Senate Passes "Stimulus" Legislation by 61-37 Vote

Economic recovery plan facilitates socialized medicine, means trouble for American seniors

Don’t adjust your eyes. No need to change your prescription. Though, if you really want to, you should probably do so while you still can.

Two weeks ago, as we were working our way through the House version of the bill, Rick Saunders wrote a piece here at America’s Right on the provisions facilitating socialized medicine buried deep within the legislation. Now, as the Senate has passed–thanks to a few turncoat Republicans–this nightmare spending bill disguised as a recovery package, we’re hearing about the bill’s effects on the American healthcare system once again.

In particular, we’re hearing a whole lot about new language in the bill insinuating that passage will allow for the reduction of costs, and for the development of a new agency to enable the government to “guide” physicians in their decision-making process.

This morning, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter–one of the three aforementioned turncoat Republicans–made an appearance on Fox News Channel during which a discussion with network anchor Megyn Kelly made it increasingly apparent that Specter himself may very well have been unaware of the details in the healthcare provision buried deep within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. During that interview, however, any hope that Specter would somehow “Bork” the recovery package was lost — while the senator conceded that the provision was bad, he said that he would not likely change his vote, that he could not go back on his “word.”

Specter protested the “rush to judgment,” lamented the possible “harmful effects” of the provision, called the legislation a “bitter pill to swallow,” but insisted upon its passage. He “made a commitment” and wanted to stick to it. Yet he said nothing about the commitment he made to the people here in the Keystone State, or about the commitment he made to the American people as a sitting member of the United States Senate.

Here’s the video. Watch it. The scope of Specter’s incompetence is difficult to believe without seeing it for yourself:

The aforementioned agency created by the “stimulus” bill, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is among several facets of the healthcare provision straight out of the playbook of beleaguered Health and Human Services Director ex-nominee Tom Daschle, a longtime proponent of universal healthcare, and would enable the federal government to electronically track medical treatments of nearly every patient in the United States, monitoring such treatments to ensure that what your doctor, and my doctor, and everybody else’s doctor is doing comports with the government’s opinion of what would be most case-appropriate and cost effective.

Sounds a little scary? Don’t believe me? Here are a few a lengthy but enlightening excerpts from a February 9 Bloomberg.com article (emphasis mine):

NEW PENALTIES

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time.”

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. 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 goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

I cannot help but wonder where Democrats think the rest of the world gets the vast majority of breakthrough treatments and medicine. AIDS treatments, allowing for longer and better lives for those affected with the disease, do not just accidentally appear in a university chemistry lab when “hope” is combined with idealism. Cancer is no longer always the death sentence it once was — where do they think all of this comes from?

Millions upon millions of patients in hospitals, urgent care centers, neighborhood clinics, battlefield tents and third-world apothecaries worldwide owe their very lives to the capitalism and country so vilified by those on the American political left. Without capitalism, there is no ingenuity. Without ingenuity, we’re heading backwards, not forwards, and we will see exponential increases in infant mortality rates and decreases in life span.

Specter, of all people should get this. He is walking, talking, living and breathing thanks to the ingenuity and enterprise of the free market healthcare system in America. And today, either he (1) knew about the underlying details in the healthcare provision in the bill, knew that they would enjoin others from obtaining the same treatment which saved his life, yet still voted for the bill anyway, or (2) he did not know the details of the healthcare provision–and presumably other provisions as well–contained in the legislation but still felt compelled to vote for the $838 billion “stimulus” pork-fest anyway. The former makes him a world-class hypocrite; the latter simply incompetent and certainly not worthy of the people’s trust. Either way, Specter today showed America that he is the worst kind of bureaucrat.

We move on. More from the Bloomberg piece:

ELDERLY HARDEST HIT

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

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. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

In other words — suck it up, seniors. You’re going to die anyway. Thanks again for sacrificing your youth to preserve our freedom and independence and raise us to be the ungrateful pricks we’ve now become. Gee whiz, maintaining that quality of life that some out there on the other side of the political spectrum feel as though you deserve . . . well, it’s just too darned expensive. Why treat your macular degeneration when you’re only going to use those eyes for another five or ten or twelve years, tops? We’ve got sex change operations to fund. Breast implants for teenagers. You understand, don’t you?

Again, perhaps the most unbelievable thing about all of this is, once again, that Specter can stand there and give his tacit support of this legislation, especially if he is aware that his vote will guarantee this healthcare provision be written into the final bill, undoubtedly aware that the very people hell-bent on driving American healthcare–and indeed America herself–into the ground will not just capitulate and take the offending measures out when the House and Senate bills are reconciled.

How many brain surgeries has Specter had? Two? Three? Four? Gosh, senator, don’t you think that at your advancing age it was one too many, that those healthcare dollars could have been better spent, I don’t know, providing fertility treatments to welfare mothers who already have six children they cannot support?

