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10th February
2009
written by Sean Noble

The health care provisions in the “de-stimulus” bill continue to gain attention.  Rush Limbaugh talked about it today on his radio show, including a parody on Tom Daschle, and now Congressman John Shadegg has just released an update.  Read it, and be afraid.  Seriously.

Healthcare Danger Hidden in Stimulus

Americans are up in arms, decrying wasteful spending in the so-called stimulus bill. They should be. But one of the bill’s worst provisions has gone almost unnoticed, dangerously lurking below the radar of those exposing the bill’s flaws.

“Comparative Effectiveness Research,” sounds innocuous, but big-government programs always do. The $1.1 billion of the stimulus package earmarked for this project is a significant step toward government-run healthcare. Comparative effectiveness research is a tool for bureaucrats to decide which medical treatments Americans should or should not have access to.

In countries with government-run healthcare systems, comparative effectiveness is often used as an excuse to deny patients life-saving medical care on the grounds of cost-effectiveness. The healthcare board of the United Kingdom has repeatedly denied breakthrough drugs to citizens suffering with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even multiple sclerosis on the grounds of comparative effectiveness. The British government has stripped citizens of the freedom to choose their own healthcare. Congressman David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has already admitted as much. Just read his own words from the committee report on the stimulus, talking about this provision: “Those items, procedures, and interventions… that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed.”  We must not allow it.

Comparative effectiveness “research” presents a danger to freedom of healthcare choice in America. And if the potential consequences of the study alone don’t scare you, recall President Obama’s failed nominee to oversee the Department of Health and Social Services. In his own book, Critical, Daschle talks about his desire to create a federal planning board to make Americans’ healthcare decisions. While Americans may have dodged a bullet with Daschle, the fight against government-run healthcare is only beginning.

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1 Comment

  1. 11/02/2009

    Sean,
    I loved the part about governments “repeatedly denied breakthrough drugs to citizens suffering with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even multiple sclerosis on the grounds of comparative effectiveness.” Sounds like insurance companies!

    Its hard to take Shaedegg seriously on this when he has taken almost 3/4 million in donations from the health industry over his career (the next closest is the real estate industry at half that). However, Shadegg did vote against his party regarding the 2003 medicare bill — so I will give him tremendous credit for that. But the fact still remains that America pays almost double that of other nations (with national health care) as a percentage of GDP, and still leaves 50 million Americans without health care. The status quo is broke, and thanks to the Republican leadership and the 2003 bill, we already have a form of national health care — where our government uses taxpayer dollars to contract insurance companies to manage medicare/medicaid plans. So taxpayer dollars are being funneled into shareholder pockets. Did I also mention that the 2003 legislation forced the single largest buyer of drugs to pay the highest price? Hooray for Capitalism and the GOP’s plan for healthcare!

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