VIEWS: 170 PAGES: 15 POSTED ON: 2/18/2011
WHAT'S WRONG WITH OBAMACARE? All Americans want to improve our health care system. Let's be clear on that right from the start. No matter which "party" you support or which politician you voted to elect, the goal is the same for all average citizens. It is in our nature, our DNA, as Americans, to help other people and to make improvements in any system as best we can. The high cost of health care in America is difficult to explain, and even more difficult to understand for those paying their premiums on a shoestring budget. We were all promised that Obamacare would "reduce spiraling health care costs;" "not add one penny to the deficit;" allow citizens to "keep your doctor;" "keep your current insurance;" "lower your premiums;" "provide affordable coverage to all Americans;" "prevent insurance companies from dropping your coverage if you get sick;" "prevent insurers from excluding you due to preexisting conditions;" "lower administrative costs;" "improve care with computerized medical records." What is not to like?! Everyone supports these ideas. Americans who supported President Obama and his visions for health care reform, largely did so because they wanted to "fix" these problems. They believed President Obama when he claimed to be the man who could accomplish this feat where others had failed. He certainly has a gift for speech and an uncanny ability to gather support for his ideals. But, President Obama is a trained lawyer and politician, so we should not be surprised by his ability to "convince" others. If only he had meant the things he said, and done the things he promised…. 1. Choice Certainly, the worst thing about Obamacare is that it takes away your right to make your own choices about the treatment of your body. Under this law, you are required to be in a "qualified" healthcare plan, and you must attach proof that you are enrolled when you file your income taxes. The IRS now has the power to track you and penalize you if you do not provide proof of your enrollment. You no longer have the right to choose any healthcare plan you would like for your family or yourself. Persons can no longer have low cost catastrophic-only coverage, which is a great choice for healthy, young people. The law allows the HHS Secretary to decide which services will be required for the plan that you are required to buy. The HHS Secretary also decides how much you will be required to pay for your required plan, and which services your doctor will be "allowed" to provide. The widely publicized promise from President Obama, "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," will not be true in many cases. You will not be permitted to utilize any doctor who does not follow the dictates of Obamacare (Section 1311), and many will lose their current coverage as a result of this law. For the first time in history, the Federal government now has control over how doctors can treat privately insured individuals. Most citizens already have health care insurance, and so they think Obamacare will not affect them. Unfortunately, that is not true. Obamacare dictates the care of everyone, including the privately insured. Doctors will no longer be able to make decisions based only on their patient's best interests. Under Obamacare, doctors will be forced to provide only the care that is approved by the government. That covers everything in medicine - whether your doctor should give you a cardiac bypass or use a stent, when your doctor should perform a c-section, whether you will get an ACL repair, or a new knee. Even if you have private health insurance (ie. Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, etc.) and you pay the premiums yourself, the government still has complete control over your healthcare, because, with Obamacare, you are required to be in a "qualified" plan, and qualified plans can only pay doctors who act in accordance with the regulations imposed by the HHS Secretary. Section 1311 (h)(1). Beginning on January 1, 2015, a qualified health plan may contract with- (B) a health care provider only if such provider implements such mechanisms to improve health care quality as the Secretary may by regulation require. Either your body is protected from government interference or it's not. The Supreme Court has long established a zone of privacy and protection of your body from the government. A couple's choice to use contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965) and even a woman's choice to have an abortion (Roe v. Wade) are examples. How can these choices be protected, but your freedom to choose a hip replacement or a c-section is not? If your doctor does not adhere to the guidelines set by the HHS Secretary, they will be penalized with loss of ability to practice within the "qualified plans." Since everyone is required to be in a "qualified plan," then that doctor will no longer practice. "Physician autonomy is a thing of the past," has already been declared by the new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick. "The Epitaph of Profession" in the British Journal of General Practice, 2009. Medicare recipients will be the most impacted by the loss of choice regarding their health care. Obamacare allows Berwick to make further changes to Medicare without any further approval of Congress. There will be no further debate, or open discussion with the American public. The executive branch is authorized by this law to completely change which medical services are provided and how they are distributed within Medicare. Their rules for rationing are clear. Those