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Sarah Palin and anyone else who claims that their are death panels in the Obamacare bill are way off base.  There are no death panels called for in either the House or Senate version of the Obamacare bill. If the panels were in the bill it were it would be redundant, you see, they were passed as part of the Porkulus bill, and the panel already exists.

Back in February, former NY State Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey described the provision:

(Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version). 

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.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

In March after the stimulus bill was passed the position of National Coordinator of Health Information Technology was filled with a former Kennedy Staffer:

The Department of Health and Human Services today announced the selection of David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. as the Obama Administration’s choice for National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.  As the National Coordinator, Dr. Blumenthal will lead the implementation of a nationwide interoperable, privacy-protected health information technology infrastructure as called for in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

Working with the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology is not optional:

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)

The Official Name of the “Death Panels” is the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research

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.

Its kind of a reverse stimulus, the government is trying to make sure that the invention and innovation that is so ingrained in the American Tradition gets slowed down. The provision trades saving lives for saving money.  The Council has already been empaneled and it includes Dr Ezekiel  “lets kill grandma” Emanuel:

This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.

In other words, Sorry Grandma your time is up.

To all of those liberals who say there are no death panels in the Obamacare bill, I apologize you are correct.  Those death panels were enabled months ago when they passed the Porkulus bill.

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