Thursday, December 3, 2009

Be scared: Obamacare endangers our life spans

Much of the press coverage of the Democrats' health-care legislation, now fiercely embattled in Congress, focuses on the public option, the actual long-term costs and tax increases, and the amendment barring funding for abortions, but the cold heart of Obamacare is its overpowering of the doctor-patient relationship – eventually resulting in the premature ending of many Americans' lives for being too costly.

To call the dangers of this legislation "death panels" obscures the real-life consequences to Americans, not only the elderly, of a federal government-run health-care bureaucracy. In the Senate bill, for instance, Medicare doctors whose treatments of certain, mostly elderly, patients costs more than a set government figure each year, will be punished by losing part of their own incomes.

Not only Medicare doctors will be monitored for their cost-effectiveness. In the House bill, as Cato Institute's health-care specialist Michael Tanner explains (New York Post, Nov. 8), "111 government agencies, boards, commissions and other bureaucracies – all overseen by a new health-care czar," the commissioner of health-care choices, will keep watch on what the president has called excessive, wasteful health-care expenditures.

Moreover, President Obama has made clear that eventually he desires a U.S. equivalent of the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, a commission that decides which drugs and procedures for patients are within the national budget for health care. The current baseline expenditure for each Briton, according to Michael Tanner, is $44,305 per year.

Read the rest here.