aged 15-40 will receive preference for health care. In The Lancet.com on Jan 31, 2009, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and co- authors presented a "Complete Lives System" for allocation of very scarce resources, such as kidneys, vaccines, dialysis machines, and ICU beds. Dr. Emanuel states:"When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated." Dr. Emanuel admits that his plan appears to discriminate against older people. He explains that by saying, "Unlike allocation by sex of race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination… Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not." One would think that a person with these dangerous ideas would not have any position of power within the American health care system. Unfortunately, under Obamacare, Dr. Emanuel has tremendous control over the rationing of health care. He holds two official positions: health policy advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and member of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). The CER council is responsible for rationing health care under Obamacare. You will no longer be the one to even decide when to see a doctor or specialist. This will be decided by a member of the Obamacare team called "medical home." Your primary care provider will likely not be a physician, but rather a nurse or a physician assistant if you are lucky. In Canada, ~13% (4 million) of citizens cannot get a primary doctor due to physician shortages. Some provinces hold lotteries with the winner receiving as their prize: a chance to have a primary doctor. The care provided to Medicare recipients will be highly rationed (see additional explanation under Quality). 2. Privacy Under the new Obama health plan, your physician is required to enter all information for each patient, including all treatments, into a government electronic database. Doctors are then instructed on what the government deems to be cost effective and appropriate care. This is true for EVERYONE, even if you have private insurance. Doctors must comply with the regulations imposed by Obamacare or face government penalty. There will be no privacy of your medical concerns between you and your doctor, since the government will monitor all medical interactions. How will you be able to trust that your doctor's recommendations for your health treatments are the same as they would have been if your doctor were not compelled by law to provide only the treatments that the government deems "cost effective and appropriate?" Obamacare allows the government complete access to all your private records, including banking records, and gives them authority to provide this information to third parties at the discretion of the HHS Secretary. This is allowed in the name of "helping you" by making sure you know of all the programs for which you might be eligible. The government claims they need access to all of your private information in order to "help determine your eligibility for additional programs." Obamacare provisions are largely exempted from Chapter 35 of Title 44 U.S. Code, which is privacy law. Why do they need exemption from privacy law? See Section 3021, 124 Stat. 394. Obamacare provisions are largely exempted from judicial review, and therefore, no legal recourse for disagreement. Why do they need to block Americans from bringing lawsuits on these provisions? See Section 3021, 124 Stat. 394. SEC. 3021. HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ENROLLMENT STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS. (a) In General- (1) STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this title, the Secretary, in consultation with the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee, shall develop interoperable and secure standards and protocols that facilitate enrollment of individuals in Federal and State health and human services programs, as determined by the Secretary. (2) METHODS- The Secretary shall facilitate enrollment in such programs through methods determined appropriate by the Secretary, which shall include providing individuals and third parties authorized by such individuals and their designees notification of eligibility and verification of eligibility required under such programs. (b) Content- The standards and protocols for electronic enrollment in the Federal and State programs described in subsection (a) shall allow for the following: (1) Electronic matching against existing Federal and State data, including vital records, employment history, enrollment systems, tax records, and other data determined appropriate by the Secretary to serve as evidence of eligibility and in lieu of paper-based documentation. 3. Quality The potential decline in the quality of health care in America is staggering. If the rest of this bill doesn't frighten everyone, then perhaps the comments made by those who are now in control of our health care program will get your attention: Chief medical advisor to President Obama is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (brother of Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel). He holds two official positions: health policy advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and member of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Dr. Emanuel has called President Obama's cost cutting measures "lipstick cost control, more for show and public relations." He has said that health care reform will not be "pain-free." Dr. Emanuel has called for "redefining doctors' ethical obligations." He believes that American doctors take the Hippocratic Oath