Friday, November 20, 2009

As We Head Into Reid's Weekend Of HealthCare "Reform" Treachery

I haven't previously posted this from Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, Dean of the Harvard Medical School, but it seems appropriate as the Senate Democrats take up - and try to ram through - ObamaCare 4.0 this Saturday:

"As the dean of Harvard Medical School I am frequently asked to comment on the health-reform debate. I'd give it a failing grade. [Emphasis added].

Instead of forthrightly dealing with the fundamental problems, discussion is dominated by rival factions struggling to enact or defeat President Barack Obama's agenda. The rhetoric on both sides is exaggerated and often deceptive. Those of us for whom the central issue is health—not politics—have been left in the lurch. And as controversy heads toward a conclusion in Washington, it appears that the people who favor the legislation are engaged in collective denial.

Our health-care system suffers from problems of cost, access and quality, and needs major reform. Tax policy drives employment-based insurance; this begets overinsurance and drives costs upward while creating inequities for the unemployed and self-employed. A regulatory morass limits innovation. And deep flaws in Medicare and Medicaid drive spending without optimizing care."

Dr. Flier continues:

"There are important lessons to be learned from recent experience with reform in Massachusetts. Here, insurance mandates similar to those proposed in the federal legislation succeeded in expanding coverage but—despite initial predictions—increased total spending."

He concludes:

"We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead."

Sound, good advice from Harvard Medical School's Dean.  It may well be worth an extra call to your Senator this weekend to remind him or her just what is at stake here.

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