Tag Archive | "healthcare reform"

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On the Hidden Dangers of Comparative Effectiveness

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-06-18 21:15:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

As part of the stimulus spending package approved by the government earlier this year, funding in the amount of $1.1 billion was included to sponsor research into comparing the relative effectiveness of one form of medical treatment to another. Such research, as the program’s sponsors and supporters argued, would over time reduce the net cost of medical services by determining which medical procedures offer the lowest cost treatment to address common ailments. Armed with such information, it was further argued, doctors and medical professionals would apply this additional economic data in their decision to prescribe specific medicines and treatments.

On the surface this would seem to make good common sense in that it would provide some stabilizing relief to the increasing costs to the government of operating the country’s medicaid, medicare and veteran benefit systems. However, some of the less known aspects of the research bring out a number of troubling issues. Among these is the inclusion of studies which add the dimension of patient characteristics (such as age, gender, lifestyle) into the formula of overall effectiveness. As a result, effectiveness is defined in terms of a cost-benefit ratio as applied to a specific type of individual. For example, a comparative value is placed on the benefit of curing an illness in an 80 year-old versus 20 year-old man.  When faced with limited resources the results of the research would then be intended to provide guidance as to how those limited resources should be applied and when to apply available cures relative to the cost and benefit that such cures would provide. In the case cited, the 80 year-old man has little chance of receiving priority consideration.

While such policy is widely accepted in many European countries, I dare say to any American pondering such gross delegation of power over life and death decisions this has to be deeply concerning. There are numerous specific opportunities to bring new efficiency and reduce the resulting costs associated with providing healthcare. National electronic medical records, individual (not employer) management of healthcare insurance subscription, tax incentives to support wellness and health awareness are all excellent examples.

The recipe is to make individuals more responsible for the management of their health and medical matters. Delegating this to a disinterested third part, especially a government bureaucracy is tantamount to relinquishing one’s freedom.

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Quotation of the Day:

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
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Trust in Government and Health Care Reform

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-07-16 22:52:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

healthcare-reformTrust between the government and the people that elect it is the pivotal aspect of a democracy. When that trust is damaged, discontent rises. When its lost, a society faces serious risks of disintegration and chaos. Where are we in present times? To me it certainly feels like somewhere in between the two. Let me explain why.

One of the mantras which President Obama is offering in support of his (or actually it’s the Congress’) health care reform plan, is that all who are happy with their current plan will be able to keep it – seemingly a strong provision for those who would be concerned about a government mandated option. In his speech to the AMA in Chicago on June 15 he said:

“So let me begin by saying this: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage – they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.”

Read this quote a few times. What possibly could be hiding behind this simply worded, plain and direct commitment? 

Surprisingly there is. While the draft of the plan has recently been made public, its most controversial aspects have been omitted from distribution. The publicly released draft, comprising 615 pages of legal terms, conditions and constructs conveniently skips over most all of the contested issues, and particularly that of choice of health care providers. See CNS News article. The full draft comprising over 1,018 pages is yet to be made public, but several sources, including Rush Limbaugh and Rossputin.com have obtained copies (available here) where on page 16 the full draft Section 102 reads:

SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.
(a) GRANDFATHERED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE DEFINED.—Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term ‘‘grandfathered health insurance coverage’’ means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:
(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT.
(A) IN GENERAL. Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

Translated into plain language, while the proposed plan indeed allows you to retain your current plan and coverage (“Grandfathered option”),  but starting from the day the law is enacted (i.e. “first day of Y1”) your insurrer by law would be forbidden from accepting new members. Huh? Could this really be the case? The result of such a provision is so blatently clear – the eventual elimination of the private health care option, since clearly, over time, with no new subscribers, membership in private health plans would necessarily die off. I wouldn’t use the word “devious,” but then I struggle to come up with a word more appropriate. So the President gets to keep his promise – at least in the short term – and the country’s health care system ends up being socialized a-la the Eastern block model of the 1950’s. You certainly have to give him credit for being clever.

Now of course this little known fact has not yet caught on with the public. And we don’t yet know how much more editing the existing 1018 pages will undergo, but the overt and not so transparent use of sly tactics, inclusion of major provisions injected at the last minute, attempts to subvert the spirit of what is communicated to the public – none of this can be reinforcing of our faith and trust in the government. 

Please share this article with anyone who you know cares about the truth and purity of the government “We the People” elect to serve us.

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The December 2009 CCC Blog Carnival

Posted on 06 December 2009 by Editor

Welcome to the December 2009 edition of the Carnival of Conservative Conversations.

As always, for our monthly Blog Carnival we select articles from a wide range of topics and expressing a broad range of opinions. This month is no exception. Below you will find opinions, short editorials, commentaries and full articles on a variety of current topics.

In addition to posting to our monthly Blog Carnival, we encourage you to submit your articles directly to our editor for possible posting on our site well in advance of the next carnival. Please submit your articles, together with any specific attribution requirements and photograph by emailing our editor at editor@nakedliberty.com

smrtas1 presents the following articles, posted at Conservative Patriot HQ

Pelosi Pushes for Tort Reform?

3 Billion Reasons to Distrust House Health Care Reform Bill

Alternative Healthcare Reform Bill Would Save $1.7 Trillion

Glenn Beck Reveals the Plan

Scientists Supressing Facts Against Global Warming

Scott Spiegel presents the following articles,  posted at Scott Spiegel.

