Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arlen Specter: Stimulus Disgrace

By Maggie M. Thornton

President Obama's stimulus bill just passed the Senate. A few hours before the vote, we began to get a glimpse of the dangerous health care provisions in this bill.

In President Barack Obama's first primetime press conference last night, he asked why Americans would not want our health care electronically monitored. After all, he said, nurses cannot even read the doctor's handwriting.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)

This is the lamest "reasoning" I think I've ever heard from a Presidential podium. The Democrat party...so extremely incensed about the privacy issues surrounding the War on Terror, would like to have unequivocal access to your health information, your treatments, your medications, your private conversations with your doctors.

But, really, this is the least of our health care problems now with Barack Obama as our president.

Bloomberg News is reporting that former Senator Tom Daschle has had a hefty hand in the health care portion of the stimulus bill.
A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”
You must read this report, and keep in mind that the Senate-House conference will begin now, and changes can still be made. If you live in Pennsylvania...well, just read the following concerning the Senator you continue to send back to Washington.

Senator Specter was one of three expected to vote for the stimulus bill. Of great importance is the fact that Senator Arlen Specter was UNAWARE of Bloomberg's assessment of these provisions.

Here is CNS News reporting on the Bloomberg report:
[Specter said] “If Bloomberg has pointed out a potential problem…there will be clarification to avoid having the government meddle in what doctors do.”
This completely irresponsible Senator laments the rush of the bill, but is unwilling to help his fellow Republicans slow things down:
Specter said one of the “big problems” with the stimulus bill is, “Why the rush? Why are we wedded to [a Feb. 13 deadline for passage]?” Specter noted that Congress never held hearings on the bill, and that has created problems.
This is one of a number of provisions that has popped up that we have to revise and be very careful about,” he said.
There should be a way for the Nation as whole to impeach Senators and Representative who are willing to sign away our personal freedom in the name of bi-partisanship. Specter's actions and support of this bill are so discouraging. He points out that he has made a "commitment" to the Democrats, and he is :
...not going to go back on my word and on a commitment.
Let me ask you, where are this man's loyalties - to his friends across the aisle or the country he is elected to represent? Just keep in mind that this Senator, Arlen Specter, knew nothing about these egregious health care provisions.

Here are just a few of the problems:

Bloomberg's Betsey McCaughey reports that the healthcare provisions are "virtually identical" to those outlined in former Senator Tom Daschle's recent book (which I will not name here), but it appears that many of Daschle's recommendations were taken from a British model. One example of that model is that the elderly with macular degeneration had to wait until all sight was gone from one eye before treatment on the second could begin.

(1) A new position within government is planned: a National Coordinator of Health Information Technology who will do the tracking of your medical conditions - AND
will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective
(2) The health care provisions in the stimulus bill affect "every individual in the United States.

(3) If you doctor does not join the electronic monotoring, he/she will be severly penalized. If you need experimental treatments, forget it.
In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make. The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board 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.
(4) If you are elderly, you will be culled out of Medicare payments for routine preventative care.
The stimulus bill changes Medicare's acceptance of treatments deemed safe and effective.
The idea: "individuals benefit in youger years and sacrifice later."

Beware America, your government has taken over your life.

1 comment:

  1. For the life of me, I still cannot figure out HOW they can continue to call it a "stimulus" bill; nor can I figure out how "President" Obama can stand there and tell us to our faces it has NO earmarks - another bald-faced lie (similar to those scattered along the campaign trail), expected to be lapped up like milk and honey by the masses of idiots who voted for "hope" and "change" and force-fed to the rest of us by default, because "I won."

    Ramrodded through both houses of Congress, babbling after the fact "I see problems but the Senate will fix it" or "Why the rush?" while voting to press it through, "President" Obama standing at the forefront telling us we're in a crisis and we need this bill, even if "It's not perfect, but no bill ever is".... So WHY are we paying them (and paying FOR them) to create bills that are consistently "not perfect," proven again and again in a historical context to do more harm than good?

    On the heels of the last supposed "stimulus" that was foisted onto a public voicing strong objections to Congress - JUST SAY NO - rammed through last fall with no regard to those objections, this current "stimulus" (also denounced loudly by nearly half the population).... what is happening in Washington is (IMO) WORSE than taxation without representation: We ARE electing these fools (maybe, or maybe not, considering the Franken case) but they are NOT representing our best interests and are deliberately ignoring the wishes of their constituents: You and me, VOTERS, TAXPAYERS, CITIZENS of the United States. Yet another core value of the Constitution gutted and left for dead, the guarantee to us of a republican form of government.

    I had not the intestinal fortitude to watch his "press conference," but I am unable to fathom how the "leader" of this nation could say something as asinine as "nurses cannot even read the doctor's handwriting" as justification for monitoring not only our PHI but the type of care we receive as a patient - decided by a bureaucracy rather than the men and women who dedicated years of their lives to learning about medicine, anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Mark the demise of the sanctity of the patient/physician relationship.

    Seriously? I thought he was a smart guy, but now I reconsider that notion in any way, shape, or form. Handwriting has little to do with medical records in this day and age; an entire industry of medical transcriptionists is being forced out of existence with the FORCED implementation of EMR. We have nothing to transcribe, since it is done at POS by the nurse and physician (in the physician office setting). Hospital records are generated by dictation and transcription - no handwriting is involved (even signatures are now electronic). Orders are phoned in by the physician and recorded BY THE NURSES, to be signed later. The only time you see a doctor's handwriting anymore is on a prescription - and most physicians are moving to generating PRINTED prescriptions with an electronic signature.

    Talk about disconnected and out of touch with reality. Unless, more likely, this nonsense talk about handwriting is more smoke and mirrors to distract us while more of our rights are usurped.

    This would open up our PHI and our medical history to abuse not only by the government but by hackers infiltrating the system to steal that information. How can the Congress even consider such a notion, after the passage of HIPAA and the complications resulting from that, regardless of the more "secure" methods of handling PHI? After all, HIPAA is about the protection of PHI/confidentiality with severe sanctions imposed for noncompliance.

    This is the ultimate violation of our privacy, with individuals not involved in our care and treatment having unlimited access to every aspect of our lives (there is a lot more than just health information contained in a medical record), placing restrictions on care in the interests of money rather than the individual or the "general welfare," (can you say GOODBYE to the 14th Amendment), violating the patient/physician relationship and deliberately impeding the EXPLICIT CONTRACT between physician and patient (we contract for services and he is reimbursed accordingly - violation of the contract clause, Article I, Section 10).

    It is absolutely amazing - and deeply disturbing - that we are in such a position in this nation, our rights and liberties and now even our very lives being controlled and manipulated by an out-of-control government. Perhaps Barry was right, we really DO need to create a new Declaration of Independence: It is our right and our DUTY to abolish a government that is destructive toward the ends of securing our inalienable rights - rights endowed upon us by our Creator, NOT by an institution that is so corrupt the necrosis is showing through.