Think things will improve in the nation’s health care system now
that a new administration promises coverage for everyone? Think….Great
Wesley J. Smith explains:
Uh, oh: Here it comes. Incoming Secretary of Health and
Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle wants to create a US Agency to
control costs based on the UK’s Orwellian-named National Institute for
Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which substantially controls the
ethics and medical availability of care under the NHS.
This is surreal. Look at the WSJ report,
at how President Obama and House Democrats have worked some clauses
into the stimulus bill that the average American wouldn’t even know
about, ‘cost effective’ sorts of measures relating to how medical
decisions are made and health care resources are…rationed.
They claim that they don’t want this to morph into a
British-style agency that restricts access to medical products based on
narrow cost criteria, but provisions tucked into the fiscal stimulus
bill betray their real intentions.
The centerpiece of their plan is $1.1 billion of the $825 billion
stimulus package for studies to compare different drugs and devices to
“save money and lives.” Report language accompanying the House stimulus
bill says that “more expensive” medical products “will no longer be
prescribed.” The House bill also suggests that the new research should
be used to create “guidelines” to direct doctors’ treatment of
difficult, high-cost medical problems.
The bill gives incoming Health Secretary Tom Daschle wide discretion
to set priorities, and he’s long advocated a U.S. approach modeled on
the British agency,
that NICE one.
Mr. Daschle argues that the only way to reduce spending is by allocating medical products based on “cost effectiveness.”
And they’ll do this with a “federal health board” that will decide who gets what treatment…or not. And it can be a cold calculation.
“[Under NICE standards, an] assessment is made of the
cost of the treatment per additional year of life which it brings, and
per quality adjusted life year (QALY) . . . which takes into
consideration the quality of life of the patient during any additional
time for which their life will be prolonged.”
What?! Wesley explains:
In other words, medical care is effectively rationed by
the National Health Service under guidelines set by bioethicists based
on their beliefs about the low quality of life of patients whom they
have never met.
If this is a new world order, we don’t want to go there.