way to seriously. In the June 18, 2008 issue of JAMA, he stated: "Medical school education and postgraduate education emphasize thoroughness. This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath's admonition to 'use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment' as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others." The Comparative Effectiveness Research council, Dr. Emanuel's group, is a nice title for the group that makes the rules for rationing health care. Medicare recipients will be the first to see the dramatic loss of quality of health care in America. Obamacare reduces funding for Medicare by $575 billion dollars just when 30% more people will be entering the program. It cuts payments to hospitals, doctors, home health care services, dialysis care, hospice care, and other elderly care institutions. President Obama claims that Medicare cuts are only to reduce fraud and will not reduce care. This begs the logical question: Why haven't they done that already? The CBO estimates only 1% of the Medicare cuts will come from fraud, which leaves the remaining 99% to be cuts in care. Obamacare cuts Medicare by over half a trillion dollars. (Any doctor would know that cuts to many areas, like dialysis care, are an express lane to the cemetery. I guess that will lower health care costs, but it sure stinks for those on dialysis. Thanks Obamacare.) What happens to seniors and the disabled if their local hospital stops accepting Medicare? Richard Foster, Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has already warned Congress that the Medicare cuts will be severe enough to force 15% of institutions into the red, and force some hospitals to stop accepting Medicare. *"Estimated Financial Effects of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' as Amended," CMS, April 22,2010, 10. Donald Berwick, the new head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been clear in his distaste for the American health care system. He criticizes it as "designed to respond to the acute needs of individual patients." (Aren't doctors supposed to respond to the acute needs of patients?) Berwick has made it clear that he plans to "anticipate and shape patterns of care for important subgroups." The "subgroups" could be defined by age, affliction, socioeconomic status, etc.. Sorry for you if you are not in a favored subgroup. The Obamacare law authorizes the HHS Secretary to modify or eliminate preventative services for seniors based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This is the same group that recently sparked public outrage by saying that women ages 40-49 and older than 74 should no longer get routine annual mammograms. Section 4105 (a)(n)(I). Obamacare health law creates a group called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), that will make recommendations for further reductions to Medicare. This group is anything but "independent." All 15 members are appointed by the president. They are unelected and unaccountable to citizens for any decisions they make. The government may declare certain prescription drugs off limits for consumers if they are too costly. Section 3307 requires the HHS Secretary to identify “categories and classes of drugs for which the Secretary determines are of clinical concern.” This is the same rhetoric used by the National Health Service (NHS) to disallow costly drugs to British citizens. At the start, their rationing board claimed they were only going to make recommendations based on "clinical" concerns. However, that idea changed dramatically when health care costs increased. This is the same plan under Obamacare, and we are already seeing evidence of a change in thinking in the U.S.: Recently, the U.S. FDA recommended withdrawal of the blockbuster cancer drug, Avastin, for its indication in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, July 20, 2010. It is often the only treatment available for late stage breast cancer, and has been shown to prolong "progression-free survival" for a period of about 5.5 months. The FDA committee thought this was not enough to justify the cost. This is the first time in history that the FDA has recommended termination of a drug's indication based on its cost. Welcome to Obamacare. Perhaps the FDA committee would feel differently if it were their wife, mother or daughter who was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer; Maybe they couldn't get a mammogram for earlier diagnosis after the "new" recommendations? Perhaps those additional 5.5 months would be "priceless" if it were their family who was affected. Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) sounds like a pretty worthy endeavor, right? Obamacare created a new organization, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which is mandated to study CER and then make medical decisions for Obamacare based on their findings. The problem with Comparative Effectiveness Research, when used by governments, is that it is based on the COST of treatments. If you are dying from a heart attack, there is a big difference between the most medically effective treatment and the most cost-effective treatment. One saves your life, the other saves money for the government. Remember who is a member of this group? -Ezekiel Emanuel who thinks American doctors need to "redefine" their ethical obligations. A great example of how CER is used to justify rationing care is in the United Kingdom. