Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Death Panel by Any Other Name

On November 15th, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled: "The Rationing Commission -- Meet the Unelected Body That Will Dictate Future Medical Decisions."

(Click Here for Full Article)

The Journal points out some things that are extremely troubling:

“In other words, the Medicare commission would come to function much like the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which rations care in England. Or a similar Washington state board created in 2003 to control costs. Its handiwork isn't pretty

So far, the commission has banned knee arthroscopy for osteoarthritis, discography for chronic back pain, and implantable infusion pumps for pain not related to cancer. This year, it is targeting such frivolous luxuries as knee replacements, spinal cord stimulation, a specialized autism therapy and MRIs of the abdomen, pelvis or breasts for cancer…

Currently, the commission is pushing through the most restrictive payment policy in the nation for drug-eluting cardiac stents—simply because bare metal stents are cheaper, even as they result in worse outcomes. If a patient is wheeled into the operating room with chest pains in an emergency, doctors will first have to determine if he's covered by a state plan, then the diameter of his blood vessels and his diabetic condition to decide on the appropriate stent. If they don't, Washington will not reimburse them for "inappropriate care."”

There is a lot concerning the current Senate Healthcare reform bill, and I will discuss this over the next week or two. I just wanted to share what the Wall Street Journal is saying, because I'm sure you have not heard about this. If you watch the news on healthcare reform, all you would know is that Sen. Lieberman will filibuster the bill if it contains a public option.

2000+ pages, and the media boils it down to, "Sen. Lieberman and the public option !!”

Think about that!!


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