HIDDEN PROVISIONS

If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. 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.”

Yes, Mr. Daschle, by all means these measures should be rammed through Congress without the normal procedures that foster discussion and debate. By all means, we should hurry up and make these disastrous aspirations a reality before the American people catch on. Senate protocol? Procedures set forth by our Constitution? Bah — let’s be flexible! Time is of the essence! Quick . . . the American people are starting to pay attention!

Is there anybody with common sense even out there? Why are we not marching on Washington, D.C.? Why are we not getting the AARP involved, talking about this plan at every retirement home and dialysis clinic and casino bus depot from coast to coast? At the very least, a smattering of house-to-house bridge-club town-hall-style meetings are in order.

Last I checked, the AARP endorsed Barack Obama for president, largely in part due to fear-mongering efforts by the DNC. Even the organization’s Web site–which, honestly, looks as though it could be a leftover Obama campaign site–lauds the “stimulus” package an urges its passage. Now, their chosen candidate will facilitate efforts to ration healthcare to seniors, to force the elderly and our aging baby boomers to “be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.”

You’re dying, grandpa — deal with it! Now that’s “Change We Can Believe In!”

Once again, the passage of this so-called “stimulus” package is just more evidence that the Democrats are following the Saul Alinsky handbook and making the best possible use of the crisis facing all Americans. Once again, this is more evidence that the Democrats are willing to put party before country, to put influence before effectiveness, to completely cast aside the interests of their constituents in an effort to curry favor with the healthcare lobby–and every other lobby with an interest in the $838 billion–and ensure the perpetuation of their own power.

The saddest aspect of this whole debate is that the “stimulus” bill will likely pass today, and will pass because of the blind involvement of incompetent officials like Sen. Arlen Specter, officials who somehow have faith that unfortunate facets such as the new healthcare provisions will be willingly removed by partisan Democrats during the reconciliation process to combine the House and Senate bills. These people are delusional, all of them, and I shudder to think of the consequences down the road for the America that I love.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to Chicago-style politics on the national level. The first thing you need to understand, if you want to understand what is going on, is that NOTHING – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – that is said in public is the truth. A good rule of thumb, if you aren’t on the inside and have access to the game plan, is to assume that whatever is said in public is the opposite of what is true.

    Using The Messiah’s campaign as the baseline, he is conforming to that rule of thumb quite nicely, don’t you think? If you can recall a post-inauguration situation in which this rule of thumb has been contradicted by Obama, let me know.

    Grandpa Bob

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was taking caring of my mother for last four years, aand she died more a year ago. She didn’t ever hear of BHMO, I was talking with her older neighbors, and I said, it was a blessing that she didn’t living to see what our country is getting to up – in one year, with BHMO. Since last year..

    Nearly 1 billion dollars to hoodwinked the election and a show. People would die for that. But we would have to pay for Afrikkans, illegal aliens, not our old society, our parents or myself ?

    I thought I would maybe 20 years or so, but since I saw this ursurper, I’m think my life is shrinking.

  3. Gail B says:

    Anonymous at 9:37–

    You have made my day! Yes! I can tell you what Eric Swafford is doing! He is STANDING up for the State of Tennessee AND for the American people! Here’s the deal:

    You understand about signing onto the lawsuit for proof of eligibility, but you asked about the cutline, “Representative Swafford proposed bill for Tennessee’s soveignty yesterday.”

    He is introducing a bill to prevent the federal government from imposing illegal power over Tennessee under the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, the States Rights Amendment.

    I will seek out his address and write him in longhand to thank him!

    Now I can relax! (I just hope that Obama hasn’t covered up his records. I PRAY that the Courts will find him ineligible and that Biden will be a better man.) Thank you, Lord, for Eric Swafford!

  4. Gail B says:

    Anonymous at 9:37–

    From Eric Swafford’s webpage:

    ” I pledge to continue my service to our community by working to cut out excessive taxes, controlling government growth, and standing up to the liberals that want to enforce their agenda on our families.”
    - Eric Swafford

    Mailing address:

    The Honorable Eric Swafford
    House of Representatives
    Tennessee State Capitol
    Nashville, TN 37243

  5. Kathy says:

    And this is just one of many reasons why so many of us do NOT pray for Obama’s success, but for his failure. His failure is our success.

    Even if the courts, congress, investigators, etc. do not expose this man for the trojan horse that he is, God will have the last word. Even so, I still pray that Orly will get some great data with her subpoenas!

  6. Anonymouse says:

    I cannot overemphasize my strong belief that our government has been taken over by a  l-o-n-g planned COUP.