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence with the perverse acronym, NICE, sounds frighteningly similar to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. NICE is the rationing body for the NHS. Consider this example: Cancer drug, Avastin, is still unavailable to NHS patients in the UK today. The widely used cancer drug is considered not cost effective by NICE. The NHS defends their position by stating that the drug is "not clinically effective" and only prolongs life by six weeks. Strangely, the data provided by independent studies that review clinical effectiveness without regard to cost have found it to be very effective. These studies find it prolongs life by over 2 years when used to treat colon cancer. Avastin is the largest selling cancer drug in the world. "Betrayal of the Cancer Patients: Rationing Watchdog Accused of Talking Down Wonder Drug's Power to Save Lives," August 25, 2010. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1305858/NICE-accused-talking-Avastins-power- save-lives-cancer-patients.html#ixzz11TOtogil "The British officials who established NICE in the late 1990s pitched it as a body that would ensure that the government-run National Health System used "best practices" in medicine. Sound Familiar? As the Guardian reported in 1998: "Health ministers are setting up [NICE], designed to ensure that every treatment, operation, or medicine used is the proven best. It will root out under-performing doctors and useless treatments, spreading best practices everywhere. What NICE has become in practice is a rationing board." The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2009. Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124692973435303415.html 4. Cost Americans have lost sight of what it means to spend a trillion dollars. Here is the difference between a million and a trillion when described using "time": 1 million seconds =~12 days. 1 trillion seconds =~33,000 YEARS! Obamacare will cost $2.5 trillion dollars over ten years as calculated by Senator Judd Gregg, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. It is not deficit neutral. Floor Remarks on the Democrats' Senate Health Care Reform Bill ,November 21, 2009. Obamacare will "bend the cost curve" down? Really? How about up. According to the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Richard Foster, who found that "overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion."* Health care costs will be more than if we had done nothing! *"Estimated Financial Effects of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' as Amended," CMS, April 22,2010, 10. Obamacare will increase the cost of health care in America. This should be no surprise. Years of scandal have shown the waste, fraud and abuse that is rampant in Medicare and Medicaid. So, "why would anyone imagine that a new government medical program will do what existing government medical programs have clearly failed to do? If we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs now, how can we afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs in addition to a new federal bureaucracy to administer a government-run medical system?" "The "Costs" of Medical Care: Part III," Thomas Sowell, 2010. Americans were ticked-off at the spending of President Bush. In 2008, the annual federal budget deficit was at a record high of $459 billion. By 2009, President Obama had nearly tripled it to $1.4 trillion, almost 9 times higher than it had been just 2 years earlier. This does not include Obamacare spending. Economic Report of the President, transmitted to Congress February, 2010. 5. Taxes and Fines Beginning in 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be fined $2000 per year per employee if they do not offer insurance or if an employee enrolls in their own "qualified" plan. Medicare payroll tax will increase from 1.45 to 2.35 percent on persons earning over $200, 000 per year and families with more than $250,000 income. This is an increase of more than 60 percent. An additional "unearned" income tax of 3.8 percent will be assessed on home sales exceeding the capital gains exemption of $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a family. Any excess amount will be subject to this tax in addition to capital gains tax. Obamacare has essentially gutted the FSA program by cutting the allowable amount in half and now disallowing OTC medications. Section 9003. Taxes will increase for those who are sick because Obamacare allows less money to be deducted for medical expenses on income tax returns. Instead of deducting expenses that exceed 7.5% of income, you will need to spend 10% of your income on medical expenses before you can claim the deduction. Most of the people who take this deduction earn less than $50,000 per year. I thought the purpose of Obamacare was to help the sick? The Americans who now have "great benefits" are in for a surprise in 2018. People who receive top-of-the-line health insurance packages will be subject to a 40% excise tax for their privilege. This is at all income levels. Any plan whose premiums are greater than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families will have to shell out an additional $4080 and $11,000 respectively. Eventually, this 40% tax will apply to every single insurance plan because the tax is not indexed to inflation. Wonder if this is an effort to ensure that ultimately no one can afford private health insurance? Most of the taxes in Obamacare are not indexed to inflation. This means that in 30 years, the people who make $200,000 would be equivalent to today's earning $62,000 assuming 4% inflation. Our children will be required to pay these taxes even if they aren't "rich." Also, by that time, all private insurance premiums will be subject to this 40% tax. Of course, there probably will not be any private insurance plans by that time anyway. The increased taxes on medical devices and pharmaceuticals will affect everyone. Obamacare adds a 2.3% excise tax that will increase the costs of IV bags and medicines, wheelchairs, CT scanners, heart stents, pacemakers, etc. etc.. PricewaterhouseCoopers found that under this plan, an average family will pay $4,000 more in insurance premiums by 2019 than if there were no reform at all. Other studies predict it will be higher than that. "Potential Impact of Health Reform on the Cost of Private Health Insurance Coverage," PricewaterhouseCoopers, October, 2009. 