‘Death By Queue’ Is The Health Crisis Government Asked For

Mary began to experience abdominal pain, but ignored it for several months. When she finally told me, I said, “I’m your husband, go see your doctor.” She called the doctor’s office and after 40 minutes working her way through the confusing, circular, and interminable phone tree, she got the next available appointment — seven months in the future. When she finally did get in to see her primary care physician, the diagnosis was inoperable pancreatic cancer. Twenty-two months later, my college sweetheart and wife of 54 years died. Might things have been different if she had been seen two years earlier?

Everyone in the world knows of the Covid-19 pandemic. Few have heard about a health crisis that has killed millions with no fanfare at all: death by queue. My wife was likely a victim.

Death by queue is a phrase coined in the United Kingdom, where “queue” describes a line of people waiting for something. Death by queue refers to dying while waiting in line for care that is technically possible but unavailable when needed. Death by queue has long been a feature of the much-vaunted British National Health Service (NHS), which was the model for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Recent reports note heart attack victims dying for lack of care-in-time from the NHS and calls for private physicians (those few who remain) to provide timely medical care because NHS (government) physicians cannot.

Americans also experience death by queue. However, since that pandemic is politically unpopular with Washington, the complicit corporate media ignore it.

Prior to Obamacare, average maximum wait time was already unconscionable: 92 days. With ACA expansion of government-provided, no-charge Medicaid insurance, maximum wait times increased to 120 days.

In Illinois over three years, 752 Medicaid enrollees died waiting for desperately needed medical treatment. An internal Veterans Affairs Department audit concluded that “47,000 veterans may have died” waiting in line for care that was technically possible but unavailable. Veterans are covered by government-provided Tricare insurance.  

An accurate estimate of death by queue for all of the U.S. is not available. In Great Britain, at least “117,000 die[d] on waiting lists for NHS” in 2020 and 2021, according to The Evening Standard.

My wife, who may have been another death-by-queue victim, is certainly not unique. Numerous studies prove that delay in diagnosis of life-threatening conditions such as cancer leads to deaths that could be prevented. What is killing these patients are wait times to see the primary physician and begin the diagnostic process.

Causes of Long Wait Times

The death-by-queue pandemic is anathema to Washington because federal regulations are the primary cause for the long wait times. First there is the regulatory burden on providers. Time and money that should be spent on patients are consumed with regulatory and administrative requirements. 

Second, there is “bureaucratic diversion,” when money is taken from clinical care to pay for bureaucracy, administration, rules, regulations, compliance, and oversight. Each dollar spent on these non-clinical activities is a dollar that cannot be spent on patients. Estimates of this expense range from 31 percent to 50 percent of all health care spending. The U.S. expended $4.3 trillion on its health care system in 2021. Thus, Washington took roughly $2 trillion away from patient care to pay federal (and state) minions who provide no care. Imagine how short wait times could be — can you say 48 hours?! — with an additional $2 trillion available to pay for patient care. Possibly my wife would still be alive.

For decades, Washington has been “fixing” health care with federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid (both created in 1965), the Emergency Medical Transport and Labor Act of 1986 (which created health care’s unfunded mandate), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and the ACA (2010). Prior to 1965, the U.S. expended 6.5 percent of GDP on health care. Last year, it was 19.7 percent. The end result of all Washington’s fixes and all that spending is what we have now: death by queue and impending bankruptcy.

Washington’s solution to our failing health care system is more of the same, exemplified by the health care provisions in President Joe Biden’s self-styled Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Federal regulation is why Americans suffer from a pandemic of death by queue. If we want to shrink wait times and get to see the doctor before it’s too late, get Washington out of health care.


Big Pharma Is Unopposed In Its Domination Of Medical Education

Big Pharma Is Unopposed In Its Domination Of Medical Education

Are you beginning to wonder whether the pharmaceutical industry might have too much influence over medical decision-making? If so, you’re hardly alone. Prominent news sources have started sounding the alarm about the disturbing ties between drug makers and medical education, suggesting that Big Pharma is already buying up the doctors of tomorrow. The New York Times: “Harvard Medical School in Ethics Quandary”; NPR: “Med Schools Pressed to Cut Drug Firm Ties”; but Time Magazine states it best: “Is Drug-Company Money Tainting Medical Education?” 

Before you get excited enough to renew your long-dormant Time subscription, I must confess that, like the principal investigator in an mRNA vaccine trial, I may have employed some sleight of hand: The magazine’s story, as the others noted above, is from 2009.

Old news? Not quite. A closer look at those old stories reveals the even greater corruption of medical education today. What drove such big-name coverage of this important issue 14 years ago? All the stories above, and many more besides, were prompted by the American Medical Student Association’s PharmFree Scorecard.

AMSA, the largest and oldest medical student association in the nation with tens of thousands of members and influential past presidents like Dr. Leana Wen, established its PharmFree initiative in 2002. By 2004, the PharmFree campaign was leading a march on Pfizer headquarters in order to “speak out against the pharmaceutical industry’s biased marketing practices” and “persuade the medical community to be more professionally responsible to patients rather than profits.”

Yet PharmFree didn’t hit media gold until 2007 when they came up with the idea of producing a scorecard grading the nation’s medical schools on how badly they were compromised by Big Pharma dollars. The result? National stories about the embarrassing grades received by the likes of Harvard and Yale prompted discussions in homes across the heartland about pharma’s sinister influence on the up-and-coming generation of physicians.

Today, when it seems that doctors are not so much marching on Pfizer headquarters as getting marching orders from it, it is instructive to visit with the current state of the PharmFree Scorecard. I’d link it for you, but it no longer exists. It has been thoroughly scrubbed from the AMSA website. Every link in the medical literature from the past couple of decades sending would-be reformers to the scorecard is dead (see, for example, this 2016 journal article, still touted on the AMSA website here, which attempts to praise the scorecard but links to what is now a “savage garden” spam site). In fact, were it not for the Internet Wayback Machine (behold archived versions of the 2008, 2013, and 2016 versions), any trace of the PharmFree Scorecard would have vanished from the earth.

What happened? AMSA declined to provide a comment for this story, but their website seems to argue that the pharmaceutical industry’s corruption of medical education is no longer worthy of interest; it’s the corrupt politicians we need to focus on. As they put it, “due to the changing landscape of conflicts of interest […] AMSA will be transitioning the focus for the AMSA Scorecard from medical education to Congress.” In other words: Look, squirrel! For the handful of remaining Americans who believe in the fundamental decency of politicians, I’m sure this upcoming awareness campaign will be of great use. 

For those of us who have perhaps grown a little cynical about why AMSA hasn’t put out a new scorecard in nearly a decade, it is understandable to begin suspecting reasons besides a Capra-esque idealism about Washington. One hint can be found in the old editions of the PharmFree Scorecard itself. After its embarrassing result in the inaugural edition, for example, Yale’s medical school took great steps to increase its ranking in time for the next edition, limiting corporate gifts and meals to professors and students, increasing disclosures about speaking fees, and so on.

The reforms worked, and Yale earned itself a respectable “B” for the 2013 PharmFree Scorecard — no national headlines or embarrassed alumni there; Yalies are undoubtedly used to a “gentleman’s B.” There’s just one catch: During the exact same time period, after the first scorecard and before the second, in 20211, Yale School of Medicine signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences (yes, that Gilead, makers of remdesivir).

The deal was touted by Yale itself as “the largest corporate commitment in Yale’s history.” Yale was far from alone, as that 2013 story elaborates: “the past two years have seen an increase in multimillion-dollar pharma-academia collaborations” involving prestigious institutions like the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. 

If the leaders of AMSA’s PharmFree campaign believed that Aaron Judge-level contracts might have a corrupting influence on medical education, they certainly didn’t say so, as no such corporate “partnerships” made it into their rankings. In the intervening years, the amount of money pharma has spent partnering with medical schools has only continued to increase, while the PharmFree Scorecard has vanished. Perhaps AMSA truly believes this is no big deal, and what should be investigated is where Hunter Biden’s next paycheck is coming from, but somehow I doubt it. 

At the very least, even if they have given up the current fight against pharma, one might hope that some remaining sense of honor toward their old principles would prevent AMSA from, say, brainstorming ways to pressure patients into taking unnecessary pharmaceutical products. One would be wrong. During the Covid era, AMSA pushed out a “Guide to Covid-19 Vaccine Communications” to its members.

The guide was not a deep dive into questions about the efficacy and safety of the experimental mRNA injections. Instead, it was a manner of psyop, with all sorts of advice on how best to manipulate an unwitting populace into enthusiasm for a questionable product (enlist social media influencers and trusted pastors to hawk the products, propose companies remain closed until everyone is vaccinated — starting to sound familiar?).

Like the scorecard, the link to this embarrassing document is no longer active on the AMSA website, but it is preserved here, showing AMSA was still encouraging the medical community to use psychological tricks to pressure patients to get vaccinated by the spring of 2022. I don’t think Pfizer headquarters security has anything to worry about anymore.

Return once more to the Time, NPR, and New York Times stories on medical education corruption from all those years ago. The medical students in those stories, profiled as the doctors of tomorrow, are now the doctors of today.

Transport yourself back to 2009, pretend you are the most paranoid fearmonger on the planet, and brainstorm ways in which a generation of physicians co-opted by Big Pharma might steer the country wrong. I don’t think even in your wildest paranoid ravings, you would have predicted that these future doctors would be lining pharma’s pockets within just a few years by castrating teenagers, drugging kindergartners who fidget over homework, fueling a deadly opioid epidemic, and mandating unnecessary and ineffective vaccinations. Yet here we are.

I think we need our watchdog back.


American College Of OB-GYNs Bans Pro-Life Doctors From Conference After They Show Up

American College Of OB-GYNs Bans Pro-Life Doctors From Conference After They Show Up

The nation’s largest obstetricians and gynecologists professional organization can’t defend their pro-abortion positions against public opinion or science, so they banned pro-life doctors from sharing science-based information about life in the womb at their annual education conference.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) confirmed to The Federalist on Tuesday that it barred members of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) from hosting a booth at the former’s conference this week because of the pro-life doctors’ belief in the equal sanctity of all human life.

The incoming president of AAPLOG, Dr. Christina Francis, announced on Monday that, despite 15 years of hosting a booth at the ACOG’s Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology meeting, AAPLOG was denied entry upon their representatives’ arrival.

AAPLOG booked their conference booth through the ACOG last year but it wasn’t until after the pro-life doctors arrived in Maryland this week that ACOG informed them their exhibit was canceled.

