Stimulus Bill Creates Agency to Restrict Medical Treatment

Posted: Feb 11, 2009 4:30 PM
As news comes in negotiations between the House and the Senate on the $800 billion-plus economic stimulus bill are being completed the details about its contents keep getting worse.

There's more than a billion tax dollars allocated in the bill to lay the groundwork for universal health care.

Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) asking language be stripped from the bill to eliminate the creation of a $1.1 billion government agency he says could deny lifesaving medical treatment to Americans under a nationalized health care system.

He has an op-ed up about this up on Townhall as well.

The provision at issue is one placed into the bill by  House Appropriations Chairman Rep. David Obey (D.-Ohio) to create a "Federal Coordinating Council." The council would be established to conduct “Comparative Effectiveness” research on the efficiency of health care treatments. 

"In other countries where they've done this research they've used it to deny care...It's preparing America, at least in this instance, the worst aspects of universal health care and that's government rationing," Shadegg told me in an interview on the subject. [See below]

Specifically, the council would evaluate various “items, procedures, and interventions” and then, according to the legislation those treatments “that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed.”  

23 other Republicans have signed Shadegg’s letter protesting the council and its purpose.

A group of Democrats don’t like it, either. 17 House Democrats wrote Speaker Pelosi to ask some kind of protection “against the use of research to deny access to care based soley on cost" be placed in the bill.