Comparative Effectivenes: How much are you worth?

Nationalizing Life and Death, March 8,2009, John Griffing points out that:

Hidden deep in the stimulus bill is a Trojan horse like no other. I am not speaking of pork. A scheme more dastardly would have been hard to concoct. With the passage of this bill, the US government is now empowered to "ration" healthcare. That means, to treat or not to treat is now a government question.

Within the bill is a line that would sentence millions of people to death:

In addition, $400,000,000 shall be accelerate the development and dissemination of research assessing the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies, including through efforts that: (1) conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions

For those that don't speak draconian, "comparative effectiveness" means that the cost of an individual's treatment will be divided by the number of years they are likely to benefit. If your treatment is too "costly" you will be thrown out with the bathwater. No country for old men. The bill also created the "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research" to make comparative effectiveness decisions. Only 20 years after winning the Cold War we are adopting central planning as our preferred model. Only, instead of determining the number of toothbrushes, this committee will determine the value of someone's life. How ironic.
"Trust but verify," as Reagan has been quoted saying during the Cold War. So I followed his advice and checked it out...

Sure enough, it's up for plain sight on the Health & Human Services website:

Well, I know at least one person that might be intrigued to know that we will have a board meeting to make cost effectiveness analysis on providing health care for us. I can tell you though, it isn't me.

Welcome to socialized medicine. Do yourself a favor, stop growing older...


Ben Hansen said...

Be sure to read Dr. Grace Jackson's "Open Letter to the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research" posted at the Institute for Nearly Genuine Research web site:

chronicon said...

Thanks Ben, the letter was very interesting. Treating the "root cause of illness" as opposed to simply suppressing symptoms would be a radical (and positive) change in approach (as far as I can tell).

Since the government is bent on controlling health care in the US--if they adopt this approach it would go a long way to convincing me that this is not in fact another method of entitlement-enslavement.

Letting me opt-out of their medical records database would do much in that area as well. Otherwise, I am afraid of where this is all leading.

Originally published: April 22, 2009 5:38 PM

Updated Jan. 12, 2013: Years later I found the following glaring error in my original comment, and have now corrected it above: "Treating symptoms as opposed to eliminating the "root cause of illness" would be a radical (and positive) change in approach (as far as I can tell)."