American Elephants

If We Adopt ObamaCare, Where Will the Canadians Get Their Health Care? Part I. by The Elephant's Child

Nepotism is alive and well in the Obama Administration.  One of President Barack Obama’s key advisers on medical policy is the brother of his exceedingly partisan chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.  Dr. Emanuel has written a paper on “The Perfect Storm of Overutilization” which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Emanuel thinks we use way too much medical resources.  He doesn’t even like fancy waiting rooms, he believes that physicians are too highly paid and he doesn’t like the Hippocratic Oath.  He doesn’t like American hospital rooms which offer more comfort, privacy and extra services than hospital rooms in other countries.  Back to big wards, I guess.

Dr. Emanuel calls for medical students to be trained “to move toward more socially sustainable, cost-effective care.” In order to reduce spending, doctors will have to be pressured to deny treatment.  The Canadians do not allow most cardiac treatment for patients 65 and older.  The Hippocratic Oath’s promise “to use my power to help the patient to the best of my ability and judgment” prompts doctors to use too many medical resources.

The legislation for influencing your doctor’s decisions was included in the stimulus package — The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  It sets a goal that every individual’s treatment will be recorded by computer, and your doctor will receive electronically delivered protocols on “appropriate” and “cost-effective” care.  No individual judgment here, just follow the program.  In Britain, they deny treatment for elderly people’s macular degeneration until they have gone blind in one eye.

Dr. David Blumenthal, a Harvard Medical School professor, has been named national coordinator of health information technology.  His writings, according to Betsy McCaughey, also favor limiting the amount of health care that patients can get.  He agrees that there may be longer waits and reduced availability of newer and more expensive treatments or devices.  “If electronic health records are to save money,” he wrote, doctors will have to take “advantage of embedded clinical decision support.” [euphemism alert!] Computers telling doctors what to do.

Age discrimination will be big under Obama Care.  We were all young once, so denying care to the elderly in order to give more to the young and fit is the goal.  This is a fundamental part of Britain’s National Health Service, and Canada’s Health Service.  Watch out if you have a lot of health problems too.

The President spoke last Monday on health care.  He was flanked by heads of several of the major health care lobbying groups.  He announced, grandly, a “watershed event:”

These groups are coming together to make an unprecedented commitment.  Over the next 10 years —from 2010 to 2019 — they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion.

Uh huh.  The president of the American Hospital Association said that a deal with the White House had been “spun way away from the original intent.”  They promised to try to reduce spending gradually over 10 years, eventually trying to reach 1.5 percent. The agreement had been misrepresented.  There’s “frankly a lot of political spin” he said.

The most ethical Congress ever plans to ram Obama’s Health Care program through without any possibility of filibuster or dissension.  No consideration of unintended consequences.  No reading the bill.  No checking on the rules and regulations.  Economist Larry Kudlow says that it will be at least $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion more at least, and will bankrupt the nation.  Not that the country is not bankrupt already.  Every nationalized health care plan has cost far, far more than estimated.

What do you want to bet that the most ethical Congress ever has no intention of giving up their own very special health care plan to join the rest of the nation in socialized medicine?  This is billed as only a way to get those 45 million uninsured covered with health care policies.  Except that the 45 million number is a lie, and if the whole deal is to cover the uninsured, why the elaborate plan to force doctors and hospitals under threat of losing their licenses to follow the government’s computerized protocols?  Logan’s Run or it’s remake The Island have come to life.

Rasmussen reports that 70 percent of insured Americans rate their health insurance coverage as good or excellent.  Only 32 percent would pay higher taxes to provide health insurance for all.   54 percent say they’re not willing to pay more in taxes.

When Canadians or British citizens need medical care that they cannot get in their own system, they come here for the things that their own country denies them.  So where do we go when we are denied?

Stay tuned for Part II.

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