Hillary-Care, the Sequel
Despite rejection of the idea by the public three years ago,
the President is reconstructing Hillary's socialized health care
program in neat little incremental pieces. Buried in the hundreds
of pages of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, President Clinton
inserted a two-page amendment, Section 4507, that restricts the
amount that doctors who treat Medicare participants can be paid
and limits the medication that seniors may receive. Payments
to doctors who treat Medicare patients are preordained and subject
to approval of governmental bureaucrats. If either the patient
or doctor believe that additional treatment or tests are necessary,
the patient is prohibited from paying the doctor out of his or
her own pocket to obtain the needed treatment.
No longer will a person be allowed to directly compensate a family doctor for a recommended diagnostic test. Gone are the days when direct payment can be arranged for an extra office visit desired by an aging parent. After an individual has worked throughout life and the government has proceeded to tax, dilute and retax earnings, one would assume any decisions on how, when and where to disburse the remaining assets would be within the strict purview of the individual. Have we really come to the point when government is going to dictate how we can spend our own money?
Apparently the Clinton Administration believes that government alone knows what is best when it comes to the purchase of health care. Opting out of the increasingly austere Medicare system in any way, shape or form cannot be tolerated. It would appear that the radical egalitarianism displayed in the first lady's health care program demands that medical services for all Americans be rendered at the exact same mediocre level.
The relationship between a physician and a patient is traditionally one where an expectation of privacy is protected by law. This is reflected in the law of evidence where a physician may not testify concerning the medical treatment of his or her patient. In fact, the freedom to care for one's health and decide matters concerning personal treatment is often used by supporters of abortion and assisted suicide. It seems as if our leaders in Washington, D.C. only invoke Constitutional rights when the interests in question match their ideology.
According to these central planners, failing to give retirees
the same freedom other Americans have to arrange personal payment
with their doctors is an acceptable first step in their master
plan. Evidently, one senior citizens group has already taken
action to reclaim their rights. They have asked a federal judge
to block the pertinent section of the law. The United Seniors
Association sued Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala,
asking the U.S. District Court to block enforcement of the new