Friday, February 20, 2009

Medical procedures and the sttimulus package


Doctor's Orders?
Republicans claim that the new stimulus law says the government will tell physicians what procedures can and can't be performed. It doesn't.
Republican politicians have claimed that the stimulus bill requires that doctors follow government orders on what medical treatments can and can't be prescribed. But the bill doesn't say that.
  • Rep. Tom Price of Georgia says the measure creates "a national health care rationing board." Not true. What it creates is a council to coordinate research into which treatments work best, and are most effective for the money. And in fact, the new law states quite specifically that the council has no power to "mandate coverage" and that its recommendations are not to be construed as "clinical guidelines for ... treatment."

  • Betsy McCaughey, a Republican former lieutenant governor of New York, claims that the bill creates a "new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology." Not true. The office was created in 2004 by President Bush. McCaughey also says the office "will monitor treatments" and " 'guide' your doctor's decisions." But that's nothing new. Bush's initiative called for creating a health IT system to transmit information to "guide medical decisions."
Critics of comparative effectiveness research, which the government has been funding for decades, claim that it will lead to treatment being approved or denied based on costs. Proponents say it will improve the quality of care and can, in some cases, show that more costly treatments aren't as effective as less expensive alternatives.

We can't predict what will happen in the future, but we can say that several claims being made about the impact of the bill are simply opinions being passed off as facts.

Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site:

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Sylvia K said...

Thanks for the info, Mary, the Republicans are so full of anger and seem to be determined to bad-mouth any and everything that comes out of the White House regardless of the reality of the situation.

Jeni said...

Ya know, what would be the difference if there were a government board or council or whatever, to oversee medical procedures that would or would not be covered and the number crunchers who often dictate to doctors and patients alike what procedures our health insurance (for those lucky enough to have any type of health insurance in the first place) will pay for?

A friend of mine -late friend now -had one of these number cruncher types nix a treatment for him to try to halt the growth of cancer cells in his lungs -spread from the colon cancer which had been his initial diagnoses. Social Security (medicare) had approved the treatment but his insurance company would not. Where does the doctor, the one who prescribed this fit into this picture anyway? Shouldn't it be the doctor who has the final say over the patient and treatments, meds, etc? It was eventually approved but who knows how much affect there may have been for the delays involved, due to the original turn-down by the insurace company over the treatment. Cancer does not take a rest, a break, so to speak, while people debate whether to pay for a treatment or not. Well, for that matter, neither do other illnesses for that matter.

Dianne said...

so let me get this right? the Republicans are spinning yarns and twisting facts and outright telling lies?

wow!! how shocking

it disgusts me how they just want us to sink, there is virtually no concern by the grand old party for this country at all

Travis said...

I hope people haven't forgotten that they still need to research the "news" that they hear. That kind of thing shouldn't have stopped with the end of the campaign. We must remember not to rely on the opinions we hear as our only source for understanding of decisions that impact us.

Thanks for putting this out there.

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, no. I wrote the whole block full. Erase. Delete. Really tired of the maroons that ran this place into the hole and now turn 'smart'. Whew. Here I go again. LOL