He’ll show them all.
This is one time where excerpting isn’t going to cut it: let me summarize this article (“Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey*“) (H/T: AoSHQ) and then you can go read both it and the soon-to-be-federal law (here is the original, and here is the Nelson/Collins amendment). Essentially, McCaughey argues that the bill contains stealth provisions within it that will create a bureaucratic commission that will regulate acceptable medical treatments for patients. She then states that these provisions are “virtually identical” with those in Daschle’s book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis, which supposedly advocates adopting a system where “approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit.” In other words: the older you get, the cheaper your treatment has to be in order to get the same consideration as someone younger than you. A helpful reminder of the bureaucratic wonders that can breed in the British health care system, and a suggestion that Daschle snuck this in deliberately because of his experiences with Clinton’s health care fiasco, and away we go.
So, is it nonsense?
There’s somebody jumping up and down right now to yell about McCaughey, so let me tell you right off the bat: this woman’s not exactly unbiased when it comes to health care policy, and there’s every indication that this may be part of a blue-on-blue fight (yup, she was once a Republican Lt Governor, in much the same way that I was once a Democrat slacker). That being said; there are reasons why people blanch at the thought of imposing Canadian and British models of health care, and that’s because centralized control over medical treatment hits home in a way that, say, centralized control over food standards doesn’t. Nobody likes to hear that the condition that they’re suffering from has been deemed to be not worth treating, and such decisions are inevitable in any rationing system – which, when you strip away all the blather, is what universal health care is: a rationing system. So I’m not dismissive of the thought that there’s at least the possibility of this – and since Daschle is a tax-evading weasel anyway, I’m also not dismissive of the thought that he might have tried to sneak what would be a very unpopular program into the bill.
Of course, it’s all academic at this point: the Democratic bill is clotured, and Democratic Senators will pass it today, and then the Democrats in the House and Senate will resolve the differences to the bill, and then the Democratic President will turn this Democratic bill into a Democratic law. And then Democrats will be responsible for enforcing it on the rest of us. Personally, I’m not yet forty, so if McCaughey’s right I’ve got pretty good odds on toughing it out until the political winds change again. It’s the people approaching retirement age that have to worry: some of them may not have much time before they get unlucky, and have to justify their treatments to a person who is personally sorry about the situation, but policy is policy.
*I don’t normally use Wikipedia as a reference source for anything important, but if you’re looking for ammo against this woman, it’s where you should start. I mention this because it’s also where you should start looking for armor against the ammo: she’s kind of a free agent (or mercenary) in the health care wars, and it shows. I think she also personally loathes Tom Daschle, which is a point in her favor.