Archive for July 8th, 2010

Almost 1 year ago I wrote a post regarding the fact that President Obama had not appointed anyone to lead the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. One would have thought that given the importance of this position to health care in this country and the health insurance debate, that having someone in place would have been on the President’s short list of “Things To Do Today” — rather than play golf, host party, & schmooze America’s enemies which seemed to have been on the list.

Well, he finally got around to appointing someone — AS A RECESS APPOINTMENT.

What is a recess appointment? This person gets to take the job without any Senate Confirmation hearings because the Senate is in recess. But, with 57 Democrat Senators and some centrist Republicans, do you really think that the appointment would have failed? Here’s what a disappointed Democrat Senator Max Baucus, who chairs the committee that would have heard the appointment, had to say:

Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power.

The President explained that:

It’s unfortunate that at a time when our nation is facing enormous challenges, many in Congress have decided to delay critical nominations for political purposes.

It is shocking that a Democratic President would accuse a Democratic Senator of wanting to play politics with his appointment. Maybe the real reason that President Obama is by-passing the process is that he knows how unpopular the healthcare insurance bill is, and that the confirmation process would point out that the nominee is a huge supporter of… RATIONING HEALTH CARE. To quote an editorial today in the Wall Street Journal:

“I am romantic about the National Health Service,” [Dr. Donald Berwick] told a London audience in 2008, referring to the British single-payer system. “I love it,” Dr. Berwick added, going on to call it “such a seductress” and “a global treasure.” He routinely points to the NHS as a health-care model for the U.S.

And as I have pointed out in this blog before, Britain’s Orwellian-named, NICE, is a rationing system based on economists picking a cost per person to spend and the bureaucrats determining how to spend it:

Michael Rawlins, the physician who has chaired NICE since its inception said that it was designed to:

be fair to all patients in the National Health Service (NHS), not just patients with macular degeneration or breast cancer or renal cancer. If we spend a lot of money on a few patients, we have less money to spend on everyone else. We are not trying to be unkind or cruel. We are trying to look after everybody.

The big problem is why we have chosen ~$34,000 per QALY. I have always been very honest about this. There is really no empirical research that tells us where the boundaries ought to be. It is really a judgment of the economic community that has provided that sort of number.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want some faceless bureaucrat “looking after” me. I’m perfectly capable of looking after myself.

So, the real reason that the President has bypassed his own Democrat comrades in the Senate is that he doesn’t want Americans to know that the healthcare insurance reform bill was a rationing tool. So much for transparency by this Administration. The Left must be so proud.

Maybe we’ll call our rationing system NICE, TOO.


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