6. Obamacare is Not the Reform Americans Were "Sold" Obamacare was sold based on the idea that it would cover the 34 million* uninsured, so that all Americans would be covered with health insurance. Unfortunately, despite spending 2.5 trillion dollars, there will still be 23 million** who are not covered. *"Estimated Financial Effects of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' as Amended," CMS, April 22,2010, 10. **Douglas Elmendorf, Congressional Budget Office letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, March 18, 2010, Table 2; available online. One of the biggest selling points of Obamacare to the American people was the idea that insurance companies would no longer be able to drop the existing policies of people when they became sick. The sticky point here is that this practice was already illegal. Federal regulations have prohibited insurance companies from rescinding coverage or raising premiums or refusing to renew existing policies, no matter how sick a person becomes, since 1997. Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR § 148.122), titled “Public Welfare,” is about “guaranteed renewability of individual health insurance coverage.” We were also told that Obamacare would protect people from being excluded from insurance due to "preexisting conditions." This certainly seemed a worthy goal. Strangely, this practice was also already illegal under HIPPA law since 1997. How come we were never told that these laws already existed? In fact, Americans were led to believe the opposite was true. Americans were told that their health insurance premiums would not go up. We were assured that premiums would go down. Nope, they have already gone up for most and are projected to increase substantially. We were told we could keep our existing health insurance plan. So why does Obamacare entice companies to drop their employees coverage? The companies who don't provide coverage are fined up to $2500 per employee, but the average cost of health insurance premiums paid by a company for each employee is nearly $13,000 for a family. No wonder more than 30 companies are already saying they will not be able to afford premiums, and will drop employees' coverage. Health insurers Wellpoint, Cigna, Aetna, Humana and CoventryOne will stop writing policies for all children. (http://tinyurl.com/24437o5). Why? Because Obamacare requires that they insure already sick children for the same price as well children. That sounds compassionate, but -in case Obamacare fans haven't noticed- sick children need more medical care. Insurance is about risk, and already sick children are 100 percent certain to be sick when their coverage begins. So if the government mandates that insurance companies cover sick children at the lower well-children price, insurers will quit the market rather than damage their businesses. This is not callousness -- it's fiduciary responsibility. Insurance companies are not charities. So, thanks to the compassionate Congress and president, parents of sick children will be unable to obtain any insurance! That's how government compassion works. In 2014, the same rule kicks in for adults. Now you know what to expect. Some 840,000 Americans are already left without coverage because their insurer, the Principal Financial Group, decided to leave the market: "The company's decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law," The New York Times reports. "Principal's decision closely tracks moves by other insurers that have indicated in recent weeks that they plan to drop out of certain segments of the market ... ." The Wall Street Journal reports: "Insurers say dozens of other employers could find themselves in the same situation as McDonald's. Aetna Inc. ... provides (similar) plans to Home Depot Inc., Disney Worldwide Services, CVS Caremark Corp., Staples Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., among others, according to an Aetna client list." McDonald's may get a waiver, but as the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon says, "Sorry, but I don't find it comforting that Obamacare gives HHS the power to waive these regulations on a case-by-case basis. Power corrupts. We've already seen HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, use other powers granted her by Obamacare to threaten insurers who contradict the party line." Americans were told that Obamacare would not add to the deficit, but it will. We were told that America had "spiraling health care costs," which were increasing much faster than other countries. The OECD calculates (2000-2006) that health care costs in other countries have increased on average at a rate of 4.9%. American rates must be triple that, right? Nope, 4.95% *as published by the OECD. We were told that the "evil" health insurance companies were to blame for high health care costs due to their "record profits." Turns out their profits have been around 2.2%. Compare that to internet services and retail who earned 20% profit in 2009. Fortune magazine comprehensive analysis of industries, 2009. Americans were given absolute, swear-on-an-Executive-Order assurances that there would be no tax payer funded abortions. They are already happening in at least 3 states: Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maryland. In New Mexico, the new $37 million high-risk pool began enrolling individuals on July 1. They will start receiving benefits in August, including elective-abortion services, according to the state insurance department‟s website. Once a deductible is paid, 80 percent of the elective abortion is covered. