Commentary Magazine


Topic: Secretary of Health

LIVE BLOG: “Before They Become Bad Lawsuits”

Max Baucus, the Montana Democratic senator, responds to the need for tort reform by pointing out that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius is working to come up with ways to end lawsuits “before they become bad lawsuits.” Doubtless there is a policy he is referring to here, but what on earth can an executive-branch official do on a matter that involves law — which is written by the legislative branch and adjudicated by the judicial branch? Baucus is attempting to make the case that the differences between Democrats and Republicans are not that serious, but his response is not a serious one.

Max Baucus, the Montana Democratic senator, responds to the need for tort reform by pointing out that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius is working to come up with ways to end lawsuits “before they become bad lawsuits.” Doubtless there is a policy he is referring to here, but what on earth can an executive-branch official do on a matter that involves law — which is written by the legislative branch and adjudicated by the judicial branch? Baucus is attempting to make the case that the differences between Democrats and Republicans are not that serious, but his response is not a serious one.

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Why It Matters

Carly Fiorina delivered through the GOP weekly radio address this devastating critique on mammography guidelines:

The task force did not include an oncologist or a radiologist, in other words, cancer experts did not develop this recommendation. They said that most women under 50 don’t need regular mammograms and that women over 50 should only get them every other year. . . If I’d followed this new recommendation and waited another two years, I’m not sure I’d be alive today.

This is precisely the discussion that the Democrats don’t want to have because the implications go to the heart of ObamaCare and the inevitable results of government-run health care. As Fiorina explained, “The health care bill now being debated in the Senate explicitly empowers this very task force to influence future coverage and preventive care. Section 4105, for example, authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to deny payment for prevention services the task force recommends against.”

You can call it a “death panel” or you can call it “comparative effectiveness research,” but once you empower government to pay for, regulate, and control the inevitably exploding costs of government-run health care, you are going to have such panels telling Fiorina and millions of other Americans that they aren’t going to get the same care they once did. And that’s one very big reason why Americans are so skeptical of ObamaCare.

Carly Fiorina delivered through the GOP weekly radio address this devastating critique on mammography guidelines:

The task force did not include an oncologist or a radiologist, in other words, cancer experts did not develop this recommendation. They said that most women under 50 don’t need regular mammograms and that women over 50 should only get them every other year. . . If I’d followed this new recommendation and waited another two years, I’m not sure I’d be alive today.

This is precisely the discussion that the Democrats don’t want to have because the implications go to the heart of ObamaCare and the inevitable results of government-run health care. As Fiorina explained, “The health care bill now being debated in the Senate explicitly empowers this very task force to influence future coverage and preventive care. Section 4105, for example, authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to deny payment for prevention services the task force recommends against.”

You can call it a “death panel” or you can call it “comparative effectiveness research,” but once you empower government to pay for, regulate, and control the inevitably exploding costs of government-run health care, you are going to have such panels telling Fiorina and millions of other Americans that they aren’t going to get the same care they once did. And that’s one very big reason why Americans are so skeptical of ObamaCare.

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