By Emily Geiger
I’d have to say that the top two words in the news last week were “death panels.” Everywhere I looked it was hear a death panel, there a death panel, everywhere a death panel.
I have to admit, even I was starting to think that Sarah Palin was off her rocker on that one. That darn liberal media was so convincing.
And then I started doing a little digging.
I found this article that talked about several of the provisions that have already been passed into law in the name of “economic stimulus,” including $20 billion for Health Information Technology, or HIT. According to the Spectator:
This is designed to get every doctor and every patient wired up to a national database of health information. Every disease, diagnosis, prescription, and treatment will be submitted to this national database and made accessible to researchers, payers, and law enforcement. This is not speculation; it’s the law.
Congress has also already passed legislation throwing money at “comparative effectiveness research.” Once again, according to the Spectator:
This is based on Britain’s “NICE” (National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness) program. NICE determines the dollar value of a “quality adjusted life year” (QALY) and allows payment for drugs and treatments that are lower than that number and disallows those that cost more. NICE has already disallowed cancer drugs and treatments such as hip replacements for elderly people and stopped allowing injections of steroids for people with severe back pain.
But of course, when Congress passes a bill that allocates money for medical research, it all looks rather benign, doesn’t it? Actually almost benevolent. Until people start to find out that they really will lose control over their healthcare decisions.
But this would never happen in the United States, right? Not with this proposed plan, right?
Well, the state of Oregon happens to have a very similar plan… a “public option.” Let’s ask Barbara Wagner, an enrollee in the Oregon Health Plan, how well it’s worked for her.
Barbara is 64-years-old. She had had lung cancer in the past that went into remission. Sadly, while on the Oregon plan, Barbara’s cancer returned. Her doctor told her that it would likely be fatal this time, but he told her that there was a drug he wanted to prescribe for her that could add several months to her life.
Barbara wanted this drug. She wanted more time with her family. Her time was limited, and any additional time she could gain would be priceless.
Well, actually, it’s not priceless. The price for this medication was $4,000 per month.
Barbara and her doctor submitted a request to the Oregon plan to get Barbara this medication.
Barbara then got a letter from the Oregon plan saying they wouldn’t be paying for this needed medication, but, they did give Barbara another option.
They made sure to let Barbara know that the Oregon plan does cover the medical costs of an assisted suicide.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of what you can expect from a “public option” health system.
At least other people in Oregon still have somewhat of a choice in what health plan they have. Imagine what things will be like when we have a federal public option plan that puts most other plans out of business.
Things will be so much better then… or not.
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