Thursday, September 20, 2007


If you are a patient in 21st century American Medicine I have some shocking news for you.

A significant portion of your health has NOTHING to do with the enterprise/business of American Medicine. Social factors like poverty and jobs are much more important for example. This has been known for years but paternalistic organized medicine has duped us and infantilized us. (not unlike what most organized religion has done to us!)

Much of what doctors do to/for people has never ben proven to be effective-putting aside that MUCH of what they do is unsafe especially in hospitals! Surgeons are especially culpable.

Please read this provided by Maggie Mahar “When it comes to wasteful healthcare spending, the work done at Dartmouth by Dr. Jack Wennberg and Dr. Elliot Fisher does the best job of exposing how much money we spend on unnecessary, unproven, and sometimes unwanted treatments and hospitalizations."

I would add Dr. Nortin Hadler from University of North Carolina who has also brilliantly explicated how much US health care has been unproven to be effective or even worse safe. Hadler’s book The Last Well Person is a true landmark.

And of course Shannon Brownlee’s new book Overtreated is excellent validation of its own title.

Today Dr. Steven Schroeder published an article- maybe the most important article in on health care reform in a decade in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine drove home these points and more.


Wake up America-Grow up America- Retake your health care.

Be Well and-

"See you on the new highground!"

Dr. Rick Lippin

Sunday, September 16, 2007


14 September 2007

Congressman Patrick J. Murphy
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Eight Congressional District, Pa
Washington, DC 20515

Honorable Congressman Murphy;

Thank you for your letter of 6 September 2007 on the matter of US health care reform which in my opinion is the domestic issue that will elect our next president.

I am extremely proud to be a constituent of your district in that, as a freshman Congressman, you took the lead in the most important foreign policy issue of our times – the failed war in Iraq. This took enormous courage on your part and I am very grateful for that.

Now it is time for you to step up to the plate and fight for universal health care.

I must disagree with your statement that “presently a functional and affordable universal single payer system is many years away” as you say in your letter to me. We are in far too much trouble for more incrementalism.

While I admire and thank you for your vote for HR 3162 which will expand health care coverage to our nation’s children under SCHIP, I respectfully offer to you that this is not nearly enough.

Congressman Murphy- You may know that David Walker, head of our Government Accountability Office (GAO) is stating correctly that we are facing an economic “tsunami” in Medicare for example unless we act now.

I have posited for over ten years now that the only way out of our nation’s health care crisis is both individual and institutional prevention, which you did not reference in your letter to me.

Congressman- I urge you to support a variety of introduced legislation whose goals are to pass into law a requirement for more prevention.

For example my colleagues at Health Promotion Advocates have long supported at least two pieces of legislation that enhances prevention at the workplace and increases funding for health promotion research.

Furthermore, there currently exist legislative initiatives for much more prevention in Medicare programs

And we must have institutional prevention like healthy environments, healthy schools and healthy workplaces. (It is not just about individual health behaviors like smoking, inactivity, alcohol and drug and medication abuse etc.)

In 1995 I published my own #8 point health care plan I called “Grow Up America” which I slightly modified after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Then First Lady (now Senator) Hillary Clinton liked my plan. I attach my plan with this letter for your and your staff’s consideration.

Every one of the eight points I recommend either has or could have legislation built around it.

Dr. Elias Zerhouni, head of our nation’s prestigious National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that our high technology expensive US “disease care system” is simply not economically sustainable in our nation (and for that matter in other nations). Dr Zerhouni is correct. We need a true health care system based on prevention.

Congressman-I know you have an interest in stem cell research as I do, but this is not the answer either. The projections for success in this arena, unlike prevention, are indeed decades away if we ever see them at all.

Individual and intuitional prevention can save us from one third to a staggering one half of our #2 trillion dollar plus (17% of GNP) plus US healthcare expenditure which if not managed soon is a direct threat to our nations economy and our national security.

Prevention- fairly and ethically implemented- will save us from economic catastrophe and it will divert dollars to those who suffer from non-preventable diseases.

Congressman- having met a key member of your staff I am very pleased to work with her, other members of your staff, and/or meet with you personally in your Doylestown,Pa or DC office to solicit your support for prevention based legislation.

Please accept my sincere best wishes for continued success and for good health for you and your family


Dr. Rick Lippin
Southampton, Pa

David Walker- GAO
Elias Zerhouni- NIH
Sen. Hillary Clinton
Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. Christopher Dodd
Former Sen. John Edwards
Cong. Dennis Kucinich
Sen. Arlen Specter
Sen. Robert Casey
Gov. Ed Rendell
Michael O’Donnell -HPA

Maybe you could write a similiar letter to your Congressperson?

Comments welcome

Rick Lippin