John Shadegg

Using “comparative effectiveness,” countries which already have government-run healthcare deny patients life-saving medical treatment. It’s been used, for instance, by the UK’s National Center for Health and Clinical Excellence to repeatedly denying breakthrough drugs to citizens suffering with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

Consider the case of UK resident George Robinson, a lung cancer patient who died while waiting for the life-extending drug Tarceva. The National Center for Health and Clinical Excellence has recently deemed the drug to not be cost-effective. And now, 2,000 lung cancer patients may soon face Robinson’s fate.

Government-run healthcare, which rations care to hold down cost, is a menace to free people everywhere. There are many thousands who would be alive today but for the monstrous myth that nationalized medicine works. And Comparative Effectiveness Research – shamelessly concealed in the stimulus bill – marches America toward that dreaded future when our most private medical decisions are made by far-off elites in Washington, D.C.

That day is now closer than ever. Recall that Tom Daschle – a leading force for government-run healthcare – nearly became Director of Health and Human Services. We dodged a bullet with Daschle, but the fight against government control of healthcare has only begun.

And in that fight, we must remember that freedom is as precious as it is vulnerable. It takes constant vigilance to preserve. But when taken for only a short time it may take generations to return. For the sake of our children, and theirs after, we must defend this basic freedom. We must not let history record that it was lost the day we were standing watch.

John Shadegg

John Shadegg has represented Arizona's Third Congressional District since 1994. He has established a reputation in Congress as a leading advocate for reduced government spending, federal tax relief, and the re-establishment of state and individual rights.

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