Monday, December 7, 2009

Hentoff - Cold Heart Obamacare

Too good not to post: Nat Henthoff's The Cold Heart of Obamacare:

In this country, bureaucrats keeping tabs on patients - without actually seeing them and their condition - will mean, as Tanner notes, that "every time a doctor decides on a treatment, he or she would have to ask: 'Does the government think I'm doing this too much? Will I be penalized if I order this test?'" (Disclosure: As a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, I have access to its continuing research.)

President Obama and his supporters in Congress insist that clinical studies prove how many needless and expensive tests and procedures are so often performed. But these are collective statistics. Individual patients are left out.

Harvard Medical School faculty members Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband bring the individual back into this crucial debate in "Sorting Fact From Fiction on Health Care" (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 31): "Data from clinical studies provide averages from populations and may not apply to individual patients.

"Clinical studies routinely exclude patients with more than one medical condition and often the elderly or people on multiple medications. Conclusions about what works and what doesn't work change much too quickly for policy-makers to dictate clinical practice." Everyone, regardless of political party, should keep in mind:

"If doctors and hospitals are rewarded for complying with government-mandated treatment measures or penalized if they do not comply, clearly, federal bureaucrats are directing health decisions," Groopman and Hartzband wrote.

If congressional Democrats succeed in passing their health care "reform" measure to send to the White House for President Obama's signature, then they and he are determining your health decisions..More>>

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