January 6, 2009
Ted Kennedy's Deathbed Legacy
By Jim Babka

Quote of the Day: "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

Subject: Plotting to Socialize Medicine

A swift attack is coming. "We need to be on the offense," said the soon to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle. He claims they learned, from the Clinton failure, how to pass socialized healthcare.

President-elect Obama believes that his health care gimmicks should be part of his economic recovery schemes. While you and I were decking the halls, and kissing our sweethearts under the mistletoe, he was stealthily advancing his agenda.

During the last half of December the Obama transition team held house meetings across the country. They took the feedback from these socialist trysts, then posted it at their interactive site, The Obama administration is conspiring to hit the ground running in January, using the claim that these meetings represent public support to compel Congress to act . . .

. . . and pass the package quickly. 

The author of the bill is likely to be Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). He's very sick, but has been running meetings from his bed. He wants his dying legacy to be the nationalization of health insurance.

Many of the groups and parties that opposed the old Clinton version of socialized healthcare AREN'T opposing the Obama version -- even if they're not completely sure what Mr. Obama's plan will entail. This means, WE START OFF AT A DISADVANTAGE AND MUST GET ACTIVE NOW!

The American Medical Association (AMA) is one of the groups that opposed the Clinton plan but that is now supporting the Obama/Kennedy plan. Most of the health insurance companies have become turncoats too.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons reported in their January newsletter . . .

"The AMA, soon to see its cash cow of CPT [billing] codes replaced with ICD-10, wants to write the standards and price-control formulas. And what could be better for the insurance industry than a federal law forcing everyone to buy its product, however overpriced or under-desired?"

But what of this new coding system, ICD-10? It's been touted by President-elect Obama as a cost savings device. Yes, a politician is promising that his program will save you money... the only thing surprising about that is that anyone still believes in such fairy tales.

Unsuprisingly, the promise fails in this instance too.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November that ICD-10 has ten times as many codes as the present system. An angioplasty, for example, has, at present, one code. But ICD-10 has 1,170 of them. That's means a steep learning curve for doctors. Which of the 1,170 codes applies?

Indeed, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimated that the switch from CPT to ICD-10 will cost $1.64 billion. Worse, it will result in a 10% increase in rejected claims.

Another analysis by Nachimson Advisors pointed out that the switch isn't a simple substitution. They estimate that the transition cost for a smaller practice will be about $83,000, and up to $2.7 million for a larger practice.

Far be it for me to deny a dying man his final desire, but Senator Kennedy isn't going to have to live under this system; YOU are. If Ted Kennedy wants one more wish, let him call the Make a Wish Foundation. We, on the other hand, must call upon the rest of Congress to . . .

...follow the Hippocratic Oath: First, Do No Harm.

You can use your personal comments to tell your Representative and Senator that you don't think the politicians and bureaucrats can improve healthcare, but you're pretty certain that their ploys can ruin it.

Government has already made healthcare way too bureaucratic. ICD-10 is just one example of how the government is bound to screw it up.

Please, use our Educate the Powerful System to make your voice heard.

Then, if you want to see this message spread to more places -- to reach more new DC Downsizers -- go to our blog, located conveniently on our home page at, and "Digg" the blog version of this message. If you've never used Digg before, please, go sign up!

Thank you for being part of the growing Downsize DC army,

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

P.S.  The new Congress is starting business today. Not all new office holders have Internet contact pages yet. We are updating our system to reflect the new Congress, just as quickly as the information comes to us. If you have one or more new elected representatives, its possible that you won't be able to get a message to them. But your message should go through to any of your representatives that remain the same, or for which we have already received new information. Don't let this transition deter you from taking action. Your message will get through to someone, and will make a difference.

Filed under Downsizer Dispatch, Health
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