Seven of 10 Doctors See Effects of Climate Change on Patients!

Just within the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen Congressional Republicans join with Democrats to buy into the idea that the federal government knows how to pay doctors for “quality” and “value.” It is the main concept behind the misconceived Medicare “doc fix” bill that the Senate will consider this week. If adopted, it would add $141 billion to the national debt in ten years and increase federal control of the practice of medicine.

So, if we are going to surrender even more of this power to the federal government, it might be interesting to see what the Obama administration thinks is important:

“The challenges we face are real, and they are clear and present in people’s daily lives,” said senior presidential adviser Brian Deese in a telephone conference call with reporters on Tuesday. Seven in 10 doctors are seeing effects on their patients’ health from climate change that is “posing a threat to more people in more places,” Deese said. (Bloomberg Politics)

So:

... the Administration has “unveiled a series of ground-breaking hackathons, crowdsourcing efforts, and partnerships with private industry that highlight just how much the administration is betting on big data to help us mitigate the impact of the changes in our environment.” (Washington Post)

If the Obama administration really thinks that seven of 10 doctors are seeing the effects of climate change on their patients, we can expect forthcoming “quality indicators” based on your carbon footprint, which your doctor, if he wants to be paid, will be compelled to enter into your Electronic Health Record.

(Actually, the entire effort is not quite as ridiculous as I’ve described. For example, drones will be used to collect mosquitoes to test for viruses. And they did manage to mention Ebola.)

John R. Graham is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.
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