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As a physician who has authored books on Preventative Health Care and Health Care Cost Containment, I was recently given the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at a Congressional Dinner at The Capitol Building in Washington D.C… The presentation, entitled Health Care Reform; The Power & Profit of Prevention was well received.
In preparation for the presentation, I read the latest version of "reform" as authored by The Obama Administration and supported by Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reed. It is important to realize that The Obama Health Care Plan is comprised of two parts…..that’s right, not one but two parts.
The first part of The Obama Health Care Plan was buried in The Stimulus Bill which was signed into law by the President in February (see http://www.readthestimulus.org/ ). It is the second part of The Health Care Plan which is now being debated in Congress. Below is the link to the over 1000 page document…..
Let me summarize just a few salient points of the two part Obama Health Care Plan. Warning…….They need to put the same warning on The Obama Health Care Plan as they do a pack of cigarettes…..Consuming this product WILL be hazardous to your health.
The underlying method of cutting costs throughout the plan is based on rationing and denying care, NOT PREVENTING health care need. The plan's method is the most inhumane and unethical approach in cutting costs. The rationing of care is implemented through a Council, equivalent to the National Health Care Board in the British Health Care System. The name given to this panel is The Federal Coordinating Council For Comparative Effectiveness Research (“Federal Council”). (Section 9201 H.R. 1 Version of the Stimulus Bill.)
President Obama has already appointed the fifteen member Federal Council. According to the Stimulus Bill, p. 152, all members of the Council must be “senior federal officers or employees.” Thus, medical treatment will be dispensed by a group of bureaucrats from their ivory towers, not by the hands-on practitioners in the presence of the patients. The council was funded with $1.1 BILLION from The Stimulus Bill. (http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/os/cerbios.html )
“Comparative Effectiveness Research” is based on the formula of the approval or rejection of treatment for patients based upon the cost per treatment divided by the number of years the patient will benefit from the treatment.
According to former New York Lieutenant Governor and Health Policy Analyst Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the Federal Council will set a cost effectiveness standard for treatment. (Stimulus Bill p. 464) Translation…..if you are over 65 or have been recently diagnosed as having an advanced form of cardiac disease or aggressive cancer, dream on if you think you will get treated…..pick out your box. Oh, you say…this could never happen. Sorry….this is the same model they use in Britain.
The plan also empowers the Federal Council to create another level of bureaucracy, The Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research. (Health Care Bill, Section 1181, p. 502). The effect of this extra level of bureaucracy is to slow the development of new medications and technologies in order to reduce costs. How special is that!
The plan also outlines that doctors and hospitals will be overseen and reviewed by The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. This "Coordinator" will be responsible for monitoring treatments to make sure doctors and hospitals are strictly following what the government deems appropriate and cost effective, and to “guide medical decisions at the time and place of care.” (Stimulus Bill, p. 116; see also pp. 442, 446).
The Stimulus Bill goes on to say that hospitals and doctors that are NOT “meaningful users” of the new systems will face penalties. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time.” (Stimulus Bill pp. 366, 478, 511, 518, 540, 541.) According to those in Congress, penalties could include large six figure financial fines and possible imprisonment. According to the Obama Plan, if your doctor saves your life but breaks government protocol, you might have to go to the prison to see your doctor for follow -up appointments. I believe this is the same model Stalin used in the former Soviet Union.
In Section 102 of the Health Care Plan has the Orwellian title: “Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage.” What this section really mandates is that it is ILLEGAL for you to keep your private insurance if your status changes, e.g., if you lose or change your job, become a senior citizen, graduate from college and land their first job. Yes, illegal. When President Obama was asked about this portion of his plan recently, his response was, "I am not familiar with that part of the plan."
Obama hosted a conference call with bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible.
During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”
Then there is Section 1233 of the Health Care Bill, devoted to “Advanced Care Planning.” After each American turns 65 years of age they have to go to a mandated counseling program that is designed to end life sooner. This session is to occur every 5 years unless the person has developed a chronic illness then it must be done every year. The topics in this government run session will include how to decline hydration, nutrition and how to initiate hospice care. It is no wonder the Obama Administration does NOT like my emphasis on Prevention. Under the Health Care Plan for cost containment, Prevention is the "enemy," since people would live longer.
I rest my case….The Health Care Plan authored by Obama / Pelosi / Reed is hazardous to the health of every American.
In the question/answer session following my Capitol Hill presentation, a Congressman asked: "I am doing a number of network interviews next week on the Obama Health Care Plan. If I am asked what is the one word to describe the plan, what should I answer?"
The answer is simple, honest, direct, analytical, and sad, but truthful. The word is FASCIST.
Dr. Janda is a practicing orthopedic surgeon and a world-recognized expert on prevention, healthcare cost containment, and health care reform. His website is www.noinjury.com.