“Choice and Competition”

Last week we finally found out what Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have meant by their endless, droning, sideshow barker mantra of  “competition and choice.”  This became clear as we were treated to three proposed amendments to the Reid Bill – one to fix shortcomings regarding women’s preventive medicine issues such as breast cancer screening, and two others which attempted to reduce the drastic cuts to Medicare included in the Reid Bill.

The first, the Mikulski Amendment, passed, and for that we are thankful because this amendment prevents women from being denied coverage for mammograms.  This denial of coverage would have been the direct result of the empowerment by Section 2713 (page 17) of the Reid Bill of the recent arbitrary and unfounded rating (by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force -USPSTF) of mammography as a “C”-rated procedure.   The second and third (McCain )Amendments went down to defeat and only a weak proxy amendment to not cut “guaranteed Medicare benefits” was passed.  This sham fulfills the deal made with AARP (in return for their support for ObamaCare) to kill “Medicare Advantage” programs in order to enable AARP to step into the vacuum and offer a similar product to Seniors. 

This marks beginning of the final scramble for exemptions and loopholes to enable special interest groups to retain greater access to scarce health care resources under the proposed health care rationing system than the rest of us, who do not have active lobbyists to represent our interests to our elected “representatives.”  I say “final scramble” because it is clear that a great deal of scrambling has already taken place (during the bill-writing process) to cut favorable deals for a number of special interests, such as AARP, drug companies, hospital organizations etc.

In effect, what we saw last week was the Senate, swapping roles with Caesar in the Roman Arena, giving one special interest group -Women – a “thumbs up,” so they might be suffered to live (at least until the Bill passes), and giving another special interest group – Seniors – a “thumbs down” as the lions of the rationing bureaucracy are unleashed upon their ancient butts!  (Looks like the Senate had to make one of those “difficult end-of-life decisions” we’ve been hearing about – lol).

So, clearly, here we have spirited “competition” between various special interest groups for the scarce health care resources being rationed under the new system, and also sage “choice” by the Government (perhaps the Senate, or even some entity as fantastically competent as the USPSTF) as to which of these interest groups will be permitted to have access to these resources!  This totally fulfills the vision of “choice and competition” articulated by Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, don’t you think?!

Stay tuned, this farce is only going to get funnier.  We will need to keep our sense of humor because, unfortunately, health care will become much, much worse.

The Skeptic


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