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee tells me: “HHS has been hiding most of these high-risk plans, including the plan that HHS will administer directly in 21 states. Of the four state plans we‟ve managed to ferret out, two provided coverage of all abortions — Pennsylvania and New Mexico. This is part of a pattern, under this administration, of making „soft‟ rhetorical statements on abortion policy, but consistently promoting and expanding abortion through low-visibility administrative decisions. The administration‟s heavy funding of groups pushing a proposed new pro-abortion constitution in Kenya is another example.” -National Review "As written, Obamacare covers elective abortions, contrary to Obama's promise that it wouldn't. This means that tax dollars will be used to pay for a procedure millions of Americans across the political spectrum view as immoral." "Supposedly, the Department of Health and Human Services will bar abortion coverage with new regulations but these will likely be tied up for years in litigation, and in the end may not survive the court challenge." -Washington Examiner Update: After the NRLC exposed the abortion funding, the Obama administration responded at first by claiming the executive order Obama signed prohibits the funding NRLC uncovered. Then, Obama officials revised the statement to say they promised the high risk insurance programs would not fund abortions in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maryland or any other states. We are constantly told that America's health care system is the most costly, but ranks 37th in care. Commonly quoted to justify Obamacare, this is a bogus statistic put forth by the World Health Organization that ranks health care systems based on the level of socialism practiced in a country. WHO claimed that the U.S. ranks 37th in overall health care, just behind Costa Rica and above Slovenia. It seems obvious that this is not true. This was explained in the April 22, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine, when the editor in chief of the WHO report, Dr. Phillip Musgrove, announced that it was "long past time for this zombie number to disappear from circulation." He called the ranking "meaningless." "This is not simply a problem of incomplete, inaccurate, or non- comparable data; there are also sound reasons to mistrust the conceptual framework behind the estimates…" The U.S. was ranked #1 for "responsiveness to patients." This is likely the most important factor to a patient and should be the most important statistic to Dr. Hayhurst! The U.S. was demoted to 37th because the WHO prefers government run health care over a free market system. Given all of the negative implications of Obamacare and the lack of positive outcomes it generates, it begs the question: What was the true intent for this legislation? What part of Obamacare does Tom Hayhurst support? Indiana's 3rd Congressional District race pits Obamacare supporter, Dr. Tom Hayhurst against Marlin Stutzman who will work to repeal the bill. Consistent with most Democrats right now, Tom Hayhurst doesn't bring up Obamacare unless asked. But, I remember getting a really nice, colorful brochure in the mail, with Dr. Hayhurst's picture on it, that described how much Tom Hayhurst supported President Obama and his health care reform plan. Dr. Hayhurst has publically supported Obamacare all along, and continues to support it now when asked. He promises that he will fight any effort to repeal it, and he states: "I think there are quite a few very good provisions." Unfortunately, now that Obamacare is law, American citizens are subjected to all of the provisions in this bill, and not just the "few" we like. So, let's be clear, just what part of Obamacare does Tom Hayhurst support? Does he support the section of Obamacare that forces all citizens to purchase a government product or face penalty? Does he support the idea that Americans can no longer choose their own medical treatments and doctors can no longer make recommendations without government approval? Does he support the section of Obamacare that allows for abortions paid for by tax payers? Does Dr. Hayhurst support the unethical and even illegal methods that were employed by Congress in order to pass the bill? Including the obvious lie about an Executive Order stopping tax funded abortions? Or the bribery to state lawmakers in Nebraska, Louisiana and others? