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By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
February 12, 2009

Once the Obama Administration completes their goal of passing an enormous spending bill with the promise of stimulating the US economy, they will set their sights on passing legislation to control the health care system throughout the nation, according to a conservative congressman who held a press conference for news reporters, Internet journalists and bloggers earlier this month.

The Democrats, they said, are seeking to replicate the socialized medicine systems of other industrialized nations such as Britain, Canada and Japan.

"The mainstream news media and liberal politicians are always praising the health care systems in other countries, but they never discuss the nightmare stories emanating from these countries' medical professionals," said political strategist Mike Baker.

"I also believe individuals should have the opportunity to select the health insurance policy that best meets his or her needs, which is why I am an original co-sponsor of the Health Care Choice Act. The Health Care Choice Act would enable consumers to choose and purchase affordable health insurance policies that offer a range of benefits, said Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI).

"My bill will allow consumers to shop for health insurance online, by mail, over the phone or in consultation with an insurance agent but would not limit them to policies that meet their state’s regulations and mandated benefits. Individuals would have the opportunity to choose a plan that is qualified in one state and offered for sale in multiple states that best meets his or her needs," he told reports and Internet journalists.

Hoekstra is holding a series of telephone town halls over the coming weeks.

“I received largely positive feedback from constituents of Michigan’s Second Congressional District who have participated in past calls,” Hoekstra said. “So long as people feel that they are worthwhile I will continue to conduct them and hope to connect with as many people as possible.”

Hoekstra and other conservative congressmen want Americans to receive medical care, but they say they don't want the government dictating what care is given and when it is given.

During the press conference, one congressional staffer told this horror story from Japan:

An elderly Japanese man with head injuries after getting struck by a motorcycle, waited in an ambulance as the paramedics phoned 14 hospitals, each refused to treat him.

The man died 90 minutes later at the facility that finally relented and also one of thousands of victims repeatedly turned away in recent years by understaffed and overcrowded hospitals in Japan.

According to a fire department official, paramedics reached the accident spot within minutes after the man on a bicycle collided with a motorcycle in the western city of Itami. Having 14 hospitals turning down to admit the 69-year-old citing a lack of specialists, equipment and staff is shocking said the official.

This was the latest incident, among the recent cases in which patients were denied treatment, underscoring health care woes in a rapidly aging society that faces an acute shortage of doctors and a growing number of elderly patients. One of the hospitals agreed to provide care when the paramedics called a second time more than an hour after the accident. But the man, who suffered head and back injuries, died soon afterward of shock from loss of blood.


The death prompted the city to issue a directive ordering paramedics to better coordinate with an emergency call center so patients can find a hospital within 15 minutes. But hospitals cannot be punished for turning away patients if they are full.

Similar problems have occurred frequently in recent years. More than 14,000 emergency patients were rejected at least three times by Japanese hospitals before getting treatment in 2007, the latest government survey showed.

The worst case was of a woman in her 70s with a breathing problem was rejected 49 times in Tokyo.There was also the high-profile death of a pregnant woman in western Nara city in 2006 that prompted the government to establish a panel to look into the hospitals’ practice of refusing care.

In that case, the woman was refused admission by 19 hospitals that said they were full. She died eight days later from a brain hemorrhage after falling unconscious during birth.

"Is this what we can expect in the United States under President Obama's America? It should frighten every American into taking action," said the congressional staffer.

The Institute for Health Freedom is warning the public that the economic stimulus bill mandates the federal government to plan for each American to use "an" electronic health record (EHR) by 2014 -- without opt-out or patient-consent provisions. This is a first step in a government takeover of medicine in the US.

"Congress needs to add opt-out and patient-consent provisions to ensure true patient privacy," says Sue Blevins, IHF president.

"The bottom line is that if YOU want to control the flow of your personal health information, your consent to share the information must be a prerequisite and you must have the right to withhold permission. And neither the current federal (HIPAA) privacy rule nor the economic stimulus bill guarantees Americans the right of consent," she said.

IHF stresses that while Congress will be hearing about potential cost-savings from EHRs, it should seriously consider the costs of not allowing Americans to opt out of a national EHR system: more patients will withhold private information as they lose trust in the confidential doctor-patient relationship and lose control over the widespread disclosure of their most personal information.

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The organization urges Americans to continue voicing their own opinions about this important issue to national policymakers. IHF further stresses that for both ethical and financial reasons, confidentiality and consent are both cost-effective and essential for improving the quality of health care.

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"The mainstream news media and liberal politicians are always praising the health care systems in other countries, but they never discuss the nightmare stories emanating from these countries' medical professionals,"