Looks Like So Many Will Get Their Wish

With the passing of the spending bill today we are well on our way to governement run health care.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=88457

Stimulus contains rationed medicine
'Safe, effective' treatments soon to be limited by 'cost'


Posted: February 09, 2009
9:29 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

 


 

The former lieutenant governor of New York is warning that the $50 billion that President Obama expects to spend in the next few years on a nationwide digital health records system for every individual easily could, and probably will, result in rationed medical care .

 

WND recently reported on a little-discussed provision in Obama's plan that would demand every American submit to a government program for electronic medical records without a choice to opt out, raising alarms for privacy advocates.

Privacy advocates said patients might be startled to discover personal information could be shared electronically with, perhaps, millions of people, including documentation on abortions, mental health problems, patient non-compliance, lawsuits against doctors and sexual problems.

Sue A. Blevins, president of the Institute for Health Freedom, said unless people have the right to decide "if and when" their health information is shared, there is no real privacy .

 

Now Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York and an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, has released a commentary warning about the likelihood of rationed care – or a health care system that simply provides treatment when it determines the cost-benefit ratio for the treatment and the patient meets its guidelines.

Obama plans to spend $50 billion "over five years" to create a system of electronic health records for every person who sees a doctor.

"Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion," wrote McCaughey. "These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department."

"If the Obama administration's economic stimulus bill passes … in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face … rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later."

Other nations that utilize such programs typically deny costly treatments to patients who are senior citizens, and McCaughey warns that would be the case in the United States, too.

"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," she warned.

"Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost-effectiveness standard," she said.

McCaughey noted Daschle has written of such plans, modeled after the United Kingdom, which include a national board to make necessary decisions.

"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," she wrote.

She cited a 2006 ruling in the U.K. that determined elderly patients with macular degeneration must go blind in one eye before getting treatment with a costly drug to save their other eye, a decision that outraged taxpayers who eventually forced a change.

"Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition," McCaughey said.

The stimulus plan calls its board the "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research."

"The goal, Daschle’s book explained, 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," she said.

She said the plan simply needs more review.

"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," McCaughey said.

She said doctors would end up with no choice about treatments.

"Hospitals and doctors that are not 'meaningful users' of the new system will face penalties," she warned.

The Institute for Health Freedom today also renewed its warning because the system is scheduled to be mandatory for everyone.

"IHF calls on Americans who care about health privacy to contact their members of Congress and President Obama to voice their own opinions about the need for opt-out and patient consent provisions, to ensure true patient privacy rights," the organization said.

Blevins' organization, one of the few raising the alarm at this point, said the stimulus plan would impose an electronic health records system on every person in the U.S. without any provision for seeking patient consent or allowing them not to participate.

"Without those protections, Americans' electronic health records could be shared – without their consent – with over 600,000 covered entities through the forthcoming nationally linked electronic health-records network," Blevins said.

"Nobody wants to stop the proper use of good technology," Blevins said, "and for some people privacy is not an issue."

But she said the bottom line is that patients "would end up losing control of his or her personal health information."

Grits4life Grits4life
46-50, F
Feb 10, 2009