Son of Porkulus

The news contained in this post is so horrifying that I’m going to put up some extremely cute pictures along with the text to try to offset the mounting terror.

cutie2

The bizarrely massive porkulus bill that just passed the senate, has had some interesting little hidden things in it. And by “interesting” I mean “horrific” and by “little” I mean “enormous”.

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Look back at the doggie!

cutie1

So never mind that I pay to go to a PRIVATE doctor, whom I expect to keep my fucking business to HIMSELF – now he will have to report my every visit, my every prescription, to the feds? THE FEDS? (I dare say some doctors are going to go rogue on this one – this is an outrage beyond most outrages I’ve ever read of – they NEED to step up and say “NO, we will NOT do this.” A database? A fucking FEDERAL database? You weren’t worried about stupid little things like your privacy, were you? Your autonomy? Your liberty? You can kiss those things goodbye, pal. They were never yours.

dumbooctopus-s448x450-2298-580

Now my doctor weighed me once, the first time I visited him; and has never mentioned my weight to me, or asked me to get on the scale. He is more concerned about things like my asthma and my stress levels. But God forbid he asks me now – the feds will most certainly tell him that I must lose weight and if I don’t I’ll be non-compliant…that won’t help them save money, right? Never mind that IT’S MY FUCKING MONEY I’m spending to get PRIVATE treatment from my PRIVATE PERSONAL doctor.

dorayaki

This is so far beyond a travesty that I’m getting speechless. I could go on about it for weeks, months, and never hit the end, and I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Well, frankly I’ve been hearing a lot of people screaming about socialist health care and how we need it. All it costs you is your privacy and your liberty and your autonomy. And MINE TOO. Thanks a fucking lot. All I ever asked is to be left OUT of these plans and to be allowed to live my life – because, you know, the constitution says I have that right. Form all the little socialist societies you want and all the voluntary plans you want, but leave me out of it. Now these people have thrown out *everyone’s* autonomy for them. Nice job. Those of you who wanted it – hope you enjoy it as much as I will. TANSTAAFL, but no one knows this anymore. Pfft. Here’s a pretty good rant on it; most of which I would have said myself. Enjoy. :)

UPDATE: Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)
What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Even before socialized medicine inevitably degenerates into mandatory euthanasia à la Logan’s Run, the elderly will be hit hard.

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.

It just gets better and better.

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13 comments on “Son of Porkulus

  1. vesta44 says:

    Yeah, and there’s no way to opt out, they aren’t going to let you do that at all, ever. And they have the right to sell your information to anyone they want to, and can use that information against you to deny you insurance coverage, jobs, whatever they damned well please. Electronic records suck it big time, and then there’s the lovely prospect of some random jackass hacking the system and stealing your information to do who the fuck knows what with it.
    I’ve been saying this for a while now, but when shit like this becomes law, re-education camps for the con-compliant can’t be far behind. If your doctor tells you to lose weight, and you follow his instructions to the tee, and don’t lose weight (been there done that), you’re non-compliant and a liar and will be punished, one way or another. If you have any health problem that the government sees as a result of your lifestyle (and that’s any ill health at all, from fat to cancer to a heart attack/stroke, the flu, or the common cold), you will be punished, most likely by being refused any medical care at, or interned in a camp where you will be forcibly treated to “cure” you. When that happens, I’m outa here.

  2. anniemcphee says:

    That’s exactly right. They fought for this and they’ve got it; now we all suffer. Line up in an orderly fashion, take this bar of soap, and when the shower starts, breathe deep.

  3. bigliberty says:

    Can I instead cram the bar of soap down the throat of my oppressors and have one or two die horribly while I’m given a proper execution? ;)

    Great post, Annie.

    I’ve been saying this ever since I started this blog: government control of healthcare is not comparable to private control, in the sense that one can at the very least opt out of private care, and let market forces translate demand for more understanding care into supply.