Obama Decision not to Campaign in Upstate New York Hands Unexpected Win to Democrat

Obama Approves Troop Increase in Southern District of New York

Cheating the Political Death Panel

A Miscellany of Climategate Scenarios That Will Not Appear

U.S. Common Sense presents the following articles, posted at U.S. Common Sense,

The government and your home – Examining the benefits of the Home Affordable Modification Program and the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit and debating which one is more beneficial to the taxpayer.

Nigel Coleman: idiot – Nigel Coleman is planning to burn the effigies of Pelosi and Perriello next weekend. This article explains why I think he’s an idiot.

Republican “Purity” Test? – Questioning the logic behind the RNC’s “purity” test, as well as providing my two cents on their ten-item list.

The Refounding Father presents the following articles,  posted at The Refounding Father.

Better Than Expected Economic Growth in 2010?

The Refounding Father: 9/11 Terriorists To Explain Why The Hijackers Flew Planes into the WTC & Pentagon

Tony Alexander presents:

From the Desk of “SoJ” November Edition: “Freedom” posted at The Soul of Japan, saying, “could you submit this for November 1st?”

John Prothro presents:

LastingLiberty.com – Timeless Voices – Bigger Than Healthcare posted at Obama Takes Over the Hundred Acre Wood, saying, “Economist Joseph Schumpeter shows that recent actions by the federal government are bigger than straightforward policy votes. Excessive borrowing and inflationary spending are not simply about stimulating our economy. Health care “reform” is not simply about expanding access. Both are government power grabs that represent further socialization of our country.”

muse presents:

Making Sense Out Of Obama’s New Health Plan Law posted at Shiloh Musings, saying, “Obama wants to milk expats.”

Mark J. Donovan presents:

The Silent Majority Will Save the United States posted at Home Addition, saying, “This article suggests that the silent majority will prevail in preventing the democratic socialist government from enslaving our children in debt and euthanizing our senior citizens.”

David Gross presents:

The Picket Line — 12 November 2009 posted at The Picket Line, saying, “The history and lore of strategic and conscientious tax resistance begins to surface amongst American conservatives.”

DWSUWF presents:

The University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit’s New & Improved Scientific Method posted at Divided We Stand United We Fall, saying, “One document escaped the purloined University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit data leak. I have reverse engineered the CRU Scientific Methodology from the procedures documented in the e-mails and code. The New & Improved Scientific Methodology used to prove Anthropogenic Global Warming can now be revealed.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of conservative conversations using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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The October 2009 CCC Blog Carnival

Posted on 04 October 2009 by Editor

Welcome to the October 4, 2009 edition of the Carnival of Conservative Conversations.

As always, for our monthly Blog Carnival we select articles from a wide range of topics and expressing a broad range of opinions. This month is no exception. Below you will find opinions, short editorials, commentaries and full articles on such topics as the ongoing health care debate and how Singapore has dealt with their needs in this regard, the continued assertions by liberals that opposition to Obama’s policies is racially linked, illegal immigration, and other current topics.

In addition to posting to our monthly Blog Carnival, we encourage you to submit your articles directly to our editor for possible posting on our site well in advance of the next carnival. Please submit your articles, together with any specific attribution requirements and photograph by emailing our editor at editor@nakedliberty.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chuck presents the following articles, posted at  posted at Straight Shooters.

Congress weighs landmark change in Web ad privacy

Another U.S. City Aiding Illegals

Tea Parties and Town Halls

Scott Spiegel presents the following articles,  posted at Scott Spiegel.

Pick a Reform, Any Reform

It Doesn’t Matter What This Column Says—You’ll Call It Racism Anyway

32 GOP Bills on the Wall

Everett presents the following articles,  posted at Honest Inquiry.

Is “end of life care” pro end of life?

Liberals are Elitists

Majority Whip Clyburn dismisses Constitution

smrtas1 presents the following articles, posted at Conservative Patriot HQ.

Another Lie Joe Wilson Missed in Obama’s Health Care Speech

Insurance Companies and The Profit Myth

Leah L Burton presents the following articles, posted at God’s Own Party.

Obama’s Speech? TOO Inspirational! Danger? Real Education versus ‘Edumucation’!

Ignorance Embarrasses America Once Again!

Wenchypoo presents:

Freedom is Not a Political System (L-O-N-G) posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.

Dana presents:

On Obama’s “indoctrination” speech posted at Principled Discovery.

Olive Farmer presents:

Your Species Needs You……. posted at Olive Farmer, saying, “A rather large reality check?”

haavamaal presents:

ACORN BUSTED!! Good thing Obama was never associated with them. Oops! posted at The Texas Patriot.

Joe Garecht presents:

The Secrets of Being a Political Entrepreneur posted at Local Victory – Your Guide to Winning Elections, saying, “This is a motivational article we recently published calling on everyone who wants to get something done in politics to be a “political entrepreneur” — that is, to get up and get it done.”

Aiych presents:

What Will I Do For America? posted at Letters of Republic, saying, “Hold on to your panty hose booooyyyyyyysssss….. it’s a girl and I’m going to figure out how to share the wisdom of Natural Law (but must first understand it) and we have to turn this around……right…..no worries about the external…..lets just move ourselves individually to be better. That will work.”

Andrew Syrios presents:

Healthcare Reform: The Public Option or the Singapore Model | SwiftEconomics.com posted at SwiftEconomics.com, saying, “A better solution to healthcare that no one is talking about.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
carnival of conservative conversations
using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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