The House of Representatives approved an $819 billion economic stimulus package Wednesday. The party line vote was a blow to Barack Obama's alleged desire for bipartisanship. All the Republicans and 11 democrats voted against the bill. One thing in the bill that went mostly unnoticed was a new bureaucracy called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. This group will spend over a billion dollars to decide what medical treatments result in the best outcomes. They will exert control over what drugs and treatments are available. They will resemble the United Kingdom's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Also, the bill will allow some laid-off workers receiving unemployment checks to enroll in Medicaid. There will be no means testing for this entitlement. We have a bill that increases government control over health care and begins moving average citizens into a government controlled health program. Can anyone say "nationalized health care" and "rationing"?
The Entitlement Stimulus. More giant steps toward government health care.
Wall Street Journal ^ | Jan. 29, 2009 | WSJ Editorial
So the stimulus also devotes $1.1 billion to create a new bureaucracy called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. A billion dollars isn't nearly enough to conduct the rigorous clinical studies needed to provide more information on what medical treatments result in the best outcomes. But Democrats want to get this "health-care Fed" on the books now so it's around when they pass the next entitlement expansion -- for the entire middle class.
When government finances start to buckle under that subsidy, the comparative effectiveness outfit will start to ration care to control costs, much like the United Kingdom's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The draft report accompanying the House portion of the bill notes that procedures and drugs "that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed."
In sum, what we are really getting in this stimulus bill are several more steps in the gradual government takeover of the health-care market.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...