    With government, blanket-standards, healthcare becomes a reflection of election results and current moral values and not a reflection of actual science and outcomes. Additionally, when “we” are shouldering the costs of our neighbors, anything “we” deem inappropriate, excessive, or self-inflicted, is disallowed, regardless of whether it would improve individual outcomes.

    I love how this is being Trojan-ed in, in both that it’s a Trojan horse, and the people who will be receiving its brunt are getting royally screwed.

    If doctors thought this was needed, if patients wanted a bureaucracy to stand between them and the prescription pad, this provision could have stood alone, in its own bill. But it can’t (as was shown with the HillaryCareBomb).

    Oh yeah, and how especially is *this* effing stimulus? What a lark.

  4. anniemcphee says:

    So much for “You can KEEP your current insurance if you like it” promises/lies. What does that matter now? So much for the lie that before rushing legislation through he would be transparent enough to have the bills up in full online so the citizens could give feedback for a few days. So much for liberty, autonomy, and good medical care. So much for the elderly who should just live sick instead of being treated – just pull the plug already.

    Carousel begins in 3 minutes. Report to Carousel.

    How could it even be possible that the Supreme Court would not strike down something so obviously antithetical to the constitution and to liberty? How could such a Trojan horse not be completely illegal?

  5. bigliberty says:

    The way our system works, however, is that the Senate can pass anything they please, regardless of its Constitutionality. Then it takes a court case – a citizen/group/state suing the Feds/state, which begins in the lower courts and wends its way up to the higher courts.

    In other words, unconstitutional laws can stay on the books for years and, if you have the right (read: wrong) kind of balance in the Supreme Court, they can say it’s part of the “living Constitution” and hence they can legislate from the bench, making whatever they want Constitutional, regardless of original intent.

  6. gabfly says:

    Sorry but right now fat people are dying because they’re denied healthcare. They’re also euthanized when, people looking at them, decide that their life isn’t worth living and so it would be so kind just to deny them treatment that is seen as prolonging their pathetic lives. We have no recourse with private companies that are often forced on us by our employers, if we’re lucky enough to have such forced healthcare even. And, they’re already providing healthcare, which amounts to mandated weight loss or else at private companies. I’d much rather have universal healthcare covered by the government, which will be responsive to the citizen.

    And, when has science ever been apolitical? Its history is pretty sad, and if anything, as scientists now admit, it has become more intertwined with big corporations that do not support nor want objective studies at all.

  7. bigliberty says:

    Sorry gabfly, but this:

    “I’d much rather have universal healthcare covered by the government, which will be responsive to the citizen.”

    is simply a fantasy. The government is not responsive to the citizen, it’s responsive to lobbyists and whomever they deem has the most power/money to help them remain in office. And in this day and age, corruption and money is enough to get anyone elected.

    Plus, even if it were true that government was responsive to the citizen, I don’t want “citizens” deciding who should or should not receive care. I want my doctor to do that.

    Like we’ve mentioned above, with one blanket healthcare plan there is no choices, no recourse. The idea that fat people are being euthanized by private companies is simply absurd. If you have any resources proving this (not Michael Moore films or moveon.org articles) I would appreciate this.

    People are not “forced” by their employers to do anything, simply because we are not “forced” to take a job with a particular company in the first place. I know in this day and age of entitlement, where everyone thinks they have a “right” to a job, definitions of words get fuzzy. But when I’m required, by provision in a federal law, to have my medical records tracked — *that’s* forced. Regardless of how much I might “need” a job, and believe me, I don’t come from the kind of stock that doesn’t have to work hard for a living, I am never “forced” to take a job, or keep a job. In that same sense, I’m not “forced” to accept healthcare, even though it might be financially infeasible for me to own my own plan.