    You know from contrasting his campaign promises with his post-campaign actions that most of what Obama said was a lie except his vow to slay infants. Does King Herod’s massacre of the innocents come to mind?

    (Oh, another bit of his truth-telling was his unguarded mention of having been to 57 states.)

    From that slay-innocents, Hitler-like madness, how could his plan to euthanize seniors be a surprise? You might remember from my post here a couple or three nights ago that I was fully expecting it. I just didn’t expect it so soon or to be weaseled into the lard bill.

    As for Specter, I will bet you my last dollar that he is BOUGHT. What else could account for his mouthing protests re the bill while voting FOR it?

    Remember Eliza Doolittle’s “Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words"? What we've been hearing from Obamination & Colluders is nothing but slick, oily words.

    And we ourselves have tried with words to our reps and senators and the RNC but Chicago politics enabled by the backers of Obama (same "religion" as the ones who helped fund his Harvard Law School education so he could learn how to weasel under the Constitution?) wield greater power than our words.

    If we do not ACT . . . we WILL be trampled on and either sent to Obama’s detention camps or euthanized.

    But WHAT can we do? If hordes marched on Washington with pitchforks as I’ve read suggested several times, Obama would only quell that uprising with the National Guard, his militia, and/or maybe additional troops rushed to his aid from the Middle East?

    One hopeful note: I read that on the MommaE radio show a detective said he had found a Social Security number in the name of BARRY SOETORO. That’s all I know, I do not yet see more on the Web. Is there more than one Barry Soetoro in the US? Is the person who held (holds) that SS number the same Barry Soetoro who (reportedly) broke his way into the White House? Has anyone here learned any more about that SS number’s owner?

    Jeff, if that SS no. turns out to be real and to belong to the Barry Soetoro in the White House and is submitted as Exhibit A to a Supreme Court justice of integrity (or is that an oxymoron?), would that gas jet be enough to cook his goose?

    P.S. Gail B., you’re welcome. Let’s continue bombarding the RNC even if all appears hopeless. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Jeff, please delete anything from this that you think could land me in the CIA’s handcuffs. Thanks!

  7. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Anonymouse — Specter hasn’t been “bought.” He’s just a liberal.

    – Jeff

  8. Anonymous says:

    Democrats and 3Republicans = Depression and Riots in less than a year.

    Only an opinion mind you.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Take the handcuffs if you believe what you said. I believe you may be right.
    The handcuffs may be degrading but not standing up for what you believe is inviting the opposition to freely walk all over you without a whimper.

  10. CAL says:

    The reason these politicians can vote for this stuff is that they never have to live with the same laws that the rest of us do. You can bet that all the seniors in the senate and congress will still get their treatments covered while the rest of us will be denied.
    We need term limits badly – but I understand it is unconstitutional. Why can you have term limits for the president, but not the house and senate?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I will be one of those who will not be renewing my license to practice nursing when it comes up for renewal in Nov. No way will I work under such a system. I hope to be a VOLUNTEER for the rest of my useful days.
    anonymous, RN,BSN

  12. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the issue about “Socialized Medicine Hidden in the Stimulus Bill”, I forwarded the article to several national areas of the AARP organization is this is the reply I received:

    Thank you for contacting AARP to voice concern about comments from the news media criticizing the comparative effectiveness research provision in the economic recovery package being debated inCongress.

    Opponents of health care reform have begun using scare tactics and misleading the public to keep us from fixing our broken health care system. It is my pleasure to clarify what the provision entails.

    The economic recovery package being considered by Congress contains a provision which will provide $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. Comparative effectiveness research is a wonky term that means the ability to compare different kinds of
    treatments to find out which one works best for which patient. It is patently false to say this provision will lead to the rationing of care.

    Both houses of Congress included funding for this important research in their economic recovery plans because lawmakers understand the need to improve the quality and performance of our health system.
    AARP would strongly oppose any attempts to limit doctors and hospitals from providing the best possible care to their patients-the provisions in these bills don’t make any such attempt. In fact, this research would do the opposite-giving doctors the best information
    available to make health care decisions with their patients.

    This research is designed to also empower patients-giving them more and better information so they can make better decisions with their doctors. This is a common sense idea that is, unfortunately, not happening now. Some estimates say that only about half of all therapies that patients receive have been backed up by head-to-head comparisons with alternatives. While our country spends more than $2
    trillion a year on health care, we spend less than 0.1 percent on evaluating how that care works compared to other options.

    I hope this information sheds light on this issue, which has been misrepresented by some in the media. Again, thank you for providing us the opportunity to share with you the facts regarding this provision. If there is anything we can discuss with you in the
    future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Sincerely,
    June
    Member Communications
    Member@aarp.org

    Jordan McNerney
    AARP / Media Relations Manager / Health
    work 202-434-2569 / cell 202-290-0672

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