Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stark Reciprocity

Pete Stark is a Congressman that seems to go way out his way to regulate the practice of medicine and every 6 months or so, he seems to turn yet another screw. This makes the practice of medicine more regulated than the practice of running a nuclear power plant. A friend of mine emailed me this. These are the Pete Starks laws applied to Congress. Mind you these are only a few of the Stark laws.

1. Every 6 months each member of Congress shall disclose to his or her constituents by first class mail delivered to the constituent's place of residence:
a. The amounts of each PAC or other political donation from each lobbyist or interest group b. The individual(s), businesses, or special interest group that donated the money c. Any personal consideration received from a lobbyist e.g., meals, trips, use of planes or other transportation, etc, and the identity of the donating party d. How the member voted on bills affecting each party listed in (b) and (c).

2. A member of Congress may not accept gifts or other consideration in excess of $100. This includes political campaign donations and PAC money.

3. Since a member of Congress is in a position to vote for legislation that could enhance the value of their own investments, no member of Congress shall own any investments of any type of kind, active or passive, except for a blind trust. a. Each member of Congress shall be allowed to own ONE piece of real estate property in addition to their primary residence. b. If a given legislative issue affects the value of property owned by a member of Congress, that member shall recuse him/herself from any votes that affect said legislation.

4. Compensation for members of Congress shall be determined by the American Medical Association and annual raises shall be less than the rate of inflation.

5. Health insurance for members of Congress shall be equivalent to the HMO benefits offered by Aetna for a typical medium-sized corporation.
a. All preauthorizations will be denied on the first request b. All treatment rendered will be considered experimental and therefore not covered by the policy c. No member of Congress shall be allowed to stay in the hospital more than 4 days.

6. If a member of Congress has a dispute with their health plan, they may only seek recourse through a federal lawsuit.

7. If a member of Congress (1) votes for something that turns out to be extremely stupid and ill-considered, and that (2) results in harm to the citizens of the United States, then (3) they may be sued for everything they are worth.

8. Every office for every member of Congress shall be inspected annually by JCAHO, CLIA, and OSHA. Any infraction shall be punishable by a f$10,000 per occurrence and loss of voting priviileges for 6 months.

9. Each Congressional office shall be given a 300 page manual concerning citizen privacy rights and shall be in compliance with each and every regulation

10. Any person, at any time, may file an anonymous complaint about a member of Congress a. The member of Congress shall be apprised of the ftact that a complaint has been filed. b. The member of Congress shall have no right to know what the complaint is about until the day of the hearing c. The member of Congress shall have no right to present evidence or testimony in their defense d. The member of Congress shall have no right to a fair and impartial hearing e. The member of Congress shall have no ability to appeal adverse decisions.

11. Never events a. No member of Congress shall become intoxicated b. No member of Congrehss shall have sexual relations with anyone other than their spouse or significant other c. No member of Congress shall add non-germane amend nments (riders) to any proposed legislation d. No member of Congress shal l have any local transportation paid for by the federal government (in other words, no limousines). They can drive to work or take public transportation like everyone else. e. No member of Congress shall fly other than coach unless the difference is paid for personally f. No member of Congress shall vote for anything that turns out to be the wrong thing to do g. If any of the above "never" events occur, the member of Congress shall not receive any pay for the year in which the infraction occurred


SeaSpray said...

This is excellent Throckmorton!

If only it could how fast they change the regulations!

Especially having to abide by "Never Events". #11 very amusing cause I can't picture them being able to comply and then they don't get paid.

I can't imagine congressmen or any other government representative going through these cutbacks,regulations and jumping through hoops just to be able to practice their chosen profession.

I hope things do get better for you docs... somehow, someway...someday.

I decided to read about him and I don't share his political/nontheist views at all.

Thanks for sharing this. I may link or put up if ok with you. ? :)

Great post!

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
View from the Trekant said...

Dude! or Dudette! I would so vote for Stark Reciprocity for congress. Sign me up.

dr_dredd said...

For never events, don't forget:

No member of Congress shall spend more time on the campaign trail than doing whatever it is that Congresspeople actually do.