    If an insurance company is paying for fat people to be euthanized, why don’t the fat people opt out of care? It’s that easy now, in nearly all of America. It’s when government steps in with the power of law we can start talking about force. For instance, my taxes increase by $900 a year (and more in subsequent years) if I don’t have health insurance in MA, where I reside. If I default on that portion of my taxes, it’s not the insurance company that’s going to send me to jail, or my employer, or my doctor. It’s the government. Understand?

    I hear this fallacious argument about how insurance companies are killing people, discriminating, and denying care, and so that means we should all accept the lesser of two evils, government-mandated and provided healthcare. The people who put these arguments forth usually have no idea what they’re talking about: they don’t understand that it’s the suffocating state regulatory system that’s making health insurance so expensive in the first place, and that if we allowed insurance companies more freedom to tailor plans to different incomes, we *all* could purchase our own private, non-employer based plans, *just like we do with our car insurance*. I bet you didn’t know that.

    So sorry, your argument doesn’t hold any water. I apologize if any of this was harsh, but we don’t mince words here, especially not when we’re facing down the barrel of Big Brother’s gun. Universal or mandated healthcare would be the absolutely worst thing for fat people. It would make even the abuses of today’s system look like gifts.

  8. anniemcphee says:

    A company doesn’t have the power to put me in jail, take my money by force, doesn’t have policemen and prisons and gulags and tanks and soldiers to send after me and force my compliance. If you would rather have THAT than liberty, because for some bizarre reason you think a bureaucracy will be responsive to you (wow – companies spend half their money on focus groups and marketing ideas trying to see what people want; government just takes what they demand and spends it on whatever the fuck they decide to; people be damned) then go ahead and support it. Some of us will be fighting to the death against it. It’s clearly unconstitutional, it’s VERY clearly a loss of autonomy and liberty and privacy, and it’s pretty also clearly *evil.* No thanks.

  9. anniemcphee says:

    I forgot to add in that law such as this are purely **incompatible** with liberty, autonomy, and privacy. THe people never give up their liberty except under some great delusion – this one seems to be about companies being more dangerous than the truly dangerous power of force.

    I just read an excellent article about this delusion, but naturally can’t find it right now. I’ll see if I can get hold of it again.

  10. anniemcphee says:

    Ok, sorry I keep forgetting things, but this isn’t even government mandated and provided care. This is government deciding how our PRIVATE insurance companies, nay – even A CASH VISIT BETWEEN MY DOCTOR AND MYSELF – may or may not operate. My doctor will now, when I go in and pay him cash for a visit, as I do, have to make up a report to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT about what he did and what type of treatment, if any, was required.

    This gets fed into a database wherein Der Kommissars will decide if my doctor should be allowed to prescribe the medicine he did, or maybe he should stop treating me for X altogether, or maybe he should mandate weight loss before treating the asthma, etc. I can understand them directing their socialist capitals in the directions they see fit, and people are dying for it already (because his goal here is to let more people stay sick, not treat them – as is of course the necessary goal of socialist health plans, because there isn’t enough money anywhere to give everyone everything they need) but this is not only a gross violation of doctor-patient confidentiality, but also the government telling me how I may or may not spend MY OWN FUCKING MONEY on my health care. Are you kidding me?

    The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an author-ity which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a many who had folly and presump-tion enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
    The Wealth of Nations, Book IV, Chapter II

  11. deannacorbeil says:

    I hate to tell you this, but some of this nationalized, mandated medical information-gathering is already going on and has been since, if I remember correctly, the mid- to late-90′s. I’m an RN of some 25 years experience, working in home health care. What I’m referring to is something known as OASIS data (the Outcome and ASsessment Information Set (OASIS). The collection of this data is required on all adult home care patients on Medicare, and forms the basis for “measuring patient outcomes” for “purposes of outcome-based quality improvement.” Sound familiar?

    Every single time I admit a patient, discharge a patient, send a patient to the hospital, and resume care of a patient after they’ve been discharged from the hospital/rehab/nursing home, I must collect this data. The admission forms alone constitute over 20 pages. There are questions about every aspect of a patient’s health, including their ability to ambulate, whether they have had a urinary tract infection, if they have wounds, a psychiatric history, etc.

