• Rep. Issa on the end of “death panels” – ctd.

    Austin uses Rep Issa’s comments to call for the end of “death panel” talk.  He also wishes that we could act as if “rationing” were not a four letter word.  That’s a fine sentiment, and one to which I would agree.  But I don’t think we should let politicians off that easy.

    It should be no surprise to any of you that I don’t trust many politicians to place policy above politics.  I’m not sure they all even understand the nuances and complexities of it. And so, when they demonize sensible policy as “death panels” and such, they do harm.  When they suddenly reverse themselves and support sensible policy, that’s a good thing.  But it only reinforces my beliefs about the insanity of leaving many of these people in charge of  something so critical.

    Let’s look at some of what Rep. Issa says here:

    “If I can help every senior get the same care they’re getting and still save tens of billions of dollars and have no doctors cheated out of what they’re entitled to, what’s not to like?” he said.

    That’s comparativeness-effectiveness research in a nutshell.  It was attacked by those who oppose health care reform.  Repealing the PPACA would remove a ton of money specifically put aside to do this kind of work.

    Under current rules, Medicare cannot consider cost-effectiveness in its coverage decisions. But Mr. Issa said it may be time to consider costs as well as efficacy, as long as medical decisions are made by doctors, not by “bureaucrats” in government.

    That’s what MedPac will help do.  Again – strengthened as past of PPACA, attacked by those who opposed reform.

    “My committee can help by looking at whether the government is answering and informing about the lowest-cost, least-invasive procedures,” he said.

    Can I get a “death panel”?

    Please don’t tell me I should applaud this change of heart, or how this is what those who opposed reform believed all along.  I was there.  Everything Rep. Issa is calling for now was absolute evil before.  Moreover, much of what he is calling for now is in the law that many want to repeal.  I’m not looking for vindication; nor am I looking for others to be punished.  I just want people to recognize that when they are listening to politicians in order to understand policy, that they are not being informed about how to implement a good health care system.  They are being told how to win the game of politics.  That’s not the same thing.

    It’s not because politicians are bad or good.  It’s because they are politicians.  It is their nature.

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    • The Republican controlled state of Arizona has already implemented a death panel and will soon have its first deaths. The legislature and governor (Republican) passed a law to cut off all Medicaid organ transplant operations. Those who are near death and in need of immediate transplant will die soon.
      See… the Republicans do fully support death panels.

    • I would be surprised if many people even know CER is in the ACA. I doubt many really know what it is. The complexity of the bill did make it hard to explain.

      Steve

    • Almost everyone thinks politicians lie.

      And almost everyone votes for the politician that tells the best lies, or the lies they prefer to hear.

      Most people shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    • I think this is a first-best/second-best situation. In a first-best world, Republicans would like all medical coverage decisions to be determined in the market. For parts of the industry where this is already the case, they use words like “death panels” and “rationing” to convince voters to keep it that way. But for parts of the industry already funded by government, they can’t achieve their first-best outcome. If the first-best is out of reach, it’s not hypocritical to embrace the second-best outcome.