What Can the Individual Doctor of Chiropractic Do to Correct the Health Care Crisis in America?
By Chester Wilk, DC
Whether you are currently a doctor or student of chiropractic, the health care crises affects you. And now, you can do plenty about it.
Below you will find a camera-ready letter, along with an accompanying hard-hitting Resolution advocating a patients bill of rights, as it were, demanding responsibility and integrity from insurance organizations and those state and federal organizations dedicated to protecting the interest of the public, as well as genuine interprofessional cooperation. We have printed these for you to conveniently replicate.
Before you do anything else, personally send a copy to your legislator; then mail a copy to every one of your patients and encourage them to mail to their legislators. After you've passed them out in your community through family, friends, neighbors and other contacts, you will want to keep extra copies on hand in the office. The chiropractic community can have a significant impact on this country's legislators by simply taking the time to reproduce the open letter and accompanying Resolution on these two pages.
This kind of active demonstration on our parts will make the voices of not only those who administer chiropractic, but also the voices of those who choose to receive the benefits of chiropractic care, heard.
Let's create a "paper blizzard," through our families, our friends, our neighbors and our patients. A blizzard that will not be ignored. The health care crises can spell massive opportunities for our profession. A profession whose time is now.
Chester A. Wilk, D.C.
What We Must Do To Correct the Health Care Crisis In AmericaWe are all aware of the serious health care crisis in our nation. The radio, newspapers and television are full of commentaries on the subject. We see spiraling health care costs, inadequate insurance coverage, a crisis in the hospitals, abusive drug advertising, unnecessary deaths from medication reactions, deaths from unnecessary surgery, overutilization of medical examinations and treatments, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, etc., and an angry and frustrated congress trying to cope with the problems.
Every industrial nation in the world provides total health care for its citizens except in America, yet we pay more for our "financial" health care for a fraction of our population than all of the other nations pay for total health care for everybody. Putting it frankly, something is terribly wrong with the whole system and needs to be drastically changed.
America is the greatest nation in the world to live in -- just as long as you don't get sick and end up in the hospital, and especially if you don't have health care insurance. And to compound this problem you can't buy new health insurance unless you can prove you don't need it in the first place! In short, we can safely say the health care delivery system in this country is in shambles. It is a disgrace. There are many reasons for this problem, but a primary reason for this medical disaster can be attributed to the oppressive and selfish policies of the American Medical Association. It is high time that the people of this nation stood up and said: "We've had enough!"
One of the biggest reasons for the health care disaster in this nation is because our country does not correctly utilize its health care. A bipartisan government study showed that our country spends less than one percent on determining which health care is the best and cost-effective. Is there any wonder there is a crisis?
The drug companies are forever programming the people that they don't have to face up to pain, headaches, indigestion, insomnia, nervousness, and a multitude of other symptoms, and that all they have to do is take their appropriate pill. We are not a "health" oriented nation but a "disease" oriented nation of "pill poppers" who disregards the principles of good health. Behind this trend are the self interest groups programming our society in this direction backed by the AMA. The AMA recently proved its contempt for the welfare of the public by refusing to adopt a "patient's rights" policy. This action clearly reveals that the AMA feels you don't deserve any patient's rights.
Wherever independent and unbiased studies were conducted, whether it be of state worker's compensation records, a hospital study comparing the results of chiropractic care over medical care in orthopedic wards, a major HMO (health maintenance organization) study, chiropractic literally "blew the competition away" with 2-1 superior results. In the AV MED HMO study, a chiropractor was able to prevent 12 out of 12 previously medically advocated surgeries! Imagine the impact this has on health care insurance and the malpractice premiums against MDs which ultimately are reflected in your medical costs! And that's not withstanding the unnecessary human suffering and deaths.
We urge you to fight back. Here is how you can help! Address a letter to your U.S. representative and senator and indicate that chiropractic health care must be utilized in all health care plans if it is to be good and effective. Insist that chiropractors must be allowed admission into hospitals to work closely with MDs for your benefit. Ask them to submit a resolution for congress to adopt which mandates that chiropractors work in hospitals, and if the medical organizations refuse to cooperate that congress must take steps to enforce it. Second, urge the legislators to tell the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to take legal actions against the AMA immediately if they don't cooperate. There is solid justification and indication for action but these departments have been scandalously unresponsive to the public's need. It is easy to address your legislators. It need not be elaborate; a simple hand-written letter will do the job. You simply address them as follows:
The crisis is genuine. The quality and rational utilization of health care and the government's ability to afford it, depends on your action! Please act today and advise your friends to do the same. Thank You.
*I enclose a resolution for you to attach to your letter.
Whereas, an estimated 35% of all hospital admissions were found to be unnecessary,6 mandating closer interprofessional cooperation with chiropractors as a way of providing more rational and cost-effective alternate health care, and
Whereas, the chiropractic profession believes in a Patient's Bill of Rights in receiving the best and safest possible health care, and
Whereas, almost all chiropractors refer patients to MDs when medically indicated, representing a responsible attitude of interprofessional cooperation, and
Whereas, the U.S. Office of Public Health completed a 13 year study in 1986 which concluded that two-thirds of all the "over the counter" drugs do not do what their promoters promise,7 reflecting at best, misrepresentation, and
Whereas, major hospital studies show that 100,000 people die and an additional 1-1/2 million people are hospitalized from medication reaction each year,8 and another 14% of the patients have their stay extended from medications while hospitalized,9 and four million unnecessary operations occur annually causing l,000 people to die every week from unnecessary surgery,10 and
Whereas, our society has been programmed to suppress symptoms and disregard their causes, which medical educators, scholars, physicians of all discipline agree is improper and dangerous, and
Whereas, the AMA was found guilty of criminal violation of antitrust laws for its vigilante conduct against America's first health maintenance organization, yet maintains a policy of obstructing rational health care and continues its illegal conduct as found in a recent federal district court decision which found that the American Medical Association's conduct toward chiropractic "could not be trusted beyond its next confrontation---some of its evidence was incredible and unworthy of belief---was not objectively reasonable---was guilty of systematic long-term wrong doing---has never acknowledged the lawlessness of its past conduct,"11
Be it therefore resolved that the medical/surgical deaths and hospitalizations mandate closer interprofessional cooperation and recognition that chiropractic care can provide a better alternative health care for select ailments, and
Be it further resolved that the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department must act responsibly in addressing these violations or have congress intervene in the public's interest, and demand more responsible conduct, and
Be it resolved that all health care professionals must act in the patients' interests and not in the selfish professional interest of the providers, and
Be it further resolved that each health care profession must demand professional honesty and integrity from its members in dealing with patients, and willingly cooperate with any and all responsible insurance organizations, and state and federal agencies dedicated to protecting the interest of the public, and
Be it further resolved that the proven superiority of chiropractic in select areas of health care mandates closer interprofessional cooperation by medicine with chiropractic, and that any continued polarization of our professions based on ignorance may be considered malpractice and, if based on selfish interest, may be considered fraud, and finally
Be it resolved that all legislators and government agencies must recognize the gravity of this resolution and take appropriate actions for reform in the health care field.
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