When you read through the nearly seven hundred pages of the House stimulus
bill it is easy to begin dozing off after a few hundred billion dollars
worth of run-of-the-mill wasteful government spending. One has to keep a
keen eye out for the components of the bill that don't just steal your
money, but that may actually do you great physical harm, if not kill you
On page 151 of this legislative pork-fest is one of the clandestine nuggets
of social policy manipulation that are peppered throughout the bill.
Section 9201 of the stimulus package establishes the "Federal Coordinating
Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research." This body, which would be
made up of federal bureaucrats will "coordinate the conduct or support of
comparative effectiveness and related health services research."
Sounds benign enough, but the man behind the Coordinating Council, Health
and Human Services Secretary-designate (and tax cheat) Tom Daschle (of course Daschle has been replaced with another socialist), was kind
enough to explain the goal of this organization. It is to cut health care
costs by preventing Americans from getting treatments that the government
decides don't meet their standards for cost effectiveness. In his 2008 book
on health care, he explained that such a council would, "lower overall
spending by determining which medicines, treatments and procedures are most
effective-and identifying those that do not justify their high price tags."
Once a panel of government experts decides what is and what is not
cost-effective by their definition, the government will stop paying for
treatments, medicines, therapies or devices that fall into the latter
category. Initially, this will limit access to very expensive treatments
limits for such treatments, the demand for and further development of such
treatments would likely dry up. And Daschle wants to expand the
Coordinating Council's power even further, allowing the government to deny
tax benefits for private insurance that covers treatments deemed too
expensive by the Council. Thus, if a handful of government employees deem a
therapy not cost effective, no health insurance will cover it and it will
become virtually unobtainable to patients at any cost.