Tags: Stopping | Health | Fascism | ToThePoint™ | Report)

Stopping Health Fascism (A ToThePoint™ Report)

Thursday, 26 June 2003 12:00 AM

In early 1994, Hillary Clinton was riding high. Her plan for government seizure of the entire health care system of America was being treated by the media as a fait accompli. The Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich in the House and Bob Dole in the Senate, had capitulated. HillaryCare was a done deal.

Then one lone senator stood up in the well of the United States Senate and announced that he was going to single-handedly pull the emergency brake on the runaway train. "This plan to nationalize health care," he announced, "will pass over my cold dead political body."

By September, Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell bitterly pronounced HillaryCare legislatively dead due to "Republican obstructionism." But the obstruction wasn't Republican. It was one single Republican senator. His name was Phil Gramm.

What we need very desperately right now is another Phil Gramm. Phil retired in 2000, which is a primary reason why the Senate is a pudding without a theme today. There's not a man with his moxie in the whole place, on either side of the aisle.

Is there anyone on the south side of Capitol Hill, in the House, who has Phil's integrity and courage? Remember that this time he would have to go straight up against his own president –, not one of the opposing party, his own president – who has made a devil's pact with the Kennedys not for the purpose of bringing health freedom to Americans, but in a cynical attempt to simply take an issue "off the table" for the Democrats in 2004.

I believe there is such an individual today in Congress. He is Tom DeLay. Like Phil Gramm, he is from Texas, and now he may be the only man capable of standing up to a fellow Texan and telling him to kiss his Great Society Medi-Pander goodbye.

He can do it in two ways. One is via the shell-game shuffle, the way he did with the Senate's attempt to give out welfare checks and call them tax credits. DeLay poison-penned the House version so much the con game will die in conference.

Or he could offer a Health Freedom Act as an alternative to Bush's trillion-dollar entitlement boondoggle.

The basic propositions of the Health Freedom Act would be three:

The Freedom Research Foundation, of which I am president, is preparing a report on 10 specific means by which health freedom in America may be achieved.

The full report will be sent soon to Congress and ToThePoint subscribers. Here is the most important recommendation, regarding the cost of prescription drugs:

Repeal the Kefauver Amendment. Prior to 1962, for a pharmaceutical company to gain FDA approval for a new drug, it had to prove that the drug was safe. But in the wake of the Thalidomide scare, an amendment was added to the FDA's authorizing legislation, named after Sen. Estes Kefauver (otherwise known to history as Adlai Stevenson's running mate in 1956).

The Kefauver Amendment required that a new drug, to gain FDA approval, must be proven not only safe but also effective in curing or ameliorating a specific disease.

Proving a drug safe is not overwhelmingly difficult or costly. Proving it effective is. The effectivity requirement is the major reason that it takes over $200 million, 12 years and over 40,000 pages of documentation to get one single drug approved by the FDA.

The Kefauver Amendment is the largest bottleneck in the flow of medicinal progress. It creates an enormous logjam delaying new drugs on the market for years that could have saved countless lives during those years. It creates such impossible expenses and regulatory disincentives that many promising drugs are never developed at all.

(Note the reason why the big pharmaceutical companies don't lobby for Kefauver repeal: because it would drastically reduce drug development costs, thus enabling many smaller companies to compete with them. Only the big boys can afford the current FDA approval process, and they want to keep it that way.)

The FDA's and the public's concern should appropriately be focused on the safety of a given medication. How effective it is for any given patient with any given malady should be determined by the patient's physician or health professional. It should not be the concern of health bureaucrats.

No single legislative act could save lives and reduce the cost of prescription drugs more than the repeal of the Kefauver Amendment.

I am looking forward to seeing Tom DeLay standing on the floor of Congress advocating Kefauver's repeal and demanding health freedom for all Americans.

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In early 1994, Hillary Clinton was riding high.Her plan for government seizure of the entire health care system of America was being treated by the media as a fait accompli.The Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich in the House and Bob Dole in the Senate, had...
Thursday, 26 June 2003 12:00 AM
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