Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Old People Will Not Be Stimulated

It looks like the Obama administration has found the perfect cure for our medical crisis and our Social Security crisis. Kill off old people.

Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

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

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. 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). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis."According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”
They have taken another big step (and a rather large one at that) towards further nationalization of health care.

Think about the Department of Motor Vehicles dealing with your next medical emergency. And who are the targets of all this wonderful goodness where your relationship to your doctor is replaced with your relationship to your government? The expendables. The old people. And if you consider bang for the medical buck in time old will come to mean any one over 40.
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).

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.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.
OK. But are we being given a choice here? Suppose some people want to sacrifice in their younger years for their later years? What if longer life actually has value to some people?

The Democrats have come down hard with the socialist disease. We are no longer people. We are now "the masses". A herd. To be tended and sheared. Old cows no longer producing milk in sufficient quantities will be put out to a very small pasture with a lot of other cows.

H/T gblaze42 Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Anonymous said...

It's the Sandman solution.

Neil said...

This is, frankly, the most frightening thing to come out of Washington in my lifetime.

Here's the thing--the Dems had a chance to put any one health-care reform they wanted into the stimulus bill. Usually, government planning starts out with the government actually providing something to people that they didn't have before. It often ends with rationing, but it always starts with the good intentions. It has to be that way, otherwise they'd be out in the very next election.

But this time, they skipped the socialism and went straight to the rationing. It's like they don't care what the voters think anymore.

Hoots said...

Suppose some people want to sacrifice in their younger years for their later years? What if longer life actually has value to some people?

This is taxpayer money we're discussing, I presume.

What prevents those who want to do so from paying privately for costly measures over and above what Medicare pays?

Am I missing something?

Medicare pays for podiatry care including toenail clipping for diabetics because they represent an otherwise at-risk group for medical complications. Non-diabetics who just want a pedicure pay from their own pocket. It all comes down to how much you can afford.

I suppose cost-benefit analysis can be called "rationing" but that's a core value of capitalism.

Or maybe we should stick with a quasi-socialist model which privatizes profits but socializes losses.

Neil said...

I suppose cost-benefit analysis can be called "rationing" but that's a core value of capitalism.

No, the core value of capitalism is that individuals decide for themselves how to allocate their own resources. If I don't like how my insurance handles my health care, I can get another insurance company or pay for it myself to whatever extent I can cover the cost.

This provision, at least on its face, puts a federal commission in charge of deciding what procedures your doctor may, or may not, perform, even though you or your insurance might be willing to pay for it. Whether they use the authority or not, that's the power to ration health care.

I didn't read any exception for private payment in that law. Or for anything else. Just the power to decide what medical procedures and drugs are allowable. Period, full stop.

rumcrook said...

sorry grandpa quit struggling and get under the bus...