting candidates who undermine the important function and role of the AMA. Otherwise, I have no other choice but to relinquish my DCMA membership effective immediately!
Its your choice to unite or to divide the House of Medicine.
Immediate Past DCMA President

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Words That Kill!

Words That Kill!! Hatred in America

"We need to address it as if it [Progressivism] is a cancer. It must be cut out of the system because they can not coexist. … You must eradicate it.”

In his speech on Saturday at CPAC (conservative Political Action Committee) in Washington, DC, the conservative news commentator Glenn Beck brought his chalkboard. He wrote the word "Progressivism" on it and said, "This is the disease."

"Progressivism is the cancer in America and it's eating our Constitution, and it was designed to eat the Constitution - to progress past the Constitution," Beck said.

He said that the only difference between a communist and a progressive is that communists seize power through revolution and progressives through evolution.

"We don't want to evolve," Beck shouted.
 "It's big government. It's a socialist utopia."

"We need to address it as if it is a cancer. It must be cut out of the system because they can not coexist. … You must eradicate it," Beck told the cheering crowd of conservatives.

The message is clear. Progressive are the enemy. We must get rid of them. Progressives are like cancer and cancer need to be dealt with.

No, this is not taken from a textbook of Hitler's Germany but it is being broadcasted in the United States of America in 2010! There will be those who will take it literally and act accordingly. From Timothy Mc Veigh, the Oklahoma city bomber, to A. Joseph Stack III,the suicide pilot, who targeted the IRS building in Austin. There will be more on the waiting list of right-wing homegrown American terrorists who will strike sooner or later. Hate mongers like Glen Beck may provide the disciples of hatred the ideological ammunition to strike. Its now open season on Progressive, and anyone can pick whom they consider a Progressive. So, because I am a Progressive , I am now a target, too?

When do we learn to stand up against hatred, intolerance and prejudice? What else has to happen before its too late?



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why We Need Health Care & Health Insurance Reform?

The attached ABC news report highlights the fact that the largest health insurers in America have declared more than $12 billion worth of profits in 2009 but are requesting premium increases of anywhere from 20 percent to over 50 percent!
It was a banner year for health insurers. While those profits were coming in, 2.7 million of the companies' customers lost their insurance. Health insurance companies are dropping "unprofitable" patients and demand higher premiums from their remaining customers who cannot afford dropping their insurance. Meanwhile, CEOs and shareholders are collecting big paychecks, bonuses and profits.
What can be done? We must pass comprehensive health care reform now even without bipartisan support. Any reform proposal must contain provisions curbing the insurance companies profit margins, strip health insurance companies of their antitrust exemption, creating an health insurance exchange for those self-employed seeking insurance coverage, eliminating preexisting condition exclusions, full transparency of health insurance companies cost and expense structure and mandatory comprehensive insurance coverage. We also should support a strong public option!
We have to stop the bleeding now!

Administration Says Insurance Companies Pull in Profits While Raising Premiums

Feb. 18, 2010—

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius railed against the insurance companies today for raising premiums at a time when companies still post profits.

"The five largest insurers in America have declared more than $12 billion worth of profits in 2009," Sebelius said at a news conference. One of those companies, WellPoint, is a for-profit company that owns Anthem Blue Cross of California. They are about to increase rates on coffee shop owner Jesse Fink.

Come May, he'll pay $325 more per month to insure his family.

"I felt like it was extortion. I felt like it was a crime. They had you by the throat and if you don't like it leave. That's not right," said Fink.

2009 a Record Year for Insurance Company Profits

it was a banner year for health insurers. While those profits were coming in, 2.7 million of the companies' customers lost their insurance and the average premium for health insurance went up -- 5.5 percent for family coverage and 2.6 percent for individual coverage, according to the Kaiser Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Today, the government pointed to examples in six states where insurers request premium increases of anywhere from 20 percent to over 50 percent.

Companies Say Higher Medical Costs Mean Higher Premiums

The insurance companies see it differently. Though in most states, the companies don't dispute the numbers in the government report, but they say the requests for higher premiums were not driven by profit.

Insurance Companies Say They're Losing Money

Brad Fluegel of Wellpoint told ABC News, "What we're experiencing in California is very rapid increases in medical costs."

And as more healthy people lose their jobs and drop their insurance coverage, more sick people -- the most expensive patients -- remain in the insurance pool.

Other insurers say they are actually losing money right now. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan estimates they lost $280 million last year and by law have to ask for an increase in premiums to cover their losses.

"We're not prospering here. Our reserves have declined for 5 straight years. We're paying out $1.20 for every dollar we collect in premiums. We're losing hundreds of millions a year on only 7% of our total membership," said Andrew Hetzel, spokesman for Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Critics Say Insurers Are Dropping Unprofitable Patients

Critics of the companies don't buy it. "While everyone else seems to be in a recession, the private health insurance companies are making a tremendous amount of money," said Jackie Schechner, the National Communications Director for Health Care For America Now.

How could that happen? Schechner says the companies essentially get rid of customers who aren't going to make them any money -- old, sick, or high-risk patients. That way, healthy customers are still paying high premiums but the insurance companies have to make fewer big payouts. If that accusation were true, the companies could be in violation of the law.

"They raise rates and companies can't afford to cover their employees anymore" says Schechner. "People try to go out and get insurance in the private market and it's just entirely unaffordable for them because the prices of premiums are so high. And if you can get something you can afford and the premiums are low, chances are it's going to be lousy coverage and it's not going to actually give you the health care benefits you need."

Schechner says the answer is health care reform. That's one point that the critics and insurance companies can agree on. Brad Fluegel of Wellpoint said, "We're eager to have a fact-based, rational debate about the drivers of these issues and what we can do to fix them."

The trouble is that the insurance industry and the Obama administration have very different ideas about what that reform should look like.

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