In Health Care "Constant Vigilance" is the Answer...
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Thursday, November 10th, 2005
California has always been a leader in health care reform, officially and unofficially. It's just that way in a State in constant transition. I've pointed out, for a long time, that the health care paradigm is shifting - and nowhere is this more obvious than California.
I've said, time after time, that fully half of the total US health dollar is being spent on alternatives to "organized medicine." In California I'd say that about 80% of California's health dollars are spent on alternatives.
Why? Probably because of three reasons: (1) Californians, by nature and peer pressure, are health and physical appearance conscious. For the most part there are no seasons here - so there is no way to hide. (2) There is a huge Hispanic population that comes from a health culture reliant on herbs - not Western Medicine (drugs). (3) There is a significant Oriental population reliant on the oriental approach to health care - radically different from a drugs, drugs, and more drugs approach.
But simply, Californians would rather be healthy than medicated. There is simply too many things happening, to miss out on, if you're drugged up on Big Pharma's latest TV advertised buzz bomb.
California's leadership role in the paradigm shift is not without opposition. The New York ad agency, the one that actually runs the "quackbuster" operation, is constantly working to force drugs, drugs, and more drugs back into our health culture. But, we are prepared for that.
In health care "constant vigilance" is the answer. And that we do well.
A few days ago, I sent you an article titled "California Medical Board Hears FINAL "Enforcement Monitor" Report - and Changes Direction..." It was about what I think is the health freedom movement's greatest victory EVER. But, what I didn't say in that article was that I was there at that meeting for TWO important reasons, the first of which was to here the "Enforcement Monitor's" Final Report.
Which brings me to the second thing...
I was there, also, to file a "Formal Charges." In two parts...
(1) The first part of the "Formal Charges" was over eight years old. It was in the form of a copy of the "Friend of the Court" Brief I filed in the California Fourth District Appeals Court in the "lay representative" case. In essence, it laid out, in detail, (a) the misconduct performed in the Sinaiko case that made all of us angry enough to pursue justice over an eight year period, and (b) how that misconduct might relate to the current situation.
The appointed Board had never seen this information before, as we were asked by the legal defense team, to withhold our concerns until the case was finished - so as to not muddy the waters in the case. Since the Sinaiko case was finalized a few months ago, this was the first opportunity for the appointed board to see that fifty-two page report and accompanying documentation.
(2) The second part of the "Formal Charges" was the information about a State employee involved in the enforcement process who filed his own "Friend of the Court" Brief supposedly on behalf of the appointed board - when the Board obviously was never informed, asked for permission, or approved any such action.
There was so much written material submitted, and there were twenty-one (21) Board members, plus staff, that I put the whole report on a CD. If you want one click here.
What was the point?
The point was that despite the actions of the "Enforcement Monitor," and the lengthy report generated, care must be taken to CONSTANTLY MONITOR the actions of the enforcement staff - or they'll obviously go right back off on their own once again.
The appointed Board made a motion requiring the staff to agendize this issue for the next meeting. I'll be there, as will others, to deal with this issue.
In health care "constant vigilance" is the answer.
Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate