Don’t Look Now, But This Stimulus Could Kill You

( – promoted by Cool Cal)

Buried in President Obama's massive "Stimulus Bill", is a stealth grab at your health care decisions.   Section 9201 of the stimulus package establishes the "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research." Douglas O'Brien explains:  

Sounds benign enough, but the man behind the Coordinating Council, Health and Human Services Secretary-designate (and tax cheat) Tom Daschle, was kind enough to explain the goal of this organization.  It is to cut health care costs by preventing Americans from getting treatments that the government decides don't meet their standards for cost effectiveness.  In his 2008 book on health care, he explained that such a council would, "lower overall spending by determining which medicines, treatments and procedures are most effective-and identifying those that do not justify their high price tags."      

Once a panel of government experts decides what is and what is not cost-effective by their definition, the government will stop paying for treatments, medicines, therapies or devices that fall into the latter category.  Initially, this will limit access to very expensive treatments for federal employees, veterans, the elderly, members of the military and their dependents and others who rely on the feds to pay for their health care.  But since this would place nearly half of health care dollars off limits for such treatments, the demand for and further development of such treatments would likely dry up.  And Daschle wants to expand the Coordinating Council's power even further, allowing the government to deny tax benefits for private insurance that covers treatments deemed too expensive by the Council.  Thus, if a handful of government employees deem a therapy not cost effective, no health insurance will cover it and it will become virtually unobtainable to patients at any cost…


…Imagine the conversation:  Parents are told that their daughter has a brain tumor.  Doctors will immediately begin radiation treatment to destroy the tumor.  But they also tell the parents that bombarding the child's brain with radiation will likely have developmental impacts.  The doctors lament that there once was a better way to deal with this situation with a higher success rate and virtually no side effects, but some people in Washington decided it was too expensive and the centers that offered it closed and no one persisted in further developing the therapy.      

Repeat this scenario time and time again and you will glimpse health care in the Age of Hope and Change.  Emphasis will be shifted to prevention and management of chronic illness-an excellent idea and potentially very economically beneficial.  But health care will be frozen in time.  New treatments come on the market at very high costs and most often represent incremental improvements over existing care.  That is how progress works and that is why we live longer lives than our great-grandparents.  But that is exactly the kind of progress that Daschle and his Coordinating Council will be targeting in order to limit health care spending.  It is a perfect example of the way socialized medicine rations care in the name of equality of access and proves the old Canadian axiom that, "national health care is wonderful, unless you get really sick."  Read the entire commentary here

 More failed policies taken from European Social Democracies.  One more reason to tell President Obama to, "keep the change".

About Rick