SeaSpray said...

Dear Throckmorton, Happy and WhiteCoat,

Perhaps I am demonstrating my naivete...but...why can't anyone stop over regulation in the medical arena?

You med folks have to unite somehow instead of accepting these regulations and "insurance company rules" as the status quo.

When they're good..Amen!

Obviously there has to be checks and balances for everyone's protection.

However, when things are getting so bad that hospitals are forced to close because they can't stay afloat financially, doctor's are wanting to leave their profession for various reasons such as struggling with longer hours, thus sacrificing more personal time to maintain their incomes with ever decreasing reimbursements, being hindered from just doing their jobs because they have to adhere to some BS new protocol that should never have become the standard, etc., etc., ... AND when patient quality of care (ironically that's what some of these regulations are striving for-better care) is compromised...something is wrong!

You have to make your concerns known to the public. Speak up..begin a grassroots movement that will be heard. Maybe the blogosphere IS the beginning of the medical revolt to inane regulations.

It begins with one little match to start the bonfire.

Maybe you docs need to blog about these things ad nauseam and then get yourselves heard in the news through whatever medium available.

Get together and write a book...or multiple books as well as published articles... that will be read by the public.

Kevin MD has been on the news. Many of you blogging docs have been written about in the NY Times and elsewhere, another doc was mentioned on CNN, and the list goes on.

Is there any reason why you Medblog docs can't unite...seriously...on another site...put the ideas out there, come to a consensus and then bombard the blogasphere with planned informative attacks on the erroneous and wrongfully unfair medical regulations?

Recently I joined a reporter's twitter and follow their blog, as well as comment in the very public comments.

You all can go on these things and get heard that way too. Draw attention to yourselves. So many reporters must have these. They all want the public to go to their blog. Someone must monitor the comments, looking for something of interest or a consensus on a topic.

Look what is happening to our financial system.

Why wait until it happens to our medical system?

If this financial crisis demonstrates anything… it surely shows us that there are people in high places that could have made a difference for the better...but instead looked the other way.

If Pete Stark can push these things through...then where are all the people who could present arguments for why said regulations are counterproductive to those working in the medical system and the general public?

Does one start with a letter to their congressional leader, start petitions, newspaper editorials, or get a medical concern on a referendum for the voting public? What about your medical journals? One of the blogging docs has mentioned the AMA does not represent the medical profession well with these concerns.

I know these issues loom large over us. But just focus on one agreed upon area. Get one thing reversed. Draw attention to the issue that ultimately snowballs into interest and reform more medical issues.

Who knows? Maybe this political season which has been touted as time for change by both political an omen for the positive changes to come?

I am just one person out of millions from the voting public. I didn't know about these issues until I began reading the Medblogs. I believe more people would be concerned if they understood what was going on with our medical system.

What better representatives to speak up and call attention to these issues than the doctors, nurses, medical techs, administrators, etc., that work in the medical alert the VOTING public?

You can't eat an elephant all at once...but you can eat it one bite at a time. It all starts with that first bite. :)

You can sign me up to further your cause. :)

Oh and I think there should be an emergency referendum added to the November ballot stating that congress will abide by the "Never Events" rules as laid out in Throckmorton's post until such time that they are able to reassess the value of said never event rules...and change the regulations accordingly. :)

* I wrote this to the 3 of you because they liked your post and linked to you.

Spook, RN said...

Brav-O!! :-)

Health Train Express said...

Here are several more regulations that should be applied to congree.
1. Congressman shall attend a 12 year program on how to become a congressman (or senator)
2.Congressional licenses will be administrated by each state.
3.Congressman shall be eligible after 12 years of education, and will obtain board certification within 23 months of graduation.
4.Recertification and/or maintenace of competence shall be supervised by the Supreme Court.
5.Any bills,which are not passed that the congressman supported will be reported to the National Practitiner's Database.
6.Congressman shall apply for and maintain a CEA (Congressional Legal Enforcement Agency Certificate), and will submit all docoumentation through a national legal information network which must be interoperable.