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Provisions for Government Health Care Hidden In Stimulus Bill

February 10, 2009

     Tom Daschle may not have become Health and Human Services Secretary, but he sure got his fingers into the stimulus bill and helped pen some provisions affecting the freedom you enjoy when going to the doctor, or more importantly, your doctor’s freedom in treating you.  These provisions are the foundation for what will be a huge government bureaucracy controlling health care in the United States.  Not surprisingly, the Democrats were not very forthcoming with the fact this was hidden in THIS bill, and clearly don’t feel it would help get it passed since not a word has been said about it. 

The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy.

Bloomberg reports on what has been found, and not reported on until today:

Why are the following hidden in the stimulus bill?

Because Democrats understand that sneaking it in is easier than making the case to the Americna people, here is why …..

1.   A provision in the stimulus creates a new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, that will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). 

2.   Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties.  “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

3.  A provision in the stimulus creates the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). Daschle’s 2008 book (“Critical: What We Can Do About The Health Care Crisis) explained, the goal is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. 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.

4.   The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Dr. Obama

Dr. Obama

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

1.  Elderly Hardest Hit

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. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.  Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

2.  Age Discrimination in Treatment ? 

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

 

Full Story:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs

– AP

Trust, But Verify

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