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HEALTH CARE STIMULUS

Seniors beware for the Stimulus Bill passed by Democrats and the Obama Administration poses dire consequences under a newly created bureaucracy, the”National Coordinator of Health Information Technology”. In addition to electronically tracking medical care and records which is good, it will also monitor doctor’s treatments to make them more cost effective according to governmental mandates and restrictions. Doctors would be expected to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like independent practitioners”. Doctors and hospitals that don’t abide will face penalties. It is hoped this will deter them from incorporating expensive, unusual means to cure or maintain life, especially, as it pertains to seniors.

Former Sen. Tom Daschle helped write the restrictions while anticipating appointment as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He claimed health care reform “will not be pain free and seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them”. That means the elderly will bear the brunt of health care rationing as in other countries. The mandate also proposes slowing development of new medications and technologies because that increases costs. It is hoped Americans will follow Europeans who accept “hopeless diagnosis” as a justifiable option for withholding treatments.

Under the bill, medical treatment for age related diseases would be limited based on cost-effectiveness and a formula dividing expense of treatment by the number of years that patients might benefit. For example, treatment of some cancers, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s would be less likely approved than afflictions affecting younger patients.

Rationing senior care would help fulfill President Obama’s promise to provide medical coverage for 47 million uninsured individuals including illegal residents, however, expected doctor and hospital shortages further complicate the plan. For years, the major criticism of our nation’s health care industry was the influence of insurance companies. The new era of “change we can believe in” will be the Federal Government is now the bad guy.

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