“Despite multiple requests for an explanation as to why, the only explanation we’ve received is a vague explanation that we disagree with ACOG, presumably on the issue of abortion,” Francis explained in a video outside of the conference venue on Monday.

Only doctors who share ACOG’s views, ACOG spokeswoman Rachel Kingery told The Federalist, are granted permission to participate as exhibitors.

“ACOG members are welcome to register for and attend ACOG meetings. At the CREOG – APGO Annual Meeting, ACOG also welcomes exhibitors that align with ACOG’s and APGO’s shared commitment to the advancement of evidence-based, scientific information,” she said.

When pressed on whether AAPLOG was stripped of its booth this year because ACOG does not believe its pro-life views fit that commitment, Kingery replied “yes.” The pro-life doctors’ organization says it provides “an evidence-based rationale for defending the lives of both the pregnant mother and her pre-born child.”

The theme of ACOG’s conference this year is “Building Bridges: Creating Connection in Medical Education.” But, Francis noted, ACOG expressed “no desire to build bridges with those of us who disagree even a little bit with them on their position on abortion.”

“Scientific advancement is made through the free exchange of ideas, and through critically looking at both sides of an issue and deciding which the evidence better support,” Francis explained. “However, ACOG obviously is afraid for students and residents and for their medical educators to be exposed to any other position on abortion other than their radical position.”

Even though 86 percent of U.S. OB-GYNs say they do not wish to abort babies in the womb, ACOG declares that its OBGYNS believe that “defending” and “expanding” who can give and get an abortion “is essential health care.”

The organization maintains that babies in the womb do not feel pain until at least 24 weeks gestation. Yet studies show that pain receptors begin forming in preborn infants as early as 10 weeks of gestation and the nerves in a child’s spine required to signal the brain are fully formed by 15 weeks old.

ACOG also dissuades its members from using more than a dozen scientifically accurate terms such as “unborn baby,” “elective abortion,” “womb,” and “abortion-on-demand” to describe the realities of ending life in the womb.

The deeply unpopular decision to end a baby’s life in the third trimester, ACOG claims, should be called “Abortion later in pregnancy” instead of “Late-term abortion.” Pointing out babies born alive “partial-birth abortions,” ACOG says should be avoided because it is “graphic” and “inflammatory.”

To ACOG, “Heartbeat bills,” which are responsible for saving thousands of babies’ lives, are “Gestational age bans.”

Even though there’s an endless stream of scientific evidence confirming the presence of an unborn baby’s beating heart very early in pregnancy, ACOG says “It is clinically inaccurate to use the word ‘heartbeat’ to describe the sound that can be heard on ultrasound in very early pregnancy” because what “pregnant people may hear is the ultrasound machine translating electronic impulses that signify fetal cardiac activity into the sound that we recognize as a heartbeat.”

Francis recognizes that ACOG’s stances are out of touch with the public and unscientific. She says that is why she invited ACOG CEO Dr. Maureen Phipps to debate her “on the impact of elective abortion on the health of women.”

“I will meet her anytime, anyplace so that we can present both sides of this issue and allow not only the general public, but also the next generation of physicians to decide for themselves what the evidence supports,” Francis concluded.

Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.


Biden Admin Pushes Transgender Medical ‘Care’ While Quietly Bankrolling Research Showing Its Risks

As the Biden administration pushes the Department of Health and Human Services to make “gender-affirming health care” more widely available, HHS’s own National Institutes of Health is funding multiple studies premised upon how little research has been conducted on the long-term risks of taking cross-sex hormones and whether they improve mental health. The NIH research on transgender issues also emphasizes intersectionality and about half has been on HIV prevention. 

The NIH Reporter database, which lists active federally funded research projects, shows 74 with “transgender” in the title, totaling more than $26 million of taxpayers’ money annually. Several NIH-funded studies examine specific health risks of cross-sex hormone treatment — such as associated bone loss and possible increased risk of thrombosis, drug overdose, heart attack, and stroke.

Only a few studies evaluate the risk of infertility, even though “the impact of long-term cross-sex hormone therapy on reproductive health is largely unknown,” as one such project states and experts have warned. In contrast, seven studies examine stigma and disparities in health care for transgender people, in response to NIH’s Notice of Special Interest in understanding the role of alleged intersectional stigmas and how they harm health.

Many studies address higher incidence of sexually transmitted infections in transgender people, and whether hormone therapy might increase that risk. About half of all NIH-funded research on transgender health, including that which has been completed, relates to HIV prevention among the transgender population, totaling approximately $80 million since 1985.

Transgender males “have some of the highest concentrated HIV epidemics in the world, with a pooled global prevalence of 19% and a 49-fold higher odds ratio of acquiring HIV than non-transgender adults,” according to one project summary. Behavioral factors contribute, another project says, but the role of sex hormones needs further study, since they “are known to modulate the immune response, resulting in changes in host susceptibility to pathogens, vaccine efficacy and drug metabolism.”

Many Ongoing Projects Highlight Lack of Research

While suicide prevention is often cited as a major reason to give dysphoric children puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, only one of the current studies is focused specifically on suicide risk, although several emphasize the lack of long-term studies of cross-sex hormones administered to children and their relation to mental health.

Medical professionals “say more specific research is needed to determine whether medically transitioning as a minor reduces suicidal thoughts and suicides compared with those who socially transition or wait before starting treatment,” according to Reuters.

