Physician Patient

Archive for the ‘Message from the President’ Category

We need to examine the consequences of public policy before enacting laws and regulations

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Skinnerian Behaviorism is undeniably a powerful scientific method and tool. A big question philosophically: Will behavioral science be systematically applied politically — by whom and for what goals? Many Americans and people worldwide understand that we humans are now immersed in an an age of surveillance; our lives are systematically monitored and manipulated by those who have the means to gather (our) personal (digital) data, crunch it, and sell it at a profit. Will we as Americans (continue to) trade our personal data privacy for access to the social network? (Should we be paid by Mr. Zuckerberg if we do?) Some, like author Shoshana Zuboff, blame the loss of our personal privacy on “rouge capitalism” as they call for government regulation of the barons of Silicon Valley and their mega-rich corporations. But empowering government to regulate Facebook will embolden and empower those who want more government control and will result in less personal freedom for Americans. Regarding government threat to our personal freedoms, I do not see our political situation in 2019 as fundamentally different than in 1776. Democratic Socialism then and now is truly an oxymoronic goal.In his novels (Inescapable Consequences, Retribution Fever) Dr. Gene Richard Moss appeals to the practice of democratic republicanism in America. He calls for a rigorous change in how we the people conduct our retail politics — by insisting that societal policy goals be framed in behavioral terms, context, and by specifying the contingencies of reinforcement. The 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a good case example of bad public policy. The ACA spawned unnecessary conflict and many unintended negative consequences for our health care system, patients and physicians.We need to keep alive hope for noble purpose through ultimate agreement among enlightened leaders with the consent of enlightened citizens. So, as a practical matter, will “we the people” elect politicians who think in terms of and propose and monitor our public policy in accordance with the principles of scientific behaviorism?

What role will consumers (patients and families) have in shopping and paying for their health care?

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Today 20% of Minnesotans are on taxpayer subsidized health insurance. This is many more since the dramatic ACA-related Minnesota Medical expansion in 2010. Government-supported insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions was provided in the successful Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA) high risk pool which was phased out in 2013 because of Obamacare.
Assuring real fiscal accountability to Minnesota taxpayers, voters and government program recipients requires that we know how much taxpayer money (state and federal) is going to pay for consumers’ (patients and families) actual health care services (including medications) versus the “administrative costs” of the private corporations who contract with the government for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.¬†Minnesota policymakers and we voters need to peruse audits which specify money for care versus the costs of corporate administration for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare care.
Employers now provide (by far) most private insurance in Minnesota. So, how can they be encouraged to expand their employee’s health care insurance options (choices) while also managing these costs? What is the offset of the costs to the employer for health care insurance and employee wages?
MPPA believes that we need to empower consumers (patients and families) on all Minnesota health care programs (public and private) with accurate price information and also private and public financial incentives which permit consumers to benefit financially from comparative shopping for health care with (online) price transparency for their care, medications, and private or public insurance.