Senate Committee Blocks Anti-Rationing Amendments

…You also wouldn’t know that all attempts to protect patients from health care rationing were defeated.

Comparative effectiveness research (CER), which is research that compares the clinical and/or cost-effectiveness of two health care treatments for the same condition, has been a contentious topic since the giant stimulus bill provided government agencies with $1.1 billion to conduct it. The Kennedy bill includes an increased role for CER. How this language is to be interpreted is crucial.

There is nothing wrong, of course, with finding out what works and what doesn’t. The key issue is the consequence of the research findings for patient care, and whether those findings come with any regulatory or reimbursement strings attached to them. If CER can be used by the government to make payment, treatment, and coverage decisions, it could also be used as a rationing tool.

Much more at the link, including the amendments that were defeated on straight party-line votes.

…Americans should now realize that one of the most contentious issues of the national health care debate has already been joined. They should know that in this initial skirmish, Senate amendments to protect patients were lost with little fanfare. This isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last time that such a battle will be joined. But it should be a wake- up call to taxpayers who think that the health care debate is merely a battle over the uninsured, over rules governing insurance markets, or over costs of these expensive House and Senate health care bills.

It’s about government power over you, and Congress is not on your side.