Saturday, September 26, 2009

Letter to the Editor - Waiting to see the Senate health bill

...On June 22, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Democrats defeated a Republican amendment to the health care bill that would have prevented the use of “comparative effectiveness” research methodologies in the denial of benefits to patients, against their will, based on their age, expected length of life, or of the patient’s present or predicted disability or quality of life.

Democrats claimed the amendment was unneeded. The existing language says that comparative effectiveness research “shall not be construed as mandates for payment, coverage, or treatment.” However, nothing in the current bill prevents it being used to deny treatment.

“Comparative effectiveness” refers to the practice of limiting choices in medicines or procedures to a few that government bureaucrats decide are cost-effective. This is the norm in Britain and Canada. Canada sends people to the United States for certain cancer treatments but decides which hospital, often to the detriment of the patient. If you are over 60 in Britain, your health care is limited.

Such rationing discriminates against people with disabilities, older people, and anyone considered having a poor ‘quality of life.’

If our President had read H.R. 3200, he would never have told us that if we like our health insurance, we can keep it.

On page 16, Section 102(a)(1) “Limitation on New Enrollment” forbids new enrollment in private plans. In other words, if you lose your job, change your job, graduate from school and look for a job, you must go into the government plan. If the government insurance is so wonderful, it would not be necessary force people onto it.

On pg. 167, Title IV, Subtitle A, Part 1, any individual “without acceptable health care coverage, defined in subsection d (pg. 171-173) will have to pay a special tax. Pg. 194, Subtitle C allows the “Health Choices Commissioner” to get anyone’s tax returns in order to figure the tax.

The House and Senate bills are full of such mandates that make the word “choice” an empty one unless we are talking about abortion. Oh, yes, the government can define health care services to include abortion. It is revealing that amendments to exclude abortion in these bills have been beaten back by Democrats.


If you would like to check the accuracy of my facts, I have the pdf version of HR 3200 that I can send you. (Note: Click here for pdf version of the entire bill.)

I also have facts that refute the contention that no federal funds will be used for abortions and that no illegal aliens will be eligible for the programs. (Illegals get health care now via hospital emergency rooms or by paying up front.). I've given up writing letters to the editor. It takes a lot of time to condense the facts to 170-200 words and they don't print them anyway. What the papers do like to print are name-calling letters. Anything giving "chapter-and-verse" facts are unwelcome as they go against their editorial stands.

An interesting question is what Canadians will do for their health care beyond the basics? Right now, the Canadian govt. sends cancer patients needing chemotherapy to either Buffalo or, I believe, Cleveland. They assign patients to one or the other, regardless of which regimen works better for that type of cancer. Detroit is the center for heart surgery of Canadian patients.

Where do I get these facts? Over 35 years as a reference librarian with a paralegal degree helps finding out these things...
- Carol White of Hawaii Right to Life and used with permission.