As if care-giving and advocating for my dad was not enough,
As if taking post graduate classes was not enough,
As if limping around with a lame, injured leg was not enough,
I purchased Tom Daschle's book "Critical: What We can Do About the health Care Crisis." I hate the thought of providing Daschle with any royalties. But, I needed to understand (first hand) what the Obama-Daschle-Medco plan involves.
It is scary stuff.
Tom Daschle writes in his book:
In Great Britain, NICE … uses cost-effectiveness information in deciding whether to cover a new drug or procedure. I’m not suggesting that we should adopt a hard-and-fast rule on cost-effectiveness in public policy. … The challenge … is creating an entity with the credibility and the clout to make those tough decisions
What? Is Daschle serious? Federal Health Board’s “clout” would make rules on cost-effectiveness? I thought it was horrifying enough that the "Hospitalist Program Model" supplants the treating doctor and inserts a "stranger doctor" to make medical decision in hospitals.
But now, Obama, Daschle and various corporate hacks (read: David Snow, Jr) want a Federal Health Board to determine generalized and mandated treatment protocols. Obama and Daschle want the Federal Health Board to take the emotion and "hope" out of medical care decisions. (That is the ultimate example of a stranger making decisions about your medical care.) The idea of a federal reserve board for health care and mandated treatment plans is not the brain child of Tom Daschle or even Medco's CEO (Mr. David Snow, Jr.)
Indeed, the UK has a similar system that is apparently serving as a model for Daschle and Obama. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. http://www.nice.org.uk/
NICE is an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.
So, how does NICE operate in practice? Could government bureaucrats really supplant the judgment and clinical expertise of physicians and surgeons? You betcha!
NICE sets a threshold for cost-effectiveness that it applies uniformly: … If a treatment is found to cost more than about $30,000-$45,000 per “quality-adjusted life-year,” it is rarely covered. This approach has led to the denial of valuable care:
NICE restricted access to two drugs for Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Britain’s leading cause of blindness. Windried Amoaku of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists explained, “There are differences in action between these two drugs, which may be important in individual cases, and so we do not wish to be limited in our treatment options in this way.”
NICE limited several Alzheimer’s drugs to use in patients whose disease had advanced from early to middle-stage. Even though doctors argued that starting treatment at the onset of dementia would be most effective in slowing the progression of the disease , NICE decided that patients would have to wait until they became sick enough for the treatments to meet the cost-effectiveness threshold. …
NICE blocked access to Glivec, a leukemia treatment. Ann Tittley, a 55-year-old patient, was being treated for breast cancer when she was diagnosed with leukemia. After realizing she would be denied access to Glivec even though her physician had recommended she start it immediately.
I pray that Americans wake up to the very real possibility that Obama and Daschle will have a federal system in place that decides who gets what treatment.
I thought that the worse thing that could happen to our country is the current Hospitalist Program model (where patient safety and continuity of care is secondary to cost effectiveness). And the public at large does not understand that hospitalist system. The general public rightfully presumes their treating doctor will have some involvement in hospitalizations.
The idea of a federal reserve for health care (Federal Health Board) and mandated treatment plans that are actually designed to take the hope and emotion out of the delivery of medical care.
It is very ironic. Obama clamors about "hope" and yet the proposed health care reforms are based on the perception that "hope" of medical recovery is a waste of money.
I cannot reiterate enough that the Hospitalist Program Model was crammed down our collective throats without explanation and certainly without the public's input (much less approval). There is not going to be a public vote on the health care reforms. In fact, the new Congress is already voting and making proposed changes.
Physicians and surgeons - please take back your profession. I beg you.
I agree with Rush Limbaugh - I want Obama's health care plan to fail.