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a chief advisor to President Obama, urged the president to push forward with the Obama health law, no matter how intensely Americans opposed it. He told the President: "If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health care reform effort." That is how Obamacare law got passed. Does Tom Hayhurst support the 2.5 Trillion dollar price tag that the CBO estimates Obamacare will cost our children? Dr. Hayhurst claims he is the man for "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs." It is unclear then, how can he support this health care reform when all indications, from multiple economists, show that Obamacare will lead to job loss, decreased wages, reduced hiring, and small businesses going out of business. National Center for Policy Analysis, May, 18 2010, "Obama's Tax on Job Creation." On his website, Tom Hayhurst refers to the American health care system as: "spending the highest percentage per capita in the world all while we are losing ground to other nations in life expectancy, infant mortality and other measures of health." First of all, Dr. Hayhurst has not done his research or he would know that America is not "losing ground to other nations in life expectancy, infant mortality and other measures of health." As I explained previously, the WHO ranking for overall health care is highly inaccurate. It is common knowledge that the U.S. has the absolute best, most advanced health care system in the world. The United States can also be credited for improving health care all around the world, because of our research and innovation! It costs a lot of money to be the most advanced system, but we benefit as Americans from spending on research while helping the rest of the world. Research spending for all of Canada is less than we spend at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Yes, our system is the most costly per capita, but consider this: What would it say about our country if we did not spend the most per capita? We are the richest nation in the world. If our system were the cheapest, then we would be a country with little value for the lives of our citizen's. Other countries would suffer as well, because if the U.S. spent the same money per capita as Slovenia, then we would contribute as much in new medicines and treatments to the world as Slovenia. Even to a non-physician, it seems rather implausible that the infant mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than in Europe, and thereby indicating the American health care system is inferior? Or perhaps this is an accounting trick? Yes, and here's how: First, this is a statistic that is "self-reported" by countries, and so any number should be suspect in certain countries (think of Cuba). Also, Many countries do not count premature births in the same manner as the U.S. For example, in France and Belgium, any birth at less than 26 weeks is automatically registered as dead. In Switzerland, an infant must be >30 cm long to be counted as living. In the U.S., we value every life, and that is precisely why our reported infant mortality rate is higher than other countries. Unlike other countries, we count every single baby that "breathes or shows any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles," which is the definition according to the WHO. On his wesite, Tom Hayhurst claims, "I support fiscally responsible proposals that extend a basic level of health care to all Americans – while retaining the right of an individual or employer to choose the type of health care that is satisfactory for him or her." Well, Obamacare is anything but fiscally responsible, it doesn't cover all Americans, and it steals our rights to make personal choices for health care. Which Obamacare bill did he read? Dr. Hayhurst clearly would have voted for Obamacare and plans to block attempts to repeal it, while nearly 60% of Americans disapprove. Would he rubber-stamp the Cap and Trade bill too, whether we like it or not? Who does Tom Hayhurst think he is supposed to represent in Washington: Indiana citizens or the Democratic party? Is Tom Hayhurst one of the elitists who thinks he knows better than Indiana citizens? We have enough Washington elitists who don‟t listen to us. We don‟t need another elitist who already isn't listening! Dr. Hayhurst's only comments on changes to Obamacare involve a provision that requires Medicare to negotiate prescription costs for Medicare clients. Apparently, he is okay with everything else? It seems Walmart has already solved that problem with free market principles. Generics accounted for 65 percent of the U.S. drug market in 2007, and they‟re dramatically cheaper in the United States than anywhere else in the world. The reason generics are so cheap in the United States is that, unlike in Europe and Canada, there‟s a flourishing free market here, and competition drives prices down. That‟s why you can walk into a Wal-Mart or a Target today and buy $4 generics. You can‟t do that in France, Britain, or Canada. In Canada, two thirds of citizens do not have prescription drug coverage despite their "free" health care. The Canadian Health Act does not cover outpatient prescriptions. Canadians pay out of pocket for prescription drugs, or they buy insurance to cover their prescriptions. Many medications that are routinely used in the United States are not available in other countries, because they are blocked by the government due to cost. Typically these are cancer medications. This practice also lowers the cost of health care for these governments. The reason non-generic medications "seem" cheaper in other countries is that the governments impose price controls. They do this in order to keep costs low so that they‟re able to sustain their government health care systems. They strictly monitor the prices and health officials routinely withhold or delay the approval of new and more expensive drugs. For example, the following is a partial list of drugs that are currently blocked or drugs that were withheld for years in the