One NIH-funded project summary acknowledges that the long-term effect of puberty suppression on mental health needs further study and will evaluate children already taking puberty blockers.

During puberty, hormones change the structure and organization of the brain. Puberty blockers “may also disrupt puberty-signaled neural maturation in ways that can undermine mental health gains over time and impact quality of life in other ways,” the Nationwide Children’s Hospital project summary says. “The overall impacts” of puberty blockers “have not been systematically studied,” the summary says.

One of the larger NIH-funded transgender studies, funded at $743,000 annually, is at Boston Children’s Hospital. It notes, “Little is known [emphasis added] about how pubertal blockade, the first step in the medical management of a young transgender adolescent, affects bone health and psychological well-being. … In an exploratory aim, we will also consider the effect of pubertal blockade on anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life.”

Another research project, “Psychological consequences of medical transition in transgender youth,” begun last year at Princeton University and anticipated to end in 2025, notes the lack of quality research in this area:

Five studies to date have longitudinally examined the relationship between one or both of these interventions [puberty suppression and hormone therapy] and mental health in transgender youth. However, these studies have had relatively small samples, none have been able to isolate the effects of endocrine interventions, none have included a cisgender [non-transgender] comparison group, and none have examined the mechanisms by which endocrine interventions might improve mental health.

A longitudinal study that began in 2015 and will run through at least 2026 acknowledges, “Transgender children and adolescents are a poorly understood and a distinctly understudied population in the United States. … Continuing our current research is imperative to expand the scant evidence-base currently guiding the clinical care of TGD [transgender and gender diverse] youth and thus, is of considerable public health significance.”

As the summary of one ongoing NIH-funded research project on sex hormones’ effects on the developing brain says, “There is little to no empirical data guiding clinical practices” of cross-sex hormone therapy in early pubertal adolescents, “highlighting the need for further research to address the critical knowledge gap.” The research, funded at $3 million so far to Stanford University, “will provide a much-needed foundation for understanding the longitudinal impact of treatments that are already being used [emphasis added] in clinical settings.”

The project will elucidate “how sex hormone therapy alters sex-specific risk for disease … and [its] impact on neural networks implicated in psychiatric disorders.” The research proposed “has never been conducted in early pubertal adolescents,” the summary reads.

NIH Acknowledges Limited Evidence, FDA Hasn’t Approved

The NIH, the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, told Reuters that “the evidence is limited on whether these treatments pose short- or long-term health risks for transgender and other gender-diverse adolescents.” Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved puberty blockers and sex hormones for children’s transgender medical interventions. As Reuters reported:

No clinical trials have established their safety for such off-label use. The drugs’ long-term effects on fertility and sexual function remain unclear. And in 2016, the FDA ordered makers of puberty blockers to add a warning about psychiatric problems to the drugs’ label after the agency received several reports of suicidal thoughts in children who were taking them. More broadly, no large-scale studies have tracked people who received gender-related medical care as children to determine how many remained satisfied with their treatment as they aged and how many eventually regretted transitioning.

Countries such as Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have begun to limit children’s access to transgender health interventions. Early, foundational research from 2011 on transgender medical interventions has been criticized as failing to meet basic research standards.  

Before 2012, “there was no scientific literature on girls ages eleven to twenty-one ever having developed gender dysphoria at all,” according to Abigail Shrier’s book “Irreversible Damage.” Studies show most children grow out of gender dysphoria, Shrier says.There are no good long-term studies indicating that either gender dysphoria or suicidality diminishes after medical transition,according to Shrier.

Yet Biden Administration Pushes Transgender ‘Care’

Meanwhile, despite all the possible health risks, President Joe Biden has issued executive orders charging “HHS to work with states to promote expanded access to gender-affirming care.” The administration has issued directives that federal health insurance benefits must “provide comprehensive gender-affirming care.” The administration also opposes “conversion therapy — efforts to suppress or change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

Taxpayers are already paying for transgender procedures, as they are covered by some insurers and Medicaid in some states

HHS’s Office of Population Affairs, which is overseen by transgender Dr. Rachel Levine, states there’s no debate: “Research demonstrates that gender-affirming care improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse children and adolescents.” Other proponents acknowledge a lack of research on these hormones’ effect on brain development, but say the pros outweigh the cons.

Growing Transgender Identification

The number of transgender adults in the U.S. is estimated at 1.4 million to 2 million, with an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 transgender children. The number of American children who started on puberty blockers or hormones totaled 17,683 from 2017 to 2021 and has been increasing, according to Reuters.

From 2019 to 2021, at least 56 patients ages 13 to 17 had genital surgeries, and from 2019 to 2021, at least 776 children that age had mastectomies, not including procedures that weren’t covered by insurance, according to Reuters.

The transgender surgery industry grosses more than $2 billion annually and expects to double that by 2030.

Debate Among Medication Providers

“Puberty delay medications are safe and effective,” according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), a pro-transgender organization that sets standards for trans medical interventions. “Every person, including every TGD person, deserves an opportunity to be their true selves and has the right to access medically-necessary affirming care to enable this opportunity,” WPATH says.

