Hidden in stimulus bill: government plan to ration health care

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Winningreen Issue Alert       A021009

Hidden in stimulus bill: government plan to ration health care

By Gretchen Randall

February 10, 2009

Issue:  Hidden deep in the Obama stimulus package are health care provisions that will affect “every individual in the United States.” (pp. 445,454,479 of H.R. 1 EH, pdf version) Not only will our medical records be tracked electronically but, according to Bloomberg News, a new federal bureaucracy will monitor your doctor to assure that he or she is treating  patients cost effectively and would give bureaucrats the power to “guide” doctors in making decisions about care.   Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York and author of the piece in Bloomberg News, says many of the health care items added to the stimulus come directly from withdrawn nominee for health czar, Tom Daschle, including an idea to “slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs”(p.190-192)

Even more egregious is a section (p.464) that would require Medicare to consider whether treatment of an elderly person is cost effective or whether elderly patients should forego treatment.  McCaughey says this new federal health monster bureaucracy receives more funding in the stimulus than the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force combined. (pp.90-92,174-177.181.)

Comment 1:  We are facing the rationing of care to those who are young and healthy while shunting the elderly and less healthy to the side.

Comment 2:  According to the Heritage Foundation, government controls 46% of our health care spending today.  With the addition expenditure in the stimulus, we will be close to the British health system where people wait for weeks, often months, for some treatments.     http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2267.cfm

Background and links:  Access “Ruin your health with the Obama Stimulus Plan” at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs#
You can also access both the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill to read the pages noted above at:  http://readthestimulus.org/

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
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Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: grandall@winningreen.com