Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just in case you didn't think the porkulus package sucked enough already....

An economist from Bloomberg has read the entire Pork Package (I just can't bring myself to lie to people like a politician does and call it a 'stimulus') and found some interesting sections that I'm extremely surprised (ok, that's sarcasm) that no one is talking about nor has objected to.

Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant Governor for New York and current fellow at the Hudson Institute has read the entire package, unlike the politicians that are spending our money for us and has found some details that definitely set us on the road to socialized medicine. The Hudson Institute is a think-tank whose mission statement says that their goals are "... innovative research and analysis that promotes global security, prosperity, and freedom."

Ms. McCaughey has found within the Pork Package, a section that creates an entirely new bureaucracy, called the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. This position will not only work to turn everyones health record into an electronic version that is centrally stored in a government database, but will also set the standards for care, using these newly digitized records. First of all, for the record, I'm in favor of a centralized electronic medical record. I work for a hospital and I see the benefit of this sharing of information between institutations and the efficiencies that it buys us. However, the government should be the last bunch of idiots put in charge of this sharing. Our credit information is managed by the free market, why can't our health care be managed by the same group? I've dealt with mistakes in my military record that took six months to fix. Can you imagine what would happen to you if something accidentally was put into your record and dealing with the government employees in an attempt to fix it?

"Our records show that you're pregnant Mr. Johnson. Here are your prenatal vitamins"
"Um...I'm male, and 41. I think your records are wrong"
"Our records cannot be wrong"
"In this case, I think you need to look again"
"Oh, I guess there may have been a data entry mistake. Ok, well, take this form to request the change form. Fill it out, all four pages, front and back. Send it in to our processing center, where it will take 6-8 weeks to process to get you the hearing request form. Once you get the hearing request form, please discuss with your lawyer and fill out the entire booklet to request a scheduled hearing. Our backlog is currently approximately 12 months"

Yeah, that's just the people I want managing my medical records. Don't get me wrong, some of the people that work at hospitals (at least the ones I've encountered) should already be government employees, given their lack of work-ethic and utter laziness. But I think that can apply to almost any industry. As my drill instructors use to say "There's always going to be that 10% that we can use as cannon fodder"

But that's not all. If they were just putting together a central database to store all our medical records, I could almost accept it (other than the fact that about the only computers that are broken into more often than government computers would be the random Russian computer that hosts pr0n). Unfortunately, that's nowhere near the end of the proposal. Rather, the government will use the data to monitor your treatments and ensure that your physician is doing what the federal government deems to be cost effective. So, back to the "government knows better than your doctor" discussion. The goal is to reduce costs, NOT to, oh, I dunno...save a life or get you the best treatment. Don't believe me? Check out pages 442 and 446 of the Pork Package.

Think that this is just the creation of this bureaucracy surrounding the database? Then why is it that more money is allocated to this area than is allocated to medical care for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines combined (pages 90-92, 174-177, 181)? Thought that the Obamessiah was going to take care of the veterans? Oh yeah, sure he did. He actually VISITED them at Walter Reed and laid his gaze upon them. That should heal a few.

This package needs more scrutiny. The fact is that the more the American people learn about this Pork-laden piece of garbage, the more they will realize that they're giving up what is left of their freedom for a handout that won't even affect the majority of us.

George Washington once said "Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession". Let's not let the government/liberals get posession of the health care system any more than they already have, or we'll see the quality of our care go down and the costs go up. You think the cost of health care is bad now, just wait until the libs get a hold of it. The only difference is that it'll all be hidden in the governmental budgetary process now.

Post script: if you actually want to read the entire thing, you can find the Pork Package here, but I've referred to specific pages within the PDF in my analysis. I've not read it cover to cover, as I'm not a complete and total sadist, but I've read enough to know that it's f-ing ridiculous and no stimulus package.

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