Obama Gives What the Doctor Did Not Order

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Sat Feb 21 00:54:47 MST 2009

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Obama Gives What the Doctor Did Not Order

February 20, 2009

by Phyllis Schlafly

Barack Obama forced a bitter pill down the throats of Americans which the 
doctor did not order and patients do not want. Obama snuck into the 
stimulus bill a new system for rationing medical care, and he got Congress 
to ram it through the House and Senate without reading it.

Maybe Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi thought no one would notice what 
they slipped into 
since rationing medical care has nothing to do with stimulating the 
economy. But the former New York lieutenant governor, Betsy McCaughey, 
sounded the alarm in her Bloomberg.com 
aptly entitled "Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan."

She described how stealth provisions provide massive new funding of 
billions of dollars to an Office of the National Coordinator for 
Information Technology to monitor treatments and decide which are 
cost-effective and which will be permitted or denied. Currently, patients 
make that decision without government interference as long as the care is 
safe and effective.

Congress thus legislated a fundamental shift away from the "safe and 
effective" standard and replaced it with what a bureaucrat thinks is 
cost-effective or has 
effectiveness." Americans are waking up from their political anesthesia to 
realize that Obama's "change" really means government control over access 
to medical treatments for our illnesses.

Liberals love to control and ration as much as they love to tax and spend. 
Al Gore has spent nearly a decade spewing the nonsense of "global warming," 
which is a device for government to control and ration energy.

Team Obama may have overplayed its hand in bringing control-and-ration to 
medical care. The news has spread like wildfire on the internet and talk 
radio, and nonpolitical patients in doctors' waiting rooms can be heard 
talking about it.

The United States is different from Canada and England in an essential 
respect: here a patient can get a diagnosis and life-saving treatment 
within days, if not hours. Ted Kennedy (age 76) received immediate surgery 
for his otherwise inoperable brain cancer, a use of scarce medical 
resources that rationing would not allow for an ordinary patient.

American patients who have cancer or other life-threatening problems need 
and get prompt care, and we don't want that to "change." In Canada, England 
and elsewhere, patients are deemed by the government to be unworthy of 
treatment due to age or severity of illness, and they die while sitting on 
waiting lists for rationed care.

There is more funding for this new Big Brother bureaucracy in the stimulus 
bill than for all the armed forces combined. Wasteful pork includes 
billions to pay for the U.S. Census (which Team Obama is already planning 
to manipulate), and silly carbon-capture demonstrations (to appease the 
global warming lobby).

Meanwhile, the stimulus bill lays the foundation for new federal 
surveillance over 
medical records, with an online medical record for each and every American. 
The bill establishes a massive new "federal coordinating council for 
clinical effectiveness research" to devise ways to ration care based on the 
bureaucrats' review of patient data.

There can be no patient privacy in a national database of 
records because government, insurers, employers, ex-spouses and hackers 
will find ways to access it. Doctors will spend more time surfing the 
internet and typing in data than listening to patients, and of course there 
will be inevitable computer mistakes.

The declining American Medical Association (AMA), which is increasingly a 
shill for leftwing advocacy, tried to downplay the outrage of giving a 
government bureaucracy access to everyone's medical records and punishing 
doctors who don't treat as the government wants. But there is no denying 
the harm of this new system that facilitates government oversight of an 
electronic database and gives bureaucrats (who never went to medical 
school) the power to punish doctors who provide "too much" care.

Doctors who resist the government's guidelines will be controlled by 
slashing their fees. Doctors will lose their autonomy, just as 
Daschle sought, and some patients will be left with nowhere to turn for 
their illnesses.

Our medical system has long been the envy of the world. That's why 
foreigners come to the United States for our superb medical care, 
more than a billion dollars a year here.

A true stimulus bill would seek to multiply that revenue by encouraging 
more private enterprise in medicine rather than installing a new 
bureaucracy to build and oversee electronic medical records, control 
doctors' decisions, and ration care.

In 1993, Hillary and Bill Clinton tried with all their might to impose a 
government takeover of all health care, and the 1994 midterm elections 
repudiated their efforts. The midterm elections of 2010 could be just what 
the doctor ordered.

Further reading:
Doctor Will See All of You Now"

Read this column 

GOP Leader John Boehner throws down the 1,071-page bill in disgust because 
not one Member of Congress has read it.
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