Tom Daschle: Conflict Of Interest On Health Care

Remember during the campaign when Obama said that he would clamp down on lobbyists and not use any in his administration? He has already broken that promise several times, usually as a means of politically paying off his allies who helped get him elected. But it still doesn’t excuse the broken promise.

Well, this broken promise has come back and bit Obama again. Now, it is with Tom Daschle, the former HHS nominee who was scuttled when it came to light that Daschle had failed to pay certain taxes. Today, Daschle is a very well-payed lobbyist for Alston & Byrd and has the ear of the President on the contentious issue of health care.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Daschle never left the picture. With unrivaled ties on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, he talks constantly with top White House advisers, many of whom previously worked for him.

Now the White House and Senate Democratic leaders appear to be moving toward a blueprint for overhauling the health system, centered on nonprofit insurance cooperatives, that Mr. Daschle began promoting two months ago as a politically feasible alternative to a more muscular government-run insurance plan.

It is an idea that happens to dovetail with the interests of many Alston & Bird clients, like the insurance giant UnitedHealth and the Tennessee Hospital Association.

The conflict of interest here is as bright as the sun on a cloudless day.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Daschle Has Ear Of White House And Industry
David D. Kirkpatrick
New York Times
August 22, 2009

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Letters to Senators Webb And Warner About The Porkulus/Spendulus Spending Bill

Here is the text of a letter that I will be faxing/emailing this morning to Senators Webb and Warner, both liberal Democrats from Virginia. Feel free to copy/paste the letter and fax or email it in yourself. Contact information is provided below.

Dear [Senator],

I am writing this letter to ask you to vote “Nay” on S. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This bill was a bad idea from the beginning. It will cost $1.3 trillion that we do not have, and $1.3 trillion that our children and grandchildren will have to work to pay off.

And, given the new revelations of health care provisions (which have nothing to do with stimulating the economy) that were stealthily inserted into this bill, it is even more imperative that you vote against it.

In particular, I am referring to Title VII, the subsection titled “Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality.” It states:

That the funding appropriated in this paragraph shall be used to accelerate the development and dissemination of research assessing the comparative clinical effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies, including through efforts that: (1) conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions and (2) encourage the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data: Provided further, That the Secretary shall enter into a contract with the Institute of Medicine, for which no more than $1,500,000 shall be made available from funds provided in this paragraph, to produce and submit a report to the Congress and the Secretary by not later than June 30, 2009 that includes recommendations on the national priorities for comparative clinical effectiveness research to be conducted or supported with the funds provided in this paragraph and that considers input from stakeholders: Provided further, That the Secretary shall consider any recommendations of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research established by section 802 of this Act

This is very dangerous wording and will lead us to the socialized health care systems that have wreaked havoc on the people of Canada and Europe. Essentially, it allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a standard of who and what can be treated by doctors and hospitals and who and what cannot. In other words, it will permit the Federal Government to approve or disapprove of a doctor’s recommended treatment of a patient. It will effectively allow the Federal Government to over-ride a doctor’s decision.

Given the fact that these bureaucrats will have little to no medical training themselves, that alone is reason enough to oppose this bill.

Further, this provision was hidden in this bill for a specific reason. Tom Daschle, the tax-evading former HHS appointee, wrote in his 2008 book, Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis, that he supported the failed socialized medicine plan of the Clintons in 1994 and said that its failure was due to delay. (In actuality, the American people do not want the government making medical decisions for them.) Hence, Daschle wrote “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it. The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.” Thus, this socialized medicine provision was written in to the bill during some late-night session when the cameras were not rolling and the Republicans had been locked out of the proceedings.

Please vote “Nay.” On this bill and help to preserve quality health care for Virginia and America and to protect our children and grandchildren from a debt that they had no hand in creating.

Thank you.

Senator Webb’s contact information:

Fax: 202-228-6363
On-line contact: Contact Senator Webb

Senator Warner’s contact information:

Fax: 202-224-6295
On-line contact: Contact Senator Warner

Ruin Your Health With The Obama Stimulus Plan: Socialized Medicine Is In The Spending Bill

Not many people talking about this, but we really need to get the word out. The pork spending bill that is now speeding it’s way through Congress with the help of three RINO traitors (Specter, Snowe and Collins) contains a socialized medicine provision that we should all be aware of and call our Representatives and Senators about.

In short, this provision will make the federal government the final dicision maker in what treatments your doctor may or may not prescribe. In other words, a bureaucrat will have override authority with the power to say “no” to any treatment even if your doctor says “yes.”

Writing for Bloomberg, Betsy McCaughey has this:

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. 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.”

And what happens if doctors and hospitals don’t want the government to override their decisions?

Read on:

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.

In other words, if the government decides that you aren’t worth saving, medical treatment will be withheld from you. If the government decides that your children are not worth saving, the government will withhold treatment from them.

Can you imagine the impact this provision is going to have on organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Centers? How many children will the feds give up on due to what the bureaucrats rule a “hopeless diagnosis?”

For those of you who voted for “change,” congratulations! You got it.

But, who will be the hardest hit? In the beginning, it will be the elderly.

