Friday, June 19, 2009

Interesting Political Items

Because I find something “interesting” does not mean I endorse everything—or even anything—in the article.

Quote of the day
When a blind man bears the standard, pity those who follow.
- Proverb, French

Boxer wants to be called “Senator” instead of “Ma’am” by General.
Actually. She was right. “Ma’am” and “Sir” are titles of respect that members of the military render to superiors. Clearly, Sen. Boxer isn’t superior to the lowest recruit, never mind a general.

Walpin Firing

Newt on the economy

Political ads at your expense
I notice the local road work has big, metal, permanent signs said the project is funded by the stimulus bill. So our tax dollars are—again—going to advertise how wonderful the politicians are. Maybe making signs stimulates the economy, but living in IL, can’t help wondering if a sign-maker is somebody’s cousin. In Chicago, they say, “who sent you? We don’t want nobody that nobody sent!” ~Bob

PETA unhappy with Obama over fly
Next they will be trying to protect viruses.

Imam leads honor killing of woman and child in Pakistan
Wonder if religious clerics killing folks are among the values BO says we share with Islam?

Saudi Arabia: Police arrest 'homosexuals' at party

'Public Option': Son of Medicaid
Lard atop lard that only a politician or bureaucrat could love.

Health Care’s Future: Mexican Medical Tourism for Californians?

A Fake Financial Fix

Muslim countries lead in human trafficking

Rationing Health Care coming?
Comparative effectiveness research took center stage Thursday, on the second day of an expected marathon Senate health committee health reform markup, as Republicans sought language to ensure CMS won't use such research to make coverage determinations and Democrats argued the bill already clarifies that recommendations from the entity tasked with conducting CER should not be construed as mandates for payment, coverage or treatment.
The committee agreed, however, to several amendments from ranking Republican Mike Enzi (R-WY) aimed at ensuring CER would not be “one-size fits all,” would include research on rare diseases, and would assess whether treatments that do not benefit average patients may benefit others. Lawmakers also adopted amendments aimed at ensuring doctors and other clinical experts would be allowed to advise the government on CER.

But the committee rejected along party lines an amendment from Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) that would flatly “prohibit the use of data obtained from comparative effectiveness research to deny coverage of items or services under Federal health care programs and to ensure that comparative effectiveness research accounts for advancements in personalized medicine and differences in patient treatment response.”

Roberts warned that CMS would almost certainly look at the research and consider it as the holy word from “Mount HHS” and make coverage determinations accordingly, even though Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who was in charge of Title II that houses CER, repeatedly pointed Republicans to bill language stating that research from the newly created Center for Health Outcomes, Research and Evaluation (CHORE) “shall not be construed as mandates for payment, coverage or treatment.”

There is nothing in the bill that controls treatment, she said, and the stated concern about “government bureaucrats” deciding on people's care “is a myth, it's a fabrication, or it's a misunderstanding.”

But Republican senators weren't satisfied. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), a physician, warned that “recommendations” from the federal center could lead to physicians following them in order to protect themselves against malpractice suits, even if the recommendations weren't the best option for their particular patient. Instead of cost savings, that will lead to increased costs “for everybody who doesn't fit into the guidelines,” he said.

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