When WPATH recently updated its guidance, authors “were acutely aware that any unknowns that the working group acknowledged — any uncertainties in the research — could be read as undermining the field’s credibility and feed the right-wing effort to outlaw gender-related care,” The New York Times reported. The newspaper is in the midst of an internal fight about its coverage of transgender issues, with some saying it has been too critical of transgender medical interventions.

A draft of the WPATH chapter for adolescents included minimum recommended ages for hormone treatments and breast removal or augmentation, but after criticism from providers and transgender activists, “it was determined that the specific ages would be removed to ensure greater access to care for more people,” WPATH said.

The final guidelines also walked back a recommendation that preteens and teenagers should provide evidence of several years of persistently identifying as transgender, to differentiate from kids whose change in identification is recent, and changed it to a vaguer “sustained” gender incongruence. “In the end, the chapter sided with the trans advocates who didn’t want kids to have to wait through potentially painful years of physical development,” according to the Times.

The final guidelines acknowledged that because of the limited long-term research, treatment without a comprehensive diagnostic assessment “has no empirical support and therefore carries the risk that the decision to start gender-affirming medical interventions may not be in the long-term best interest of the young person at that time.”

Reuters found that gender facilities across the country are not conducting recommended months-long assessments before administering hormones to children. Parents of 28 of 39 minors who had sought transgender interventions told Reuters they “felt pressured or rushed to proceed with treatment.” Gender-care professionals also said some of their peers are “pushing too many families to pursue treatment for their children before they undergo the comprehensive assessments recommended in professional guidelines.”

Studying Causes of Gender Dysphoria

Some of the taxpayer-funded studies may bring clarity to the issue of gender dysphoria by examining its causes. One study will examine social media’s influence on children becoming transgender. A second will study “the life history calendar to examine young transgender women’s trajectories of violence, mental health, and protective processes.”

Another government-funded study will help determine how chromosomes, sexual organs, and hormones combine to create sex differences. Another will “uncover genetic underpinnings of female sexual orientation.”

This byline marks several different individuals, granted anonymity in cases where publishing an article on The Federalist would credibly threaten close personal relationships, their safety, or their jobs. We verify the identities of those who publish anonymously with The Federalist.


Republican Doctors Need Representation So Leftists Can’t Control Medical Narratives

Republican Doctors Need Representation So Leftists Can’t Control Medical Narratives

It appears physicians are not the only group that’s taken notice of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) waning influence. The AMA’s recurrent failures in representing physicians have also attracted the media’s attention. In an article published by Axios on Wednesday, the growing dissatisfaction with the AMA from Congress’s Physician’s Caucus was reported. Of course, Axios tried to spin the problem as falling on the backs of Republicans, stating, “Republicans break with another historical ally: doctors.” However, a closer look reveals that the problem actually lies with the AMA.

According to Axios, Republicans have enjoyed a “historical alliance with the nation’s leading physicians’ group.” In studying the AMA’s political support throughout the years, the author notes a definite rise in contributions to Democratic candidates over the past three cycles. Although the numbers are accurate, the trend is not due to some Republican recalcitrance. In fact, some of it can be explained by the AMA’s tendency to siphon its contributions to candidates belonging to the party in power. Thus, the increase in contributions to Democrat candidates in 2020 and 2022 is predictably explained as reflecting the power balance in Congress and in the executive branch.  

Yet more revealing are the sentiments quoted in the same article by various physician congressmen about the AMA. Physician Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, noted shortly after his meeting with AMA leadership, “It looks like all you care about are woke issues.” On the Senate side, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., observed that the AMA “has been very much left-wing or left-of-center for a long time” while voicing concerns regarding the misguided priorities of its subsidiary organizations such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. According to Axios, the tension has led some political scientists to conclude that the Republicans were losing the support of “doctors.”  

This conclusion is bunk! Reports of the AMA’s decreasing influence are plentiful. The organization that in the 1950s boasted a membership of greater than 75 percent of America’s doctors now only attracts an estimated 12.1 percent of physicians. The reason was most succinctly expressed by Dr. Kevin Campbell, a cardiologist from Raleigh, North Carolina, when he wrote, “The AMA touts itself as speaking for all of us — but rarely listens to any of us — they work to fill their own pockets with dollars from big pharma and government.”  

Dr. Campbell’s comments serve as a natural transition to the pivotal problem in American medical advocacy: The AMA no longer speaks for America’s doctors, and whenever the press or leftist politicians need to back up their unsupported liberal positions, they ride the coattails of the leftist AMA, as if it actually represents doctors!

If Axios were truthful in its reporting, it would state that the AMA (not doctors) has lost its alliance with Republicans (not the other way around), which leaves us with a very troubling situation. Unless physicians mobilize, they will continue to find themselves without appropriate political representation.

First, their national organization is neither willing nor able to listen to approximately half the members of Congress. Second, physicians’ positions are being ransacked due to the absence of any organized objection coming from the opposing side.

This disparity is being addressed, as physicians who are dissatisfied with the inactions and misrepresentations of the AMA are engaging with a newly formed United States Medical Association (USMA) whose goal is to serve as “the voice of America’s doctors” while “promoting the independent practice of medicine, the enhancement of medical technologies, and the development of medical science.”

If the USMA is successful in its quest, it helps balance out the one-sided, monopolized agenda driven by the biased, leftist forces of the AMA that act in the name of organized medicine. And if that happens, doctors and patients alike will be the biggest winners of all.


