As the world watches the heated U.S. debate on health care "reform," other voices join the chorus. "This is a country (America) founded in the principle of small government, big individual, constrained power and free citizens. The idea that this, of all countries, could put into the power of the state buracracy decisions of what kind of medical treatment you get, literally whether you live or die, is deeply un-American. The idea that you're going to now go down that road towards a Cuban or North Korean system is just extraordinary." (Daniel Hannan, representative of Southeast England, European Parlianment.)
Because "Knowledge is power" (Sir Francis Bacon, Religious Meditations, Of Heresies, 1597,) put HR3200 under a "microscope." It can be accessed on the internet at www.house.gov. In the middle of the page, click on "Find A Bill, Amendment, or Debate," click on "Search by Bill," and type in HR3200.
Prior to this week, the hottest media item has been the "end of life consulations" by what Sarah Palin dubbed a "death panel."
Actually at least two "panels" are included in HR3200. (The following itallics are mine.) First, the Health Benefits Advisory Committee(see page 30, Section 123, line 13.) Page 31, line 23 tells who sits on the Committee: "(5) Participation--'The membership of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall at least reflect providers (?), consumer representatives (Who might that be?), employers, labor, health insurance issuers (Aren't these supposed to be the "bad guys?"), experts in health care financing, experts in racial and ethnic disparities, experts in care for those with disabilities, representatives of relative governmental agencies (like who?) and at least one practicing physician or other health care professional, and an expert on children's health.' "
The second "panel" is the Health Choices Administration; Health Choices Commissioner, pages 41- 47 (space requires saving for another day.)
Who chooses these people and on what basis? Why is Congress welded to this particular bill? Why are they not even considering any of the thirty-one Republican solutions? Mike Huckabee suggests a "test" state to enact HR3200 as written. Why not test the water (although Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have our own Waterloo experiments) before we jump off the high dive? Americans deserve straight answers.
To obtain a summary of the points of contention in HR3200, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.