"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Friday, September 10, 2010

When The Canary Changes Its Tune

Now that the November elections are around the corner, all those Democrats who voted for the healthcare reform bill are back-pedalling as fast as they can.  Not a day goes by that there isn't another story of a Democrat somewhere who is distancing him/her self from the unpopular disaster shoved down our throats by special interest and downright socialists in disguise. 

Senator Baucus, the chief architect of Obamacare, went so far as to admit that he did not read his own $1 trillion piece of work that no Democrat is willing to defend despite their vote a short 8 months ago. 

It is clear that the relentless drive to reform the health care system was a cynical political push for a win at all costs. We were told what we wanted to hear and there was no attention paid to the consequences. Every single card was played – from the class card to the race card, and getting us to fight among ourselves achieved the goal of distraction. Now that the smoke has cleared it is pretty obvious that in the name of expanding healthcare to approximately 30 million more people, we have sacrificed what is best about our healthcare system – individualized patient care, the doctor patient relationship, and the drive towards innovation. However, the costs have not changed.

Let’s look at the facts:
Those on Medicare were told that they would see no change in their benefits and would be able to keep their physician. In fact, 11 million senior citizens will see premiums go up because of cost cutting including the removal of Medicare advantage. Furthermore, since there has been a decline in the number of physicians who currently are accepting new Medicare patients or who take Medicare at all, it is likely that seniors will not be able to keep their doctor and will pay more for less.

The nomination of Donald Berwick to head CMS means a philosophical shift of our healthcare system to the British model of medicine that puts a premium on cost and not the needs of the individual. An example of this is the decision by the FDA remove Avastin from the medication available to treat advanced cancer because it is deemed that the good of extension of life is outweighed by the cost of the medication. Medicare has already stopped covering the use for Avastin to treat ovarian cancer in Colorado.

Welcome to the world of one size fits all medicine where the patient will become a cost center and treatment will be geared towards cost containment while the potential for profits to be made on the backs of patients and doctors for the medical insurance industry, the hospitals and Big pharma are limitless.
Our only hope is that American voters will hold these Democrats accountable this November.

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