    When this was first started, we were assured that patient confidentiality would be maintained. We are still assured of this, but I am not confident in that fact. We were also assured that performing these assessments would improve the quality of patient care and would give us measurable ways to determine that quality. There is some evidence of this, but it could have been achieved by keeping the data collected within each particular agency. I still have great concerns about patient privacy.

    There are arguments to be made about the rights of the insurer to have health information in order to determine appropriate coverage. (We can argue about the existence of Medicare later :) ) But we are talking about a MASSSIVE collection of data here, to which thousands of government workers have access.

    The Feds have already successfully implemented one program that potentially (actually?) compromises the privacy of patients. It won’t be so difficult for them to begin another.

    Count me damned concerned.

  12. anniemcphee says:

    I found this comment from David Gordon relevant to the discussion – it was in an article discussing Ubel:

    “The matter of course worsens if, like Oppenheimer, Nock, Chodorov, and Rothbard, one views the state as a predatory gang. Then we have no reason at all to think the state would improve on what free individuals can achieve for themselves. Ubel mocks those who speak of a “nanny state”; but the real problem is not that the state officiously looks out for our best interests at the expense of our freedom.[1] It is that the state exploits us.

  13. richie79 says:

    This topic always splits me right down the middle. On the one hand, from where I’m sitting in the UK I’m more than aware of the way government-provided, shared-risk systems of health care can be used to enforce conformity to a certain set of ‘responsibilities’ – first through pressure, then disapproval, then outright compulsion. The way the NHS has been hijacked by the neo-Puritans who want nothing less than complete control over what we smoke, eat, drink and all the rest is truly terrifying. The National Obesity Register, an amalgam of data from tens of thousands of doctor’s surgeries up and down the country (who in turn collected it in return for payment as part of the ‘Quality and Outcomes Framework’) is within months of going live, and the potential uses of this precursor to the National Identity Register scare the hell out of me. In a truly de-centralised system (and it would appear that the US is also moving away from that) such a thing would not be possible; your BMI would stay in your file in the doctor’s office, and couldn’t be added to your ID card, stored by your employer, used to prevent you buying certain foods or force you to pay extra taxes, or be wielded against you by child protection officers.

    On the other hand, whilst I do appreciate the subtle differences between being compelled to do something (ie have health insurance) by government mandate and compelled to do it by circumstance (it comes as part of a job, and you can’t live without working) I think in reality the effects are basically the same – you don’t have a choice, not unless you’re one of the few who could realistically go and live ‘off the grid’ in the woods and be entirely self-sufficient. The fact that of the one-third of Americans who lack basic cover a sizeable majority would opt for it were it affordable suggests that the current market driven model isn’t meeting the needs of those it claims to serve. In practice, the proportion of revenue raised from premiums that funds profit – payments for shareholders, bonuses for CEOs and art for head office lobbies – rather than treatments demonstrates that this is every bit as inefficient a method of delivery as the bureaucracy and misplaced priorities that characterise entirely public schemes.

    And whilst I have a problem with the rationing of healthcare (which in a civilised human society should be a basic right) on the grounds of personal responsibility or whatever moral factors happen to be in vogue at a particular point in time, I don’t believe that income-based methods of discrimination are any fairer. At least in the UK everyone who IS eligible gets the same standard of treatment and you don’t often hear of someone having to sell everything they own for being silly enough to get sick in the UK, whereas in the States sickness and accident remain the leading causes of personal bankruptcy. I’m not sure how, given the immense costs of operations (the surgeons involved expect to be handsomely rewarded for their skills and time) and drugs (which cost billions to develop which have to somehow be recouped) any for-profit system can ever address that. However I’m equally skeptical about how the Governments that operate socialised provision can ever resist the temptation to abuse the power such systems grant them.

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