U.K. due to cost: Avastin -largest selling cancer drug in the U.S. Rituxan Tarceva - lung cancer Alimta - mesothelioma Sutent -late-stage kidney cancer as well as breast and stomach Lapatinib - breast and stomach cancer Macugen - macular degeneration Lucentis - macular degeneration -only approved for use in one eye, because people don't need both eyes. (really true) Orencia - severe rheumatoid arthritis Kineret - rheumatoid arthritis Avonex - multiple sclerosis Lenalidomide -multiple myeloma Glucophage XR -diabetes Aricept and multiple others - alzheimers etc. etc. etc. NICE has also produced guidance protocols that restrain certain surgical operations and treatments. NICE has restrictions on fertility treatments, as well as on procedures for back pain, including surgeries and steroid injections. The U.K. has recently been absorbed by the cases of several young women who developed cervical cancer after being denied pap smears by a related health authority, the Cervical Screening Program, which in order to reduce government health-care spending has refused the screens to women under age 25. Strangely, it is the under 25 age group that is at high risk for cervical cancer. Additional reading: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6156076/Daughter-claims-father-wrongly-placed-on-controversial- NHS-end-of-life-scheme.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3287571/Nine-out-of-ten-preventable-deaths-in-the-NHS-are-not-reported.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3286811/Tories-Thousands-of-cancer-patients-missing-out-on-treatment.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/heal-our-hospitals/5741372/Cruelty-neglect-and-a-catalogue-of-blunders- stories-from-todays-NHS.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8050903/List-of-mistakes-that-should-never-happen-in-NHS-is- extended.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/7896737/Cash-crisis-in-NHS-leaves-patients-lying-on-operating-tables.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7548038/Life-saving-cancer-drugs-still-not-available-on-NHS.html The information contained in this commentary, where not already cited, comes largely from three great resource books: "The Truth About Obamacare," Sally C. Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2010; "Obama Health Law: What it Says and How to Overturn It," Betsy McCaughey, www.encounterbooks.com; "Why Obama's Government Takeover of Health Care Will Be a Disaster," Dr. David Gratzer, www.encounterbooks.com. Interesting real-person story: This letter appeared in the Wall Street Journal on September 16, 2010, entitled:"My Battle with Cancer and the FDA" by Geraldine Satossky I am 67 years young and I've been battling breast cancer for 11 years. I'm alive today because of a drug called Avastin. But by Friday the FDA is expected to revoke its approval of the drug for use against breast cancer. I'm terribly frightened—and angry. My story begins in 1999, when I lifted my arm and discovered a web of popping red veins. Doctors identified a tumor, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy worked for a bit, but then the tumor started growing again. So I had a mastectomy. In 2002, the cancer returned—this time to my liver. That meant my cancer had metastasized. It was treatable but no longer curable. Once again I underwent surgery, a liver resection. I was then put on the drugs Navelbine and Etoposide. At first, it seemed to work—my cancer went into remission. But three years later, the cancer came back. I now had four tumors in my liver and my outlook wasn't very good. My doctor was blunt: "You're in big trouble," he told me. Thankfully, a clinical trial had recently started and I was selected for a combination of Xeloda and Avastin. Xeloda is a chemotherapy pill that kills cancerous cells. Avastin cuts off blood-flow to tumors. Almost immediately two of my tumors disappeared. The duel-pronged approach appeared to be working. Nearly three-and-a-half years have passed. Today, I'm not just living life; I'm enjoying it. While I get tired more easily than I used to, I can take part in just about all normal activities. I can go out to dinner with my husband. I can visit with friends. This could all change on Friday, when the FDA is due to rule on its advisory panel's recommendation to withdraw approval of Avastin. If the FDA does so, Medicare could stop paying for it. My doctor is hopeful that there will be an exception for people like me—perhaps I'll be grandfathered in and allowed to continue my treatment regimen. But I don't know if that will happen, and I have to wait and see. If Avastin is withdrawn, countless women who might benefit from the drug will be denied. This is outrageous. I don't understand the government's rationale. The FDA says that it is considering withdrawal because Avastin doesn't show enough promise against breast cancer. I find that very hard to believe. I'm proof that Avastin works. The FDA is also concerned that Avastin has bad side effects. This is illogical—all chemotherapy has horrible side effects, too. As does every other medicine I've tried: Tamoxifen, Taxol, Taxotere, Navelbine, Etoposide, Arimidex and Faslodex. All cancer treatments are risky, and they all come with side effects. But the worst side effect is death, and that's guaranteed to happen when cancer isn't treated. Some claim that the FDA's decision is about the money. It's true that Avastin is expensive, but a medicine's price tag shouldn't allow the FDA to determine whether patients live...
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