Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Death Panel by any other Name….is okay with Darrell Issa.

Republicans should talk less about "death panels" and more about cutting the overuse of expensive medical procedures, said Darrell Issa … the California lawmaker said one of his top issues would be slicing medical costs … a report suggesting that expensive cardiovascular and orthopedic implants are overused by doctors, sometimes after aggressive promotion by device makers.
WSJ: Under current rules, Medicare cannot consider cost-effectiveness in its coverage decisions. But Issa said it may be time to consider costs as well as efficacy, as long as medical decisions are made by doctors, not by "bureaucrats" in government.
As long as someone is making a medical decision based on cost, we have rationing, an actual death panel imposed by “bureaucrats” on doctors. The article points out the screaming obviousness of the argument:
Cost-effectiveness became the center of controversy during the debate leading up to the passage of the Democrats' health-care bill in March. Some critics of the bill claimed the Obama administration's plans could lead to government "death panels."
Should we be surprised that the party who came up with the idea of a death panel, would eventually be pushing the idea under the guise of something less offensively named?

Mr. Issa said that "medical panels of people who care about what's best for their patients" and about appropriate procedures "is good science and good medicine. Republicans have to step back from the words 'death panels."

Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat who is retiring this year … said it was unusual for Republicans to raise cost-effectiveness. In other instances, he said, "they called it rationing."

Gov. Jan Brewer’s ban on transplant coverage in Medicaid is even more striking, considering this is the party that would supposedly protect grandma from death panels, because they’re making the decision to let people die due to costly medical proceedures that don't have a high enough success rate.
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