Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senator Specter: As clueless as clueless can be

Captain Ed's got the video that is must-see. It's Specter talking with FOX News correspondent Megyn Kelly. (Yes, she's a babe, but I love the brains more.) Basically Specter is saying that there should have been more hearings on the Pork-A-Palooza. Pretty weird considering his interview on Sean Hannity's radio show yesterday claiming he had done everything he could to make the bill better, and it was time to make a decision.

What's amazing about it is the reaction he gives to Megyn Kelley bringing up the Bllomberg news piece about a new bureaucracy written into the bill under the disguise it will provide jobs, but also streamline health care:

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.” …

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)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

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.

The look on his face denotes surprise; surprise that this was even in the bill. So, it begs the question of whether or not this old fool even read the bill at all? He even states that no one really read this bill line-by-line (a fib, at best given the fact that John Campbell from the House knew about every aspect of this bill), but that they'll do that in committee. Wouldn't it have been more prudent to do that before the cloture vote?

Hannity was right yesterday when he told Specter that all he had to do was vote no on cloture, and force the debates to continue; to create a compromise stimulus package complete with tax cuts, stabilization of the markets, and job creation. But Specter didn't want to hear any of that. He said the time to act was necessary, but with Megyn Kelly he blames the bad bill on a "rush to judgment." He helped foment that rush with the idiotic notion that Obama was right, and action was needed yesterday, not tomorrow.

Paging Pat Toomey. Paging Rick Santorum. (I'm dropping Bill Russell from this because given John Murtha's new headaches he might be needed for a special election in Pennsylvania in the near and coming future.) Gentlemen, your state needs you to step up and challenge Specter in 2010. We need sound, conservative, and common sense representation in the Senate. And Specter's not it; not by a long shot.

Oh, and Captain Ed throws in a video at the end of John Tester basically claiming he didn't read the bill either. But folks, Tester's a Democrat. They don't read legislation. They just follow the rest of the lemmings off the cliff when it comes time to vote. Specter should know better being one of the most senior members of the Senate.

Publius II


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