Representatives of interest groups supporting the legislation and congressional staff out-numbered reporters.
Allen and Emerson mentioned the $3 billion over five years that would be turned over to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct comparative effectiveness studies.
They did not mention that only one third of this funding would be allocated from the federal budget; two-thirds of the money would come from taxes on health insurance policies.
Emerson said the program is needed to combat pharmaceutical company marketing to physicians. She accused physicians of being on the take and encouraged patients to â€œchallenge prescription decisionsâ€ made by their physicians.
Funny, last we encountered Representative Emerson, she was trying to limit the information that patients could get on their medicines.
Emerson claimed that the legislation is solely aimed at providing enhanced evidence, but also said it would save Medicare â€œbillions and billions, maybe trillions of dollars.â€
That's a boatload of "maybe."
David Helms, president of AcademyHealth said that the U.S. lags other countries in evidence-based medicine, and that it could learn a lot from countries like Australia and the U.K.
He didnâ€™t say what the U.S. could learn from countries that routinely deny their citizens access to breakthrough life-saving and life-extending therapies.
That's why this piece of legislation should more appropriately be called "The Denial of Care Act."