ObamaCare Advisory Board: Outside Sphere of Public Scrutiny: Medical Social Justice Coming Right At You

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, additional Obama health care mandates are on their way, and the mandaters, known as the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force,  (commonly known as ‘death panels’) will operate completely outside the purview of government transparency. Of course, “government transparency” is a thing of the past, but this Task Force hasn’t had to finagle it’s obscurity. It is set up to work in secret, with no oversight, within the thousands of pages of ObamaCare regulations.

Dr. Susan Barry at BigGovernment:

The committee already has a letter grading system (“A” through “D”) to rate medical services and prevention screenings. Services rated “A” or “B” must be covered by health insurers in full- with no copayments, or, in the language of President Obama and liberal politicians, “free.” According to Dr. Gottlieb, “A” or “B” rated colon cancer screenings for middle-aged Americans and seniors will be provided “free,” while other tests that are rated “C” or “D,” such as some which screen for ovarian or testicular cancer, would be eliminated entirely.

Because of the high costs associated with “A” and “B” mandated services (turns out they are not “free” after all), many health plans will ultimately drop coverage for the types of screenings and services that get a lower “grade” on the ObamaCare report card.

The Preventive Services Task Force essentially functions as a “czar,” in that it is exempted from the rules that govern other government advisory boards and regulation agencies.

In other words, it operates completely outside the sphere of public scrutiny, i.e., no transparency required whatsoever, no public comments, no consumer appeals, and no lawsuits.

In light of what we are discovering about ObamaCare- that it is not about healthcare whatsoever, but more about government control of our lives…

View a list of the members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force here. Nowhere do I see the name Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, but since he worked hand-in-hand with the architects of ObamaCare, and has spoken publicly about what ObamaCare should and should not do, it is reasonable to expect that some of his thoughts about health care will be mirrored among the Task Force members. Here’s an example:

Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

The above statement was quoted by Betsy McCaughey, a former Lt. Governor for the State of New York, in an op-ed in The New York Times. Former New York Mayor Ed Koch quotes her in the Weekly Standard. I attempted to find the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). On doing an online search for the quote, it came up indexed on Google under the title of The Perfect Storm of OverUtilization. Only the first 150 words were available to me since I do not have a log-in at JAMA. I believe it is safe to say, that Emanuel is not being misquoted. Numerous other quotes attributed to him have been rebutted as ‘posing thought’ not ‘advocating for’ an idea – such as this:

Emanuel, however, believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ’96).

He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years” (Lancet, Jan. 31).

Zeke Emanuel was, and may still be, a health policy advisor to the head of Office of Management and Budget. He held that position when Peter Orzag was there. Cannot confirm he is still there, as we are two OMB-heads down the road now. But working out of the White House on health policy, Ezekiel Emanuel believes physicians take their hippocratic oath too serious. Can we think he will not have some influence on the thought processes of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

Some medical social justice is on the way – and especially for the elderly. What if you are a Senior who has never cost the system a thing, or hardly anything. Perhaps you haven’t really used much of government’s medical benefits at all. Think that can’t happen? Think again. Many of my friends parents over 65 are well and healthy. They haven’t abused their knees, their joints are not rheumatic. Many are still working and producing, several have never been hospitalized. But when their time comes, what will be there for them? I don’t have a response to no screening for ovarian and testicular cancers – especially for those with a family history. It’s too horrid to contemplate.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is the Czar in panel form that will control the quality of the rest of your life. You will have nothing to say about it. You will have no recourse.

Linked by the great folks at Grumpy Opinions (read ’em, you’ll love ’em)

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook