Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Much, much more in the bill than just "stimulus"

The Messiah's "stimulus" bill has passed the Senate, and will now go to conference committee.

Here are the three traitorous Republicans who voted to impose this Atlas-sized burden on the American people:

"As a result, Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania broke ranks to cast their votes to advance the bill."

No surprises there, especially Senator "Scottish law" Specter, who has a long history of wussing out when important votes are recorded.

As regular readers of this blog know, we have a special interest in health care issues as well, particularly in preventing the imposition of the type of nationalized system that's been proven in other countries to not work effectively at all.

Unfortunately, the "stimulus" bill creates a new government agency that will speed us down that road. What these provisions have to do with "stimulating" the economy we don't know, but here's the scary details:

"The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” ([pages] 445, 454, 479 [in the bill]). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system."

All of them. Sure, it will improve record-keeping efficiency, if that's all one is after. But what if you don't wish to have your private health issues recorded in a national database? You know, like people get to do in a supposedly "free" society? Sorry, you don't have a chance to opt out.

"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 (442, 446)."

Translation: A nice, intimidating phone call from some government bean counter to your physician asking "Are you sure John Smith needs that hip replacement? There's no other way for him to get around?" So much for autonomy of doctor decisions, which is exactly the point:

"According to Daschle [in his latest book, which details the master plan now unfolding before us], doctors have to give up autonomy and 'learn to operate less like solo practitioners.'"

"Doctor Jones, we government busybodies know how to practice medicine better than you. Here's the new treatment plans for your patients. Ignore them at your license's peril."

Of course, the elderly, who blindly voted for Obama and the Democrats after being subjected to massive scare tactics and lovingly promised all kinds of wonderful free drugs and medical treatments if they'd only pull the lever with the "D" on it, are going to be receiving the short end of the stick, despite assurances to the contrary:

"The Federal Council [The Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, yet another bureaucracy created by the "stimulus" bill] 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."

Here are some more examples from Canadian Nadeem Esmail in the Wall Street Journal of how older people get screwed over in countries like Canada, which already has the sort of scheme that ideologue dolts such as Daschle idolize and wish to impose upon us:

"In Ontario, Lindsay McCreith was suffering from headaches and seizures yet faced a four and a half month wait for an MRI scan in January of 2006. Deciding that the wait was untenable, Mr. McCreith did what a lot of Canadians do: He went south, and paid for an MRI scan across the border in Buffalo. The MRI revealed a malignant brain tumor.

Ontario's government system still refused to provide timely treatment, offering instead a months-long wait for surgery. In the end, Mr. McCreith returned to Buffalo and paid for surgery that may have saved his life. He's challenging Ontario's government-run monopoly health-insurance system, claiming it violates the right to life and security of the person guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Shona Holmes, another Ontario court challenger, endured a similarly harrowing struggle. In March of 2005, Ms. Holmes began losing her vision and experienced headaches, anxiety attacks, extreme fatigue and weight gain. Despite an MRI scan showing a brain tumor, Ms. Holmes was told she would have to wait months to see a specialist. In June, her vision deteriorating rapidly, Ms. Holmes went to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where she found that immediate surgery was required to prevent permanent vision loss and potentially death. Again, the government system in Ontario required more appointments and more tests along with more wait times. Ms. Holmes returned to the Mayo Clinic and paid for her surgery.

On the other side of the country in Alberta, Bill Murray waited in pain for more than a year to see a specialist for his arthritic hip. The specialist recommended a "Birmingham" hip resurfacing surgery (a state-of-the-art procedure that gives better results than basic hip replacement) as the best medical option. But government bureaucrats determined that Mr. Murray, who was 57, was "too old" to enjoy the benefits of this procedure and said no. In the end, he was also denied the opportunity to pay for the procedure himself in Alberta. He's heading to court claiming a violation of Charter rights as well."

Esmail confirms what we at the Muckraker have known to be fact for years:

"Health-care resources are not unlimited in any country, even rich ones like Canada and the U.S., and must be rationed either by price or time. When individuals bear no direct responsibility for paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting."

We can't say we weren't warned.

By the way, what are those hurting Canadians going to do when they can't come to America and pay cash for desperately needed procedures that their benevolent overlord medical system insists they can't have?


1 comment:

Ken Hood said...

Both parties seem to have no problem with sacrificing privacy for efficiency. We here in MN have a Republican governor who supports similar legislation that will require all medical records to be consolidated at the state level.

These are not "Conservative" versus "Liberal" issues. These are freedom issues. Regardless of how folks think about the Federal Government "bailing us out" of an economic crisis, we should all be alarmed that major assualts on basic civil liberties are hidden in this stimulus bill.