No, I'm sorry Mrs. BW, your husband cannot have that health treatment for him to live - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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No, I'm sorry Mrs. BW, your husband cannot have that health treatment for him to live

or How Tom Daschle got the last laugh.

Sorry if this is a repost but it really deserves it's own thread

Bloomberg.com: Opinion

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey


Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- 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.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

New Penalties

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.


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.

Elderly Hardest Hit

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.

Hidden Provisions

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.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

More Scrutiny Needed

On Friday, President Obama called it “inexcusable and irresponsible” for senators to delay passing the stimulus bill. In truth, this bill needs more scrutiny.

The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy.

(Betsy McCaughey is former lieutenant governor of New York and is an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The opinions expressed are her own.)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:21 AM
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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It would seem that by writing that in there, more of the public would want to stick with private health care or is that what Daschle wanted in the first place.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:42 AM
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Rush Limbaugh crap. It's a computer system that makes suggestions, there is no enforcement of any kind. Just simple right wing propaganda.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:46 AM
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Yes, your messiah will protect you.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove View Post
Rush Limbaugh crap. It's a computer system that makes suggestions, there is no enforcement of any kind. Just simple right wing propaganda.

How do you know FTL, it doesn't say that, it could be regulated by any means they want to do it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 11:00 AM
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Keep in mind that presently certain health care providers are abusing the system to the nth level. They own hospitals, and also testing labs. They encourage their doctors to run as many expensive tests as possible, because they make big money on these. In fact the system is in such sad shape that hardly anything innovative could make it any worse.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 11:31 AM
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Hi Black Adder,

This article is nothing but FUD spread by health insurance companies seeing clear danger to their survival.

Expect more of this crap mounting quickly trying to prevent anything from happening so system abuse and skyrocketing healthcare costs could continue.

Can we please hear from the 43 millions uninsured Americans ?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 03:24 PM
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This is what happens when any multi-billion dollar anything is thrown together in the span of a few weeks.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 04:12 PM
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'Medicare-for-all' cure for health woes | Viewpoints, Outlook | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Americans are increasingly afraid that they can't afford to get sick, and with good reason. About half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses, and 76 percent of these individuals had health insurance when they got sick or injured. Those of us with insurance are paying a greater share of the premium and more deductibles and co-pays as well. Thus, not only do we have 46 million Americans without health insurance, but at least an equal number who are seriously underinsured. With the recent economic downturn, the ranks of those who are uninsured and underinsured are growing. Many are faced with choosing between paying for medicine and needed health care and paying for food and housing. A typical story is: get sick or injured, lose your job, lose your health insurance, go bankrupt.

A majority of physicians (59 percent) and an even higher proportion of Americans (at least 62 percent) support single payer national health insurance or "Medicare-for-All". In spite of this, virtually all we are hearing about today are mandate plans that would require everyone to buy the same private for-profit insurance that is already failing us. The for-profit insurance companies and their plethora of plans make for a terribly complex, fragmented, costly and inefficient system. Administrative overhead consumes about 31 percent of health care dollars in the United States, and the for-profit insurance companies are responsible for half of this, or 15 percent of $2.4 trillion. This money, more than $350 billion per year, provides no health care: it is consumed by enormous administrative costs, profits for investors and shareholders, and large salaries for managers of these for-profit insurance companies.

All of the incremental reform programs proposed tax subsidies, health savings accounts, individual or employer mandates, increased regulation of for-profit insurance companies keep these proverbial foxes in the henhouse and are doomed to fail to control costs and provide universal access. Competition among the foxes does not benefit the chickens, the patients, the doctors or the hospitals. The for-profit insurance companies fundamentally reduce choice your preferred doctor or hospital is "out-of-network"? Too bad, we won't pay, says your insurance company.

