On March 19, 2011, a meeting was held in Zarephath, NJ. location of the Zarephath Health Center, a free clinic started in 2003. The meeting was facilitated by two tea party leaders in NJ. Two Assemblymen, a NJ State Senator and representatives of one Assemblyman and two Senators as well as one legislative aide for Chris Christie attended. The politicians pretty much agreed to work on a bill- The NJ Volunteer Physician Protection Act. Christie’s representative promised to talk to the Governor and even arrange for a meeting with him.
Alieta Eck, MD presented a slide show which spelled out the problem of the failed Medicaid program, the astronomical expense and a better alternative. They liked it. The concept is simple. Have physicians donate 4 hours per week in a free non-governmental clinic in exchange for free medical malpractice coverage for their entire practices, supplied by the state. The would be a huge win for the taxpayers, physicians and patients.
They want to meet with us– to verify the numbers and make sure that replacing Medicaid with real charity is as feasible as I make it sound. It IS! We think that saving $2 billion is very feasible and the savings will mushroom and spread as the defensive medicine begins to wind down.
Dr. Eck told a few stories of patients she saw this week– one with a pituitary tumor that was causing acromegaly. She had last seen a doctor 7 years ago and went to the Medicaid office for help. They told her that the only way to get Medicaid was to go on welfare. She argued that she didn’t want welfare and wanted to work, but they turned her away. They told her to go to the Zarephath Health Center. Medicaid is such an inefficient, broken and heartless program that is bleeding us dry. Now One in seven New Jerseyans is on Medicaid, up from one in eight two years ago. And Obamacare will push it up to one in four if it is not stopped.
Andy Schlafly, Esq., General Counsel of the AAPS, attended the meeting and plans to work on a draft of the legislation.
Also in attendance were Anna Little, a legal representative of the MSNJ, several physicians, and businessmen.
The ball is rolling!