We should have known that a bill that gets pushed through late on Friday nights and referred to with the word "emergency" is probably the kind that would need even more scrutiny than most. Fortunately, Betsy McCaughey with Bloomberg has brought to light some provisions that may be harmful to your health, noting that these are the handiwork of Tom Daschle, who, prior to being exposed for owing $140,000 in back taxes, was Obama's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary. Amidst the spending in the stimulus bill are provisions for health rules that will affect everyone in the United States. In it, McCaughey writes, the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology is given the power to "monitor [your] treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective."
McCaughey found that the provisions in the bill are nearly identical to those in Daschle's book, Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis. Daschle's book promotes setting up an appointed government agency to overrule the decisions you and your doctor make 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...'"
Wait a minute ... "slow the development and use of new medications?" Isn't that what the FDA already does with it's testing processes that take 8-10+ years and billions of dollars for new drugs to enter the market? And, while we're talking about a "stimulus" bill, isn't this exactly the opposite of what a stimulus is supposed to do?
And what are these "hopeless diagnoses" that Daschle speaks of? What about breast cancer that has spread and requires expensive treatments? What about AIDS for which there is no cure -- are "experimental treatments" that could save people's lives, or at minimum make their last days more bearable, now a thing of the past? What about cerebral palsy? Lou Gehrig's disease? Alzheimer's? What about rare diseases that doctors know little about?
Do we really want a bureaucrat sitting behind a desk examining our medical history and deciding how our physician is allowed to treat us? Is there any stranger to whom we would give control over our bodies and health? We would be reluctant to give that sort of carte blanche to anyone outside of our immediate families -- if that! Ironically, I doubt if the decisions by this appointed government agency will be made with as much expediency as the stimulus plan that establishes it. How long do you think your medical record is going to sit on someone's desk while you wait for a decision on whether you can get medical care or not?
During his term as Senator of Illinois, President Obama stated that he rejected the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 that would require a second physician to be present during abortion procedures to administer care if an infant were born alive, because, it was "designed simply to burden the original decision ..." If "burdening the decision" is a terrible thing, Mr. Obama, how can you reconcile this position with the creation of an entire government organization, costing more in your stimulus plan than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force combined, that is designed for the sole purpose of burdening the decisions between doctor and patient?