Thursday, October 2, 2014

Obama Moves to Control When Doctors Can Prescribe Antibiotics for Patients

Obama is acting more like a dictator or king than the president of our constituional republic. Where does it say in the US Constitution that the president has the power to tell doctors how to do their job?

This article appeared yesterday in a local conservative blog. Via executive order, Obama wants to dictate when physicians can prescribe antibiotics.  This same HHS run by people you and I did not elect will be making policies that effect our healthcare. Remember Obama and Kay Hagan promised that nothing they did would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. Um. Right. Obamacare does precisely that. Doctors now have to be more concerned with government regulations and potential fines than they do with the patient sitting in front of them. 

My boys are immune compromised, they fight a lot of bacterial infections. I don't want government protocol telling us when they can or cannot have antibiotics. I want their physician to examine them and determine the need. The article I have cut and pasted can be found at this link:

Obama Moves to Control When Doctors Can Prescribe Antibiotics for Patients

Two weeks ago, a momentous step was taken by the Obama White House to limit and control when doctors prescribe antibiotics for patients. 

On September 18, 2014, the president issued an executive order to deal with the problem of bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics.  He is ordering the development of "antibiotic stewardship programs" to be enforced by federal agencies.  This move has been largely unreported and unheralded thus far.

Here is the relevant language from the executive order:

Sec. 5Improved Antibiotic Stewardship. (a) By the end of calendar year 2016, HHS shall review existing regulations and propose new regulations or other actions, as appropriate, that require hospitals and other inpatient healthcare delivery facilities to implement robust antibiotic stewardship programs that adhere to best practices, such as those identified by the CDC. HHS shall also take steps to encourage other healthcare facilities, such as ambulatory surgery centers and dialysis facilities, to adopt antibiotic stewardship programs.

(b) Task Force agencies shall, as appropriate, define, promulgate, and implement stewardship programs in other healthcare settings, including office-based practices, outpatient settings, emergency departments, and institutional and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, pharmacies, and correctional facilities.

How does this affect you and your family?

When you go to see the doctor, he or she will have to prescribe only according to protocols that are approved, directly or indirectly, by the federal government.  The physician will no longer be able to prescribe according to his or her own professional judgment.  Instead, he will have to follow the government-sanctioned protocol. 

Imagine that you bring your child to the physician with an ear infection.  And imagine being told by the physician that you have to wait, say, three weeks before being prescribed an antibiotic.  If he does not comply with "the program", he might be subject to disciplinary action, or risk being excluded from insurance plans.  He is therefore intimidated into compliance.

Under this scheme, the doctor's primary responsibility would no longer be to the patient's best interests medically.  Instead, his allegiance must be to the federal government and its requirements-- if he is going to remain viable.

My hunch is that the feds will likely use the electronic medical records they pushed-- and the Accountable Care Organizations established under the Affordable Care Act-- to monitor physicians and enforce their requirements regarding use of antibiotics.

I think this issue is so important that we need to have a national discussion about this policy during the current congressional election season.  I think every U.S Senate and U.S House candidate running against Democratic candidates needs to be talking about this issue, and dramatizing what it means for all of us-- as individuals, as parents and as families.

Under this new framework, when you go to see physicians for conditions as straightforward as a urinary tract infection or a case of bronchitis, you will have to wonder whether they are primarily dedicated to providing you with the best medical treatment they can offer.

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