Barack Obama forced a bitter pill down the throats of Americans that the doctor did not order and patients do not want. Obama snuck into the stimulus bill a new system for rationing medical care, and he got Congress to ram it through the House and Senate without reading it.
Maybe Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi thought no one would notice what they slipped into H.R.1 since rationing medical care has nothing to do with stimulating the economy. But former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey sounded the alarm in her Bloomberg.com article aptly entitled "Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan."
She described how stealth provisions provide massive new funding of billions of dollars to an Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology to monitor treatments and decide which are cost-effective and which will be permitted or denied. Currently, patients make that decision without government interference as long as the care is safe and effective.
Congress thus legislated a fundamental shift away from the "safe and effective" standard and replaced it with what a bureaucrat thinks is cost-effective or has "clinical effectiveness." Americans are waking up from their political anesthesia to realize that Obama's "change" really means government control over access to medical treatments for our illnesses.
Liberals love to control and ration as much as they love to tax and spend. Al Gore has spent nearly a decade spewing the nonsense of "global warming," which is a device for government to control and ration energy.
Team Obama may have overplayed its hand in bringing control-and-ration to medical care. The news has spread like wildfire on the Internet and talk radio, and nonpolitical patients in doctors' waiting rooms can be heard talking about it.
The United States is different from Canada and England in an essential respect: Here a patient can get a diagnosis and life-saving treatment within days, if not hours. Ted Kennedy (age 76) received immediate surgery for his otherwise inoperable brain cancer, a use of scarce medical resources that rationing would not allow for an ordinary patient.
American patients who have cancer or other life-threatening problems need and get prompt care, and we don't want that to "change." In Canada, England and elsewhere, patients are deemed by the government to be unworthy of treatment due to age or severity of illness, and they die while sitting on waiting lists for rationed care.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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