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

But the socialists who support this abomination claim that individuals will “benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.” Until the inefficiancy that is inherent in federal bureaucracies catches up and the available care needs to be rationed further. Then, the “hopeless diagnosis” will be a death sentence for patients of all ages.

Why was it hidden in this pork-laden spending bill?

Here’s why:

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

For an administration that claims to be the most transparent of all time, they sure do seem to be hiding alot.

We need to kill this bill before we get saddled with the nationalized health-care disasters that are Canada and Europe.

Now, some of you may think that you are going to be able to pay for private care to cover what the government denies. But don’t count on it. In Europe and Canada, it is illegal to get private care because that makes the system “unfair towards the rich.” How long before the socialist Barack Obama and his socialist allies in Congress get that rule passed?

Contact your Representatives and Senators now and ask them to kill this bill before it is too late.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Ruin Your Health With The Obama Stimulus Plan
Betsy McCaughey
Bloomberg.com
February 9, 2009

And you can find your Congressional delegation contact information on-line here:

Congressional Email Directory

The Fierce Urgency Of Pork: Charles Krauthammer Column Could Kill Stimulus Bill

This column is amazing. Not for what it says or who wrote it. But for the fact that it was published in the uber-liberal Washington Post.

Sometimes, someone writes a column that is so hard-hitting, so to-the-point that it cannot be ignored for long. You won’t hear about this column on any of the left-leaning television networks, but you should read it and take to heart what it says.

Charles Krauthammer writes:

“A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.”

— President Obama, Feb. 4.

Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared “we have chosen hope over fear.” Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

That’s just for starters. Krauthammer rightly asks about why we should be scared into passing this “pork spending” bill.

The column goes on to describe all of the unethical and outright illegal conduct that the Obama administration has been trying to legitimize, as exampled by Timothy Geithner and Tom Daschle’s tax avoidance problems.

More:

And yet more damaging to Obama’s image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama’s name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It’s not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It’s not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.

It’s the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus — and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress’s own budget office says won’t be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.

Now, in the words of the racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s “chickens have come home to roost.” Clearly, Obama lied to America in order to get the votes. But what is really insulting here is that Obama expected to get away with it. Apparently, he expected America to forget about his promises and statments. Instead, Obama forgot about the Internet that he so masterfully used to come to power.

Read on:

The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington. By the time the stimulus bill reached the Senate, reports the Wall Street Journal, pharmaceutical and high-tech companies were lobbying furiously for a new plan to repatriate overseas profits that would yield major tax savings. California wine growers and Florida citrus producers were fighting to change a single phrase in one provision. Substituting “planted” for “ready to market” would mean a windfall garnered from a new “bonus depreciation” incentive.

After Obama’s miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell — and that this president told better than anyone.

I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.

Two and a half weeks. That would make a great name if someone ever made a documentary about the disaster that Barack Obama is shaping up to be.

This column that Charles Krauthammer wrote is a classic for the ages. It is right up there with the fable about the emperor who wore no clothes.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

The Fierce Urgency Of Pork
Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
February 6, 2009

And you might also want to read why this spending bill will mean more inflation for the rest of us:

Why ‘Stimulus’ Will Mean Inflation
George Melloan
Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2009

Taxes? Dems Want To Raise Them But Not Pay Them

If there is anyone out there who still thinks that the Democrats are some sort of paragon for ethics reform, please send me an email. There is a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like you to buy.

First Timothy Geithner and now Tom Daschle. What is it with Dems and their refusal to follow the same rules that Joe and Jane Average American have to follow? Why do the Democrats assume that they are somehow better than the rest of us and therefore don’t have to abide by the same laws we do?

Daschle owed $128,203 dollars in back taxes and was working on avoiding having to pay them.

Writing for Town Hall, Kevin Freking has the following:

Tom Daschle’s former Democratic colleagues were rallying to his defense after he met behind closed doors with the Senate Finance Committee to discuss problems with back taxes and potential conflicts of interest, but lawmakers promised he will face more questions.

The Dems are rallying to his defense, but would they have done the same thing if Daschle were a Republican? No. That would require integrity.

More:

Those questions will focus on tax issues, such as the $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest that he paid last month, said the aide. Daschle will also be questioned about the potential conflicts of interests he would face because he accepted speaking fees from health care interests, said the aide, who asked not to be identified because the aide was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Daschle also provided advice to health insurers and hospitals through his work at a law firm.

Daschle began the day apologizing for his failure to fully pay his taxes from 2005 through 2007. He capped it off that way as well after meeting with the committee behind closed doors.

Once again, the Dems have shown us the hypocrisy that dominates thier logic. They have one very low standard for themselves and one very high standard for everyone else. People are beginning to notice.

But it won’t matter. The Dems are not in the habit of listening to the American people. They simply go their own way regardless of how unethical or illegal their actions are.

The parting shot:

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, noted the Geithner nomination in saying she suspected tax problems would not prevent Daschle from becoming the next health secretary.

“If the guy who is overseeing the IRS can get away with a tax problem, how are you going to hold up the health and human services secretary over taxes?” she asked.

The answer is: Geithner never should have been confirmed to begin with.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Daschle Faces More Questions In Nomination Bid
Kevin Freking
TownHall.com
February 3, 2009

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