First, health care is one of those lightening rod topics that should demand lengthy and in-depth deliberation and research before sweeping legislation would turn it on its head. But according to Bloomberg.com, this legislation hidden within the stimulas bill to avoid just the type of debate.
Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”According to Bloomberg.com,
The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.
One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446).Unfortunately, for doctors and hospitals who choose to exercise their professional opinion without the blessing of the government strict penalties will be imposed (511, 518, 540-541).
What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.And if you think that all sounds bad, then just be glad you aren't elderly. Yet. According to Daschle,
Is this the type of health care system you want in the United States? Do you want a system that doesn't value all members of our society? When you are diagnosed with cancer, do you want some government worker making arbitrary decisions about your care? Do you want the government overriding your doctor's decisions?
Health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.
Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).
This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.
If that type of health care is okay with you, then sit tight. But if that type of health care scares the socks off you, then you need to take action now. Read this to learn what you can do.