The Whole Transgender Industry Is Founded On Two Faulty Studies

The Whole Transgender Industry Is Founded On Two Faulty Studies

Two Dutch studies touting the great success of “gender-affirming” medical intervention on youth have been deemed bad research by experts at the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine. 

In the report “The Myth of ‘Reliable Research’ in Pediatric Gender Medicine” published earlier this month, researchers describe how the 2011 and 2014 studies that formed the foundation of the transgender industry in the U.S. should never have been accepted by the professional community, falling “unacceptably” short of modern research standards. The studies led to a global movement of wrongly named “gender-affirming care,” resulting in hormone experimentation on youth and, in some cases, irreversible mutilation.

The Dutch studies had several major flaws, according to the report. Study authors only recorded the cases with the best outcomes, concluded without evidence that gender dysphoria disappeared solely as a result of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and failed to properly examine the risks of the interventions, with disastrous effects.

The American College of Pediatricians responded to the report in a press release on Jan. 25 calling on organizations to “reconsider current protocols for gender dysphoric children.”

“The entire pediatric transgender industry is based on these two Dutch studies,” Michelle Cretella, immediate past executive director of ACPeds and advisory board spokeswoman for Advocates Protecting Children, told me. “This open access report is critical because it exposes the fraudulent foundation of pediatric transgender medicine in the United States.”

The Dutch studies were so foundational to the U.S. movement that the first pediatric gender clinic in the United States was opened by Dr. Norman Spack, a pediatric endocrinologist who was convinced of the necessity of “gender-affirming” interventions after visiting the Dutch physicians who published them, Cretella said.

But if these studies had been published today, the authors conclude, the research would have been recognized as very low quality and would not have encouraged the use of puberty blockers, wrong-sex hormones, and surgery in confused children and young adults in general medical settings.

‘No Evidence’ of Genetic Cause

The report criticizing these studies was published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, and authors E. Abbruzzese, Stephen B. Levine, and Julia W. Mason have years of experience studying so-called gender identity. Levine has worked in the field as a psychiatrist since 1974.

In March 2022, Levine and his co-authors began to articulate concerns regarding the Dutch studies. The scientists published “Reconsidering Informed Consent for Trans-Identified Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults” to characterize the studies’ limitations. The report published in January is a follow-up to that initial report.

“We had no bias, we are just responding to and trying to articulate the limitations of the studies,” Levine told me. “We are doing harm to an unknown percentage of kids, and the data that is supportive of this work does not really address the issue. The real issue here is what happens to these children when they get into their 20s and 30s.”

Youth who have been hormonally and surgically “transitioned” have major obstacles to their happiness and productivity later in life, Levine said.

“After people have sex reassignment surgeries … they want more surgeries,” according to Levine. “It’s very clear they have continued gender dysphoria. The idea that they are being ‘cured’ by affirmative care is an artifact, it’s a myth.”

Hormone and surgical treatment, and subsequent medical intervention, leads many people to assume this must be a “medical problem” but “we don’t have any evidence that this is genetically determined,” Levine said.

“Just because we have hormone treatment doesn’t mean there is a hormonal defect in the person,” he said. “People believe, erroneously, that there is some genetic, pre-determined factor here, but we have not been able to find a genetic cause.”

Cultural, interpersonal, psychological, and developmental factors all contribute to the development of a person’s behavior, Levine said. Gender dysphoria can be a resulting psycho-social problem.

Biased, Uncontrolled Studies

Though the Dutch studies were found to have selection bias and multiple, uncontrolled variables, they were broadly applied in the U.S.

“The Dutch study researchers only took healthy kids from supportive and reasonably healthy families,” Levine said. “They carefully screened kids, so if they had major developmental problems they were not included in the studies. But in the U.S. … the vast majority of these kids have a history of psychiatric issues before they developed gender dysphoria. The Dutch rejected these kids from their research.”

The Dutch study had 196 participants initially and only put 70 in the protocol. Only 55 then completed the protocol.

As well as having selection bias, the study was uncontrolled.

“Wisely, the Dutch people gave these kids and their families continued psychotherapy during this protocol,” Levine said. “Is the positive results they found due to the psychotherapy, improvement as they got older, or affirmative care? This is an uncontrolled study. They cannot make conclusions about what caused what. But the world took this as scientific evidence.”

In the U.S., youth who had rapid-onset gender dysphoria and didn’t even meet the baseline criteria for the Dutch study began receiving interventions in pediatric clinics, with doctors utilizing the studies as justification.

Furthermore, when the Dutch began this project there was also much less awareness of autism, Levine said. A very large percentage of these kids that have come to American facilities are on the autism spectrum, according to Levine.

Courageous Pediatricians Have Resisted

ACPeds physicians have spoken out against sexual disfigurement and medical intervention in youth with gender dysphoria for years.

“There are a handful of us physicians within ACPeds and across the country who have the courage and expertise to speak out on this issue,” Cretella said. “When we are able to do so in an environment open to dialogue, we are met with significant appreciation and affirmation by fellow physicians and laypersons alike.”

Most colleagues, Cretella said, appreciated ACPeds’ stance, acknowledging that the studies affirming medical intervention in gender dysphoric youth were likely flawed or fake; but too many feared losing their jobs to speak out against transgender interventions.

