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    Posted August 3, 2014 by
    Mesa, Arizona
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    An interesting exchange


    It’s so refreshing to hear someone is taking such a deep interest in our state’s welfare. I’m delighted you read my statement so closely and I’m happy to respond to your inquiry. My answers follow your questions below. – Connie




    Dear Dr. Uribe:


    Although I would not be your constituent, I read your statement published in the Citizen's Clean Election booklet. I am an iReporter for CNN.com (like a citizen -reporter) and I need your answers for my report about the 2014 elections.


    If you don't mind, please clarify a few issues from that statement.


    1. In what way does "government involvement" intrude on your decision-making? (What decision-making do you mean and specifically, how does this happen?) Also how is patient privacy affected by the same?


    Over the years, Medicare (as an extension of the federal government) reached its tentacles out to each and every private insurance carrier so they began using Medicare criteria for deciding whether or not to authorize tests or even life-saving operations. I dealt with patients who were in my office in tears because their carriers (or Medicare or AHCCCS) were refusing to pay for their surgery or refusing to cover a test to check the extent of their cancer.



    Let me share a state government story with you that pops into my head right now. I had a patient, a 60 year old lady who had undergone what we call neo-adjuvant therapy. This is treatment we give when a person has a breast cancer that is so large we have to shrink it down in order to perform surgery. She underwent the treatment for six months and did well. She also had diabetes and hypertension. My office scheduled her for a mastectomy and AHCCCS told me I had to perform the surgery as an outpatient. They would not authorize her admission. The journals recognize a 48 hour stay as normal for mastectomy patients and that was normal for mine.



    This is what I mean by government intrusion in my decision making. I refused to do what the state told me to do. I went ahead and admitted this lady to the hospital and did what was right for her. In the meantime, I reported the medical director who made this untoward decision to the Arizona Medical Board and they issued a Letter of Concern against him. This didn’t happen, however, with his showing up for a hearing and bringing a lawyer with him trying to defend his inhumane and unscrupulous action. During the hearing the lawyer quoted all the government regulations to support his action. Fortunately, my testimony supported her need for the three-day stay because of management of her diabetes. You must understand taxpayers footed the bill for the lawyer and the Medical Director.



    Patient privacy has been affected by the creation of the Health Information Technology Bureau (abbreviated HIT by the feds) in Washington. The head of this was appointed by Bush and the legislation was moved along by the Obama Administration. This all created the mandated electronic medical records that have not only taxed our health care providers billions of dollars, but they are also opening up sacred details of people’s lives to the world. There is no such thing as a secure firewall. What the government said was once “voluntary” for hospitals and physicians is now mandatory. It’s no longer a matter of worrying about losing a percentage here and there on Medicare billing if a physician doesn’t use electronic medical records. It will soon be a federal offense not to have electronic medical records. The government wants the data badly. It’s the only way the feds can crunch the numbers and determine who will fit into what is known as the “Complete Lives” rule. I call it the “Goldilocks” rule.



    The government will use the date to determine who will get treatment and who won’t. This is the way health care will be rationed when the socialists’ single-payer system takes effect. To put it simply – in order to be treated for a disorder or to get an operation, you need to fit into a specific category, i.e., you can’t be too young, you can’t be too old, you have to be just right. You have to be in a situation in which you either have lived or have the potential of living a “complete life.” I didn’t dream this up. It’s just the way it is.



    2. Teachers and parents are "best judges" of a "quality education". I am in total disagreement with you. You seem to stand against Common Core. My question is, did you like No Child Left Behind? That was GW Bush's ill fated government mandate, unfunded at that. It caused big problems and solved none. It became increasingly unpopular among (yes) teachers and parents. Common Core is necessary and important, because with modern technology and transport, the world is becoming smaller. As a doctor yourself, you know how hard and expensive it is to become doctor. The elite from other countries can afford to pay huge tuition fees and average Americans cannot. Many go to med school abroad and then take exams here, so they get around the barbed wire. All in all, American universities are unfair to American students in their quest for the mighty dollar. So would you, please elaborate on your opinion about government involvement by Common Core as opposed to No Child Left Behind and did you speak up about NCLB when a Republican authored it?


    A true Republican didn’t author it. GW Bush authored it. A true Republican, Ronald Reagan, wanted the Department of Education to be abolished. Everything you write is absolutely correct, except the part about Common Core’s being necessary.



    Common Core is a federally-funded, state-mandated program that was snuck in through the back door. The creators themselves admit it won’t do what the public claims it will. Jason Zimba can be heard in a video saying the standards will not prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs, nor will they prepare students for admittance to universities like Berkeley. I guess that means we can forget about sending our kids to Harvard or Yale or Stanford if they graduate with Common Core.



    Then there’s William McCallum from the U of A in Tucson who admitted they had to lower the standards in order to create Common Core. Why would you lower the standards? Who would do that? He admitted our standards were already high and they deliberately lowered them. Go figure.



    Plus there’s Bill Gates, himself, bless his heart. He’s the one who put up the ton of money to fund this thing in the first place. When asked if his kids were going to be exposed to Common Core, his answer was, “I expect my kids to know a super set of the Common Core Standards at every single grade involved. I expect them to have the reading skills above what the reading and writing skills are in the Common Core Standards. Who would not want that?”


    Did you pay attention to what he said? He wants his kids to have a “super set” of the Common Core Standards, not the set everyone else is getting. He expects them to have reading skills “above what the reading and writing skills are” in Common Core. Of course, Gates’ kids go to private schools where they learn to read and write and I bet they’ll learn American History, something lacking in Common Core.



    With Common Core also comes data mining technology that will cost this state billions of dollars and will siphon personal information from students and parents that has nothing to do with grades. Teachers are professionals. They need to be allowed to teach. We need to pay them well and we need to focus on a commitment to quality in education and stop this obsession with dollars.



    3. Toward the end of your statement you mention "freedom of choice", "family values" and "defend property rights". Under Freedom of Choice many people would think of a woman's health choices, including reproductive decisions. Under Family Values I can think of many that we would probably disagree on.




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