The recent “stimulus” bill that passed Congress may fundamentally change the way health care is delivered to all Americans. It will hand over decisions about your care to a group of bureaucrats you won’t have the chance to elect. The “stimulus” establishes a new government body to assess Americans’ health care and to make sure drugs and treatments “that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed.”
As reported in the Washington Times: The predecessor of this new bureaucracy operates in the United Kingdom. The British National Health Service (NHS), revered by fans of government health care, has a body that compares and assesses drugs and treatments. It’s called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Effectiveness (not-too-aptly nicknamed NICE).
It became infamous for denying cancer patients new drugs that had proven to be effective. They were deemed medically effective – but not cost-effective.
Health care spending is indeed a problem. But having the government decide which treatments are acceptable is beyond frightening – and it doesn’t make sense.
Peter Pitts, head of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner, explained why “one-size-fits-all” medicine doesn’t work: Most comparative effectiveness studies “don’t capture the genetic variations that explain differences in response to medicines by different patients.”
Having a board that excludes any treatment on the basis of comparative effectiveness is a danger to the health of those who fall outside the norms – and with the government setting those norms, any of us could end up as outliers.
The “stimulus” bill passed by the House creates this board. It allocates more than $1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. And it gives the new health and human services secretary (whoever that turns out to be) an additional $400 million at his or her discretion. The supposed purpose of the bill – to “stimulate” the U.S. economy – is long gone.
Here’s the full story.
Con to these ideas: Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan
Pro to these ideas: Health-care Cure for the Economy
After you read both sides, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.