Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The End of the World ... And Where was the AARP?

I have been predicting this for a long time, but frankly, I thought that there would be discussion first and outrage. But they swept it in with the "Economic Stimulus" Bill and no one looked any further than the title. We have just killed our medical system off in the United States, and with it our Senior Citizens en mass. Keeping them alive is just too expensive. Why should I care? I won't be one for a few years yet.

Maybe we actually ought to read this evil, evil law. H.R. 1 EH, (pdf version)

But I being lazy and pressed for time (my flight leaves for Atlanta from Denver in a mere Four hours) have to get this out any way I can. So I will excerpt the very best article on this subject by Betsy McCaughey in Bloomberg.

There are three main problems:
1) The national treatment registry, which in addition to keeping records approves treatment.
One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, 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 (pgs. 442, 446).

2) Eliminating experimental treatments as uneconomical. (Where do they think new treatments come from? The Government?
The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). 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.
3) Limiting care for elders as uneconomical.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).

More from Atlanta.

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