The data are in. Incremental reforms, mostly mandate schemes which retain the for-profit insurance companies, have been tried in seven states over the past two decades: Massachusetts, Tennessee, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Vermont, Maine. In all of these states the reforms have failed to contain costs. In all but Massachusetts, they have failed to reduce the number of uninsured. In Massachusetts, there has been a modest decrease in the number of uninsured, falling from 13 percent of adults in 2006 to 7.1 percent of adults in 2007, but at the cost of a substantial increase in public spending (spending for "Commonwealth Care" was $629.8 million in fiscal year 2007, $1089.2 million in fiscal year 2008 and $1317.7 million in fiscal year 2009). Most of the gain in Massachusetts has come from expanding Medicaid and subsidizing the purchase of private insurance; very few people have signed up for the unsubsidized private insurance. Not to mention that 7.1 percent uninsured is unacceptably high. Far from controlling costs, these mandate plans will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the nation's health care costs.

The United States spends about twice as much per capita on health care as other industrialized countries. Yet it is a myth that the United States has the best health care in the world. The United States ranks near the bottom of industrialized countries in terms of important morbidity and mortality outcomes (for example, life expectancy and infant and maternal mortality).

About 18,000 American adults die unnecessarily every year due to lack of insurance (Institute of Medicine, 2002). As reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2003, repair of an aortic aneurysm cost $8,647 in Canada and $13,432 in the U.S.

What accounted for the substantial difference? Most of the difference was due to much greater overhead costs in the U.S. The surgeons and surgical facilities are top-notch in Canada. The surgeons are very well paid. The difference is that Canada has adopted a true insurance system for financing health care, one that spreads risk across a broad population: a publicly funded single-payer national health insurance plan that eliminates the parasitic, investor-owned "insurance" companies that make profits by enrolling the healthy, screening out the sick and denying claims.

Single-payer national health insurance for financing health care is NOT "socialized medicine."

Under a single-payer, "Medicare-for-All" system, delivery of health care remains private. The providers of health care remain private. Patients choose any doctor and any hospital.

Parenthetically, replacing the wasteful for-profit insurance companies with a single-payer national health insurance program for financing health care in the United States would save enough money (more than $350 billion) to not only achieve universal coverage, but allow the coverage to expand and be more comprehensive.

We have an American system that works. It's Medicare. It's not perfect, but Americans with Medicare are far happier than those with for-profit insurance. Doctors face fewer hassles in getting paid, and Medicare has been a leader in keeping costs down. And keep in mind that Medicare insures people with the greatest health care needs: people over 65 and the disabled. We should improve and expand Medicare to cover everyone. In contrast to the for-profit insurance companies, Medicare has a very low overhead about 3 percent.

Unfortunately, the for-profit insurance companies have been infiltrating Medicare in the form of "Medicare Advantage" plans, substantially raising costs when compared to traditional Medicare.

A single-payer "Medicare-for-All" system is embodied in a bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 676, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and cosponsored by 93 other members of Congress.

Its features are: automatic enrollment for everyone; comprehensive services covering all medically necessary care and drugs; free choice of doctor and hospital, who remain independent and negotiate their fees and budgets with a public or nonprofit agency; processing and payment of bills by a public or nonprofit agency; promotion of job growth and the entire U.S. economy by removing the excessive burden of health care costs from businesses; coverage for everyone without spending any more than we are now.

The growth in health care costs must be addressed if any proposal is to succeed. Single-payer offers real tools to contain costs: budgeting, especially for hospitals, planning of capital investments (to avoid wasteful duplication and concentration of expensive technology), and an emphasis on primary care and coordination of care. Mandate plans offer only false hopes: competition among for-profit insurance companies, computerization and chronic disease management. Competition among the shrinking number of for-profit insurance companies has already failed to contain costs and, in the absence of single-payer and reformed primary care (so that everyone has a primary care home), computerization and chronic disease management will raise costs, not lower them.

Business leaders are well on their way to understanding how the current system makes their businesses uncompetitive with businesses in industrialized countries that have cost-effective health care systems not based on profit.

Finally, the most important group is patients. We are all sometimes patients. All patients must rise up and remove the foxes from the henhouse.

Foxes are not evil, but their nature is such that they must not be allowed in the henhouse
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