Monday, December 27, 2010

Brave New World Of Government Health Care

Do you remember back during the debate on Obamacare when Sarah Palin said it would lead to death panels? The supporters of the government takeover of healthcare went nuts. The said there absolutely would not be any death panels, Sarah was an idiot and had no idea what she was talking about, how could she be so stupid, etc., etc., etc.

I have news: The death panels are already here.

There is a new drug out for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. It has been shown to increase life by an average of four months in such patients. But, the drug is expensive; the treatment for the four months costs about $100,000, or around $25,000 per month.

A Medicare panel is deciding whether or not Medicare will cover the use of this drug.

Now, $25,000 a month is expensive. A person in that situation, however, might think it’s worth it. But the decision of whether such patients get to live for four additional months is not going to be made by the patient and his family, or the patient and his doctor, or even the patient and some evil insurance company. No, this decision is being made by a bunch of nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats buried deep in the Medicare labyrinth. A death panel, in other words. The death panels are a-l-r-e-a-d-y here.

Do you also remember back during the debate on Obamacare when some people pointed out that once the government got control of our health care, they would use that as the reason to take over almost all aspects of our lives? The government’s justification, it was predicted, would be that since the government is paying for our healthcare, the government would assume the right to take whatever steps it feels are necessary to keep us “healthy”, thereby keeping healthcare costs down. Again, the people predicting this were ridiculed and vilified by those pushing the government takeover of health care.

I have more news: This, too, is a-l-r-e-a-d-y happening.

Congress recently passed and President Obama signed into law a $4.5 billion bill that dictates to schools what they can and cannot do concerning food served on school premises. This is being done, we are told, in order to reduce childhood obesity and thus reduce healthcare costs. The bill gives the government the power to decide what kinds of foods may be sold in school lunch lines and in school vending machines. The bill could even limit “frequent” school bake sales and fundraisers that give kids more opportunities to eat brownies and pizza instead of foods deemed to “healthy” by the government.

The way this will work is that the federal government can now impose new nutrition standards on schools. These standards will cover not only what kinds of foods may be sold, but also what ingredients can be used. These new nutrition standards will be written by the Department of Agriculture.

It gets worse. The bill also will limit the number of school bake sales and other school fundraisers that sell “unhealthy” food such as burgers and fries, brownies, cakes, and cookies. Such events could only be held “infrequently” under this new law. Again, the Department of Agriculture is empowered to determine how often such events can be held.

I can just see it. At the “health food sale” before the high school football game, the PTA will be selling bean curd, lettuce, spinach, apples, celery, carrots, V8 juice, and other such goodies. During half time, the concession stand will sell salads, granola, and skim milk. Prominently displayed in both cases will be their federal government permit and foodstuff approval. I’m sure they will make lots of money for their latest school improvement projects.

We have now reached a point where the federal government will determine what your children are allowed to eat in school and how often bake sales can be held. These decisions will not be made by the PTA, local school cooks or nutritionists, school principals, the superintendent, or the school board; these decisions will be made by bureaucrats in the Department of Agriculture.

Did you get that? If you want to have a bake sale, the Feds will be making sure you don’t do it too often. In order to have a bake sale beyond your government decreed limit, you’ll have to fill out a bunch of paperwork and get approval from the Feds. For a bake sale!!!!

This is all in the name of reducing the government’s tab for health care costs, as was predicted.

There will undoubtedly be much more to come in the brave, new world of government run healthcare.

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