“Trans interventions are big money,” Cretella said. “Billionaire elites promote trans ideology over truth across all public institutions and media platforms, and [in America] a severe cancel culture results in everything from severe harassment and doxing to ending one’s career.”

Fortunately, signs of sound medical ethics triumphing over junk science are breaking through, Cretella said.

In the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Finland, cultures that embraced transgender interventions for youth early on have reversed course. France has urged greater caution in these cases.

In the United States, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has rooted his administration in medical ethics and utilized the best science to establish pro-child treatment of gender confusion with psychotherapy, Cretella said.

Currently, about 13 other states are attempting similar legislative efforts.

Ashley Bateman is a policy writer for The Heartland Institute and blogger for Ascension Press. Her work has been featured in The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, The New York Post, The American Thinker and numerous other publications. She previously worked as an adjunct scholar for The Lexington Institute and as editor, writer and photographer for The Warner Weekly, a publication for the American military community in Bamberg, Germany. Ashley is a board member at a Catholic homeschool cooperative in Virginia. She homeschools her four incredible children along with her brilliant engineer/scientist husband.e who lives in Virginia.


Indiana Gov. Wants 29 Times More Funding For Bureaucracy That Brutalized Public Health

Indiana Gov. Wants 29 Times More Funding For Bureaucracy That Brutalized Public Health

Indiana’s term-limited governor, highly unpopular with his GOP base, is pushing an overfunded public health plan that could steal local control from county officials. It’s yet another state-level example of Republican politicians selling out their own voters to bloated and harmful special interests.

The lame-duck governor and several top Republicans in the Republican-controlled legislature are clearly angling to get hired by Big Pharma after leaving public office, thereby using this sweetheart deal to eventually line their own pockets from one of the state’s largest lobbying interests.

Authoritarian orders delivered by Gov. Eric Holcomb and his health commissioner, Kris Box, are one of the reasons Holcomb was booed at his own party convention last June. Those destructive mandates masked kids, hobbled the economy, stunted education, and crushed mental health. Yet Holcomb now wants to increase the influence of this inept state health bureaucracy with an expensive plan designed to centralize more power at the state level. The package will incentivize county health departments to give up local control in return for huge wads of cash.

The governor wants the state legislature to give him 29 times the amount they currently provide for the state’s 95 health departments, from $6.9 million per year to $200 million per year. That financial ask alone tells you why Holcomb is not popular with base voters and won re-election with hundreds of thousands of Democrat votes. It is part of a whopping spending plan that even state Democrats can champion. 

The governor used a crude formula to come up with his budget: figure out how much less Indiana spends on public health than other states and bring it up to the national average. Holcomb claims, without evidence and in the face of long experience showing government intervention makes things worse, that more government spending will reduce obesity, lower smoking rates, and improve mental health — all areas where his state ranks poorly.

Yet it is unlikely that a giant government model will alleviate complex health problems that doctors already aren’t solving with one-on-one care. Furthermore, the fact that public health did so much damage to mental health with its isolating Covid policies gives the field little credibility.

Holcomb has no intention of just handing over this extra money to the counties in some kind of flexible format. The Governor’s Public Health Commission touts a comprehensive plan that must be signed onto in its entirety. It includes 80-20 fund matching rules (where the state pays the bulk); 10 additional statutory duties; new data requirements; and apparently, obedience to state guidance on controversial issues. 

Luke Kenley, one of the commission’s co-chairs, said county commissioners who vote to join the program will be turning over their elected responsibilities to state officials.

“We’ve had these debates, discussions, arguments and fights back and forth about, ‘Well the governor shouldn’t do a mask mandate,’ or ‘The governor is telling us to do this or to do that or something else,’ or ‘What about vaccinations?’ or ‘What about decisions by local officials?’ We’re trying to avoid that kind of a situation by making sure that everybody who’s in the program wants to be in the program,” said Kenley at a committee meeting last summer.

Such remarks make those of us who saw children forcibly masked and quarantined at the direction of the state health department leery of an agreement that could make localities even more answerable to the state on individual health choices. 

All county commissioners will be able to vote on whether they want to tie themselves to the state as part of a five-year plan. While Kenley argues the opt-in plan is voluntary, the sheer financial size of the promised funding comes off as more of a bribe, especially for smaller counties with limited tax bases that already have a hard time meeting state requirements. Even independently-minded commissioners, who might balk at the size and scope of the plan, will be hesitant to turn down the money if it makes it look like they don’t care about constituents’ health. 

Kenley said about 70 percent of health department funding comes from the local tax base, whereas only 30 percent comes from the state. Kenley’s plan aims to make the state the primary funder.

The governor couldn’t have picked a better salesman for the pricey program, as Kenley is Indiana’s former Senate appropriations chair. He mentored Sen. Ryan Mishler, who currently holds the chairman spot and will be a deciding factor in whether Holcomb’s plan gets funding.

The commission itself seems to know that any county proud enough to say no to the state’s program will crawl back eventually because of the amount of money dangled before local governments. That’s also how the federal government now controls states: bribing them to obey ridiculous, harmful, and bankrupting mandates. It’s a bad model that reduces American self-government.

“There will be some who say that, ‘Autonomously we want to be in control, and we will opt out of this.’ What they’re saying is, we will, over the next four years, fund our health according to state law without your help,” said a commission member at one of the group’s final meetings. “In about two years, they’re going to find out: we can’t do that.”

