Free Healthcare IT Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Get all the latest Health IT updates from Neil Versel for FREE!

I, apparently, am a retard

I received an interesting e-mail this morning from someone identifying himself as Rick Sarna (soliboy82@hotmail.com), in response to last night’s post about the Washington Times’ unfortunate comparison between Tom Daschle and Nazism.

The subject line of the e-mail is “Wow you are a retard.” The full text follows:

I love how you self-proclaimed “journalists,” which is just a dirty word for “liberal, shit-sucking scumbags” all want a taste of “Brack Bama’s” (and his administration) black cock. You’ll do anything to lambaste things you pretend to know about. I am a medical doctor, and Daschle’s new healthcare plan smacks of Nazism through and through… or maybe you’re too fucking retarded, like most liberals, or too busy fantasizing about Helen Thomas’ vagina dentata, to read your facts.

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.

Also:

He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Never have words been spoken by a more misanthropic piece of trash. American medical professionals are the most highly skilled and qualified in the world, by any standard. We provide an elite service. Therefore, we demand elite compensation. I know liberals hate the idea of a skilled worker demanding higher compensation, and before the White House Shine puts a cap on medical compensation too, we will keep doing our jobs.

Hmm, I don’t recall ever calling myself a liberal or fawning over anything Obama has said. I don’t recall ever defending Daschle’s proposals either—or even defending Daschle in the face of his arrogant attempt to take advantage of tax laws. Nor do I know whether Sarna has any facts to support his claim that American medical professionals are the most highly skilled in the world, when all the evidence points to medical quality in the United States being a crap shoot.

However, it’s fun being called a retard by someone who clearly failed Punctuation 101, as evidenced by the subject line. I may even be dealing with a flat-out liar, too. I Googled “Rick Sarna” and came up with an attorney in Chicago, a research editor in Chicago and director of network operations for a broadcaster (probably part of the liberal media conspiracy) in New York City. The only thing close to a “medical doctor” I found was a Richard J. Sarna, DDS, in White Plains, N.Y. That’s a dentist, not a medical doctor.

So much for debating the facts.

February 12, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Daschle = Hitler? The Washington Times thinks so

Say what you like about the tax problems that forced former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to withdraw from consideration for HHS secretary and criticize his policies all you want, but the Washington Times has officially gone too far. In an editorial today, the favorite paper of the lunatic fringe on the far right compares Daschle’s proposals for increasing the efficiency of healthcare through IT to a Nazi program.

“This notion is fully in the spirit of the partisans of efficiency but came from a program instituted in Hitler’s Germany called Aktion T-4. Under this program, elderly people with incurable diseases, young children who were critically disabled, and others who were deemed non-productive, were euthanized. This was the Nazi version of efficiency, a pitiless expulsion of the ‘unproductive’ members of society in the most expeditious way possible,” the Times says.

The article is accompanied by a photo of Adolf Hitler.

There almost was a cogent argument here. “One provision causing increasing concern is the future role of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, who will be in charge of collecting and monitoring the health care being provided to every American,” the Times says, before launching into its Coulteresque polemic. There are legitimate concerns about privacy in the health IT portion of the economic stimulus plan.

Yes, I know the far right likes to shock, particularly in this new era of full Democratic control of the federal government, but come on. The fact that the current national coordinator, Dr. Robert Kolodner, is Jewish, makes this extra offensive.

February 11, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Daschle withdraws

In case you have not heard, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

There’s a lesson to all: Pay your taxes.

February 3, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Daschle’s looking better already

From Paragraph 93 of the federal criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich unsealed this morning:

On November 5, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Deputy Governor A regarding positions that ROD BLAGOJEVICH might be able to obtain in exchange for the soon-to-be vacated Senate seat. Among the potential positions discussed were Secretary of Health and Human Services and various ambassadorships.

Paragraph 98 alleges:

On November 7, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Advisor A about the Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is willing to “trade” the Senate seat to Senate Candidate 1 in exchange for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services in the President-elect’s cabinet.

That’s right, Blagojevich allegedly saw himself as the right person to fix America’s healthcare woes. Well, there is a precedent for Midwestern governors taking over HHS—Wisconsin’s Tommy Thompson—but it seems so far like President-elect Barack Obama made a wise choice in picking Tom Daschle over Captain Hairdo. Particularly in light of this gem from Paragraph 101(c):

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”

Ah, the joys of Chicago politics!

December 9, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Breaking news: Daschle is HHS pick

The news today is that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) will be President-elect Obama’s choice for secretary of Health and Human Services. Politico reports that Daschle was picked for his ability to work through the intricacies of the legislative process, something that is particularly helpful in the complicated world of healthcare reform.

Daschle’s definitely a partisan type, but he seems to have respect from both sides of the aisle, a trait that seemed to serve current HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, a former Utah governor, very well. One thing I do not know is if Daschle is as much of an IT advocate as self-described “techno-geek” Leavitt is. That said, I’m sure Daschle knows about Obama’s desire to seek $50 billion in federal money over five years to promote electronic health records. I’m also pretty sure Rob Kolodner will want a meeting with Daschle as soon as possible.

November 19, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.