Thursday, March 18, 2010

Health Bill Is Malpractice

An Op-Ed by Senator Tom Colburn, M.D. discusses the so-called "reform" bill, rightly calling it "an act of historic arrogance and deception". Beyond the fact that the American people overwhelmingly reject this monstrosity, and beyond the procedural gymnastics being used to force it down our throats, is that it will simply not work.

Supporters argue that the bill will save taxpayers $100 billion over 10 years, but this estimate is a sham. The numbers Congress gave to the Congressional Budget Office include 10 years of tax increases but only six years of benefits at the back end. This is unjust and deceptive Enron-style accounting. No homeowner would allow a bank to tell them they have to make mortgage payments for four years before they can move into their new home. Yet that is precisely what Congress is telling the American people.

The bill will also cause health care costs and premiums to increase, not decrease. According to CBO, premiums for families could rise 10 to 13 percent beyond current estimates. The president’s own actuary also estimated that health care costs will increase, not decrease, under the Senate bill.

Proponents are not only wrong about cost containment but patient choice as well. The fact is the Senate bill takes unprecedented steps to put government bureaucrats between patients and doctors. For instance, the Senate bill creates new comparative effectiveness research (CER) panels that have been used as rationing commissions in other countries such as the U.K., where 15,000 cancer patients die prematurely every year according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

This is a massive new entitlement program, despite the fact our other big entitlements are all going broke. There is NO evidence that this will be any different.

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