That comment sparked laughter around the tables. He added the state would have to “lovingly support” counties “through their misdirection.” Kenley offered it might be helpful to educate misguided counties so they realize the brutal situation they may face if they decide to opt out.

That tone of condescension, in combination with the fact that the state still does not acknowledge the damage it did with its Covid orders, should give Indiana legislators pause when determining whether to fund Holcomb’s outlandish request. Without the General Assembly backing them up, county commissioners may get stuck saying yes to even more state control.

Amy Drake is a stay-at-home mom, writer, and St. Joseph County councilwoman in South Bend, Ind.


Biden And The FDA Push New Chemical Abortion Protocols That Endanger Women

Biden And The FDA Push New Chemical Abortion Protocols That Endanger Women

President Biden is bringing to bear the full institutional power of the federal government to promote access to dangerous chemical abortion pills.

A White House memo released on Sunday directed the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and Attorney General Merrick Garland to issue guidance telling patients and pharmacies how they can obtain chemical abortion pills in states where abortion is either illegal or restricted. The president has also called on federal departments and agencies to draw up recommendations for removing “potential barriers” to abortion pill access.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally dropped the requirement that abortion pills be administered, in person, by qualified medical personnel. It also moved to allow pharmacies to fill prescriptions for the pill — a seismic change in policy that could soon turn your local pharmacy into an abortion pill dispensary.

Both changes endanger women’s health.

Abortion with pills involves taking two different drugs in succession. The first drug, mifepristone, typically kills the unborn child by blocking essential progesterone. The second drug, misoprostol, induces contractions to expel the unborn child from its mother’s womb. Both drugs carry risks.

The FDA approved mifepristone in 2000 but considered the drug’s risk profile so high as to warrant special heightened monitoring and risk management practices. The agency, therefore, established a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program — a strict protocol governing the administration of mifepristone.

To prescribe the drug, doctors had to meet special requirements. These included the ability to accurately assess the gestational age of the unborn child, the ability to diagnose ectopic pregnancies, and the ability to surgically remove tissue from an incomplete abortion or provide access to emergency resuscitation treatment if necessary. The REMS originally also required two mandatory in-person visits by the patient for administering the two-drug abortion pill regimen as well as a mandatory follow-up visit to ensure no serious complications resulted. Doctors were also originally required to report all serious adverse events to the FDA.

But in 2016, the FDA started allowing non-physicians who met the qualifications to begin prescribing mifepristone. They also removed the requirement for in-person office visits or physical exams prior to having an abortion, keeping only a mandatory follow-up visit in place. The requirement that the pill be administered in person by a certified prescriber remained.

That changed with the pandemic. In July 2020, the FDA temporarily suspended the requirements for in-person administration of the pill and a mandatory follow-up visit. The FDA’s January update of the mifepristone REMS makes these pandemic-era changes permanent.

Additionally, the FDA is moving to expand access to abortion by allowing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion pills. Retail pharmacy giants CVS and Walgreens and online pharmacy Honeybee Health have announced their intent to sell them in states where abortion is legal.

This is all bad news not just for the unborn, but also for women’s health.

Risks of Removing Mandatory Follow-Up Exams

By removing the mandatory follow-up visit requirement, the FDA has made it optional for abortionists to check for post-abortion complications.

That is not because post-abortion complications are not happening. Indeed, abortion pills have more complications than surgical abortion. A study of Swedish women from 2008-2015 found that, on average, 7.3 percent of women had a post-abortion complication such as excessive bleeding, incomplete abortion, or infections after using the abortion pill within 12 weeks of gestation. By comparison, the complication rate for surgical abortion was 5.3 percent.

In the U.S., a recent study in states where Medicaid dollars are used to pay for elective abortions found that Medicaid-eligible women using the abortion pill had a 53 percent greater odds of making an abortion-related visit to the ER than similar women who had surgical abortions.

If we assume women today experience serious complications from the pill at the same rate as seen during U.S. clinical trials, that would put the number of women admitted to the hospital for pill-related reasons between 197 and 2,958 a year.

Risks of Removing the In-Person Pill Administration Requirement

The FDA-updated REMS also makes it optional for abortionists to conduct physical exams prior to prescribing these dangerous drugs. Yet, without an exam, it is not possible to effectively screen for ectopic pregnancies — a potentially life-threatening condition if not detected and treated in time.

The FDA warns that women should not take mifepristone if they have an ectopic pregnancy. But an in-person physical examination using ultrasound, bloodwork, or laparoscopy is needed to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, according to Medscape.

Symptoms of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, such as prolonged or heavy bleeding and abdominal pain, can be similar to the side effects of taking the abortion pill. If an ectopic pregnancy ruptures after taking the abortion pill, the woman may mistake this potentially life-threatening condition as “normal” side effects. Consider, also, that most pill-induced abortions are done at home with no knowledgeable medical staff on call. For the unfortunate few who could find themselves in this situation, this is a recipe for disaster.

Americans should demand answers as to why the FDA has made the abortion pill riskier for women. Congress should demand answers as well, using its oversight powers to hold the FDA accountable. The more fundamental question, of course, is: Why has the FDA authorized a drug that is designed to kill unborn children in the first place?

Pro-life Americans should move their prescriptions to their local grocery store or non-mifepristone-dispensing pharmacies.

Jonathan Abbamonte is a senior research associate in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis.



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