That's what the idiots at the Heritage Foundation are trying to push.
Following on the nonsense offered by "Doctor" Trevi Troy last week, the conservative "think tank" is out with a "backgrounder" from registered British nurse Helen Evans (now a Ph.D and political consultant) aimed at making people think the latest trend in medicine is straight out of Das Kapital.
It is true that comparative effectiveness leads to choices. Governments, in determining national health budgets, may use those choices to favor one treatment over another. It's also true that Europeans live just as long as we do while paying 50-67% of what we pay for health care.
But no, writes Evans. Oogalaboogalaboogala:
As is clear from the British experience and other international examples, a comparative effectiveness strategy that relies on central planning and coercion would not only be counterproductive in the long run--because it would undermine the incentives for medical innovation--but would also lead to the imposition of cost constraints that would worsen patients' medical conditions and damage the quality of their lives.
Notice what Nurse Evans has done. First, she created a straw man concerning the American health debate, then she knocked it down with some scary Euro-stories which, frankly, the citizens of that continent long ago rubbished.
America is not debating a single-payer system. America is not debating the creation of a "health technology" bureaucracy that will tell patients what medicines they can't have and what procedures they can't buy.
Comparative effectiveness (CE) is a tool that tells doctors what is most likely to work, based on hard data, knowledge they can override if they are willing to defend their decision. What CE thinks works changes as the data changes.
Rationing of care is not some Euro-bogeyman, it's what is happening right now, in America, as insurance companies deny claims, patients are denied coverage, and life spans go down despite skyrocketing costs.
Rationing is real. We can either do it rationally or irrationally. The current market system for rationing care is simple -- if you can't pay you die. The European system is more complex, and has its own problems.
All comparative effectiveness means in the U.S. is that doctors will be given the latest data with which to make choices, as will insurers. What happens next is up to them.
If the choice is between guaranteed care with data helping us make decisions, or insurers arbitrarily telling us to drop dead, I'll take the side of science, and leave both Marx and Ludd moldering in their graves.