PART 2 – 2020 will not be any different than any other election cycle where the liberals pull out their FREE book. Free education, free housing, free jobs for all, free guaranteed income. Free medical and anything else that comes to mind that the electorate might accept to sway their vote left.
The pig and the chicken were in the barnyard as smells of a bacon and egg breakfast wafted past. The chicken remarked, “It’s such an honor to give a gift for our owners breakfast.” The pig rightfully chimed in, “For you it’s a gift, for me it’s a sacrifice.”
And that’s the dilemma for taxpayers giving of so much so others can benefit.
Someone is giving up something in order to do something free for others. In the scheme of the radical left giveaways, it’s the taxpayers that are taking it in the shorts – and that’s fine with the left.
But in the spirit of the American “helping hand“, “big heart” and “helping others” mindset, there are a couple of scenarios that are benefiting needy Americans… and it’s at the innovative, generous expense of a few who care in order to give so much. You’ll find more in PART 1
Making the virtually free concept of Medicare work for those in need are Dr. Alieta Eck, her husband Dr.John Eck and a dedicated staff of professionals. By doing something the government doesn’t always do – being innovative and creative – they are serving the needy residents of their area with high quality healthcare.
Giving of their time and talents, they serve those who find themselves in need of emergency and routine healthcare for a variety of financial reasons in New Jersey. We spoke with Dr. Eck about their approach – one that others should consider.
RB ~ The concept of FREE healthcare is virtually unheard of and unimaginable. What motivated you to develop such a service?
RB ~ How many people do see in a given week? And are the numbers growing?
AE ~ We have leveled off at 75-100 patients per week. It is our limit given the fact that our doors are only open 12 hours per week.
RB ~ Are you able to work with other services and providers to enhance your basic services?
AE ~ Social service agencies send patients to us. Two government-funded psychiatric facilities refer patients to us, as they cannot schedule an appointment with their psychiatrist for 3 months. We call our specialist colleagues when needed and they are happy to help. The three types of services that are poorly handled by the current Medicaid system are pain control, psychiatry, and elective surgery. A patient with gallbladder stones in pain must also have high liver enzymes, a high white blood cell count and a fever to get admitted for surgery, as only then is this considered an emergency. Elective surgery that can be scheduled and planned is much harder for Medicaid patients to obtain. We have negotiated with surgeons and surgicenter to get an operation at a low negotiated cash price.
RB ~ Have you found partners in the drug industry to assist in low-cost drugs for those needing them to supplement your free service?
AE ~ Direct Relief is a clearinghouse for drug companies who want to donate to charity clinics. They offer more medicines each week, we order them online and they are delivered to our door a week later– all free of charge.
RB ~ Dr. Josh Umbehr in Kansas was such an innovator in his model for providing affordable healthcare – something the government can’t seem to grasp – is yours a plan that could be easily expanded and spread throughout the local area and into other states?
AE ~ Absolutely. We are working on a plan here in NJ where physicians would donate 4 hours per week in or through a non-government free clinic. Those who donate would get medical liability protection provided by the state in their private practices. This would cost the state next to nothing unless there was a case brought forward. Since the state already protects the medical school attendings, residents and students in this way, it would not be hard to extend that coverage to good physicians who are willing to volunteer and solve the problem of access to health care for the poor?
RB ~ Speaking of the government, is their system too large? Are they just “the government” and therefore inefficient at everything they do? Your system and Dr. Umbehr’s are such successes for the service and convenience they provide, why can’t lessons be learned and elements implemented into our general healthcare system? B) And didn’t you testify before Congress about such ideas?
AE ~ The government does not provide medical care. It sets up a huge bureaucracy and hands out cards to those it deems worthy. I know Dr. Umbehr well and agree that his innovative ideas should be a wave of the future. Our charity idea ought to be the next wave. I did testify before a Senate Health Committee forum in May of 2011.
Marvin Olasky describes the ABC s of charity in his book. They are summarized here:
- Assertive- actively seeking ways to meet needs, fight social ills and care for patients.
- Basic- Look for people closest to the individual to meet the needs– first family, then a local community such as a church, finally local and rarely federal governments.
- Challenging- Gently pressure people to make changes instead of pampering them. Help them develop character traits that lead to more self-sufficiency and growth.
- Diverse- Treat each person as an individual, not a one-size-fits-all approach
- Effective- Try to avoid being bureaucratic and unchallenging; Utilize volunteers with unique gifts and capabilities. The bottom line is changing lives, not counting the numbers of people treated.
- Faith-based- Well-managed Christ-centered charities are more effective than their non-religious counterparts.
- Gradual- Continually re-evaluate and check results of the program; Gradual sustained results, tested each step of the way, will make our charity clinic the best it can be.
RB ~ And as a follow-up, do you have any government support or intrusion into your program?
AE ~ Essentially none. Our dental radiology equipment is inspected once a year. Since the clinic does not expect funding from the government, the government leaves us alone. We do have to re-apply for the FTCA medical malpractice coverage every year, re-deeming every professional, but this is not too much of a burden.
RB ~ One only has to look at the VA and see how Medicare for all might be not be efficient and work. I checked with them last week about an eye exam and the waiting list was into May. What do you see when you hear of people in congress wanting to give away the world to everyone for an added $7 Trillion cost?
AE ~ Cost-overruns and waiting lists are inevitable in any big government program.
RB ~ For those in your area that truly need health services but may be currently unemployed or are without any healthcare, how can they get in touch and do you have a screening process and criteria for using your services?
AE ~ We have a website ZHCenter.org. People can contact us through Facebook as well. Word of mouth has patients coming with family members. We do not make appointments but work on a first come, first served basis, asking patients to arrive at least 30 minutes before we open to have their names added to the queue..
RB ~ Are there any other areas we need to cover that might help you grow your idea and help others to start such programs?
AE ~ Here is an article I wrote that explains our proposed law better.
Yes, free healthcare works but under a controlled, innovative, efficient system – something Uncle Sam has yet to figure out. But there is still cost. Cost of time and talent of Drs. Eck and their staff. Cost of other services and medications donated by others. But these are donations willingly provided, not forced through taxation with wasteful abandon and disregard for quality and performance.
Our grateful thanks to Drs. Alieta and John Eck for their work, and input on this. And we look forward to some time with Dr. Josh Umbehr and his very successful approach to affordable healthcare for today’s struggling Americans.
REMEMBER – The FREE that the liberals want to burden us all with is NOT healthcare – it’s “hopecare.” We hope the doctors and staff are well paid enough to care – and to be the best. We hope the medications are safely manufactured and controlled. We hope the facilities are clean, well-managed and up to date for the care we all need.
When you take the free market approach to providing services out of the picture, you take the incentive to be the best way. You take the rewards for quality care away and replace them with minimally paid practitioner performers. Really want that chance?
You’ll find more in Part 1
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