Whose faceless bureaucracy is that?

Denny Rehberg continues to get my goat up. His latest schtick seems to be the “faceless bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.” Like some high school snitch, our proud representative now wants us to turn in public servant who is wasting our stimulus funds.

All well and good, I suppose. Accountability, transparency and all that.

Problem is that Denny seems to think that the faceless bureaucracy is the problem of all our ills. It was the reason why he supported the Montana Fire Arms Act. It is part of how he supports the Hardin jail being used for Guantanamo Bay prisoners. He calls the NCAA as bureaucratic as any federal government department for insisting that there not be gambling on the outcomes of college football playoffs. And, yes, it was part of why he opposes the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act.

And the big kicker is on health care, where Denny’s main point seems to be the evils of putting Washington in charge. This is where we find him out. As Mike Dennison reports:

Rehberg … attended a May 6 briefing in Washington, D.C., by political consultant Frank Luntz, who wrote a 28-page memo instructing Republicans how to defeat Democratic health reform proposals.

The memo, among other things, advised Republicans to characterize Democratic plans as a “Washington takeover” of health care that would put “politicians” or “bureaucrats” in charge of deciding care.

I know this is great soundbite politics. But, stop and think about health care in this country for a moment. Today you face an endless avalanche of paperwork should you ever need help. On top of billing from your doctor, you will receive Statements of Benefits from your health insurer (should be lucky enough to have one), summary of charges from the hospital, letters of limitation from your Health Management Organization (should you be so unlucky as to have one), bills from the x-ray technician, bills from the radiologist (often based in India where he reads your x-rays), bills from the phlebotomist, bills from the pharmacy, and so on.

Tell me again why single-payer systems are such a bad idea? Somehow I think I prefer bulk-billing whereby all those folks charge the government and leave me out of it. I can’t understand all the codes, the hidden levies and surcharges, the co-insurer this and the insurance co-pay that. I’d rather have the federal bureaucrat keeping check of all those charges than leaving it to me (as I am recuperating hopefully) to tackle all the intricacies.

As anyone who has had a long stay in hospital will tell you, we already have bureaucrats “rationing” the health care you receive. They’re called HMO’s and they tell your doctor what treatments are acceptable and what are not. They have a listing of drugs that are covered and what are not. They tell the hospital when you are allowed to stay and recuperate fully, and when you are not. Try getting your doctor to explain their reasoning to you and you will hear a exasperated litany of abuse for “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions in some office, far far away.

Still, it sounds like Denny is sticking to his marching orders pretty well. From a political consultant in Washington DC, no less! I guess some bureaucracies are OK, while others are not.

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One Response

  1. […] with rationing? Posted on August 20, 2009 by Binky As I’ve previously pointed out we already have rationing of health care by bureaucrats – by unaccountable, faceless bureaucrats whose job  is to deny treatment suggested by […]

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