'Lifeclock' to Reduce Federal Health Care Costs
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – June 1, 2010 – Today at their first meeting, President Obama’s newly appointed and handpicked Independent Medical Advisory Council (IMAC) used its wide-ranging authority to establish a new cost-savings program for Medicare and the new Federal health care program, Single Comprehensive Administration of Medicine (SCAM).
The new program will be called ‘Lifeclock’, a technological advance which will assist in digitizing and storing all medical records, and assisting SCAM medical personnel in assessing a person’s health and cost benefit to the overall health care system.
The newly developed Lifeclock crystal, developed by Insta-Nano-Tech (a subsidiary of Reynolds Technologies) as a result of IMAC Directive 10-289, will be implanted into the palm of a patient’s hand during their first appointment at a government-run health care facility. The color of the glowing crystal will alert government medical personnel to a person’s condition and viability.
“The largest cost to federal health care is the occurrence of people requesting extravagant procedures that are outside the cost-benefit analysis of their age and current health. Lifeclock will help us reign-in these frivolous personal choices.” said SCAM administrator Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “In fact Lifeclock will even let us know when someone’s circumstances outweigh the cost of *any* further medical procedures. We cannot afford to go back to our lives as usual.” For instance if a patient were no longer “eligible” for even basic medical services, their Lifeclock crystal would turn black, and that patient will receive an immediate “End-of-Life” counseling. Any patients refusing “End-of-Life” counseling would be fined the sum of their personal assets and considered a fugitive.
Critics of this plan have been castigated by the President as “opponents of reform” for their objections. They claim that Lifeclock is an invasion of privacy, and will lead to Americans being denied health care, or worse, all to save the government money.
Their arguments are based on a CBO study released last week, which stated the only way that SCAM could be budgetarily viable would be to deny health care to all patients 30 and older. The study showed that younger Americans tend to have very few health problems, which historically led to them not buying any health insurance, or require medical services. After age 30, costs tend to rise in such a way that coverage and "End-of-Life" decisions must be made for the patient more and more often.
“Given that kids under 30 have very low health costs, what would stop the govt from reprogramming Lifeclocks to turn black when somebody turned 30?” exclaimed a Republican source close to the debate. “This is a real concern. If the government controls Lifeclock, they can program it any way they want to help them cut costs.”
When asked to respond to these concerns, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs stated “That is pure science fiction. He might as well be talking about a future society living in crystal domed cities, and giant robots. Lifeclock is designed to help the American people by taking the hard decisions out of medical care and eliminating the cost of lavish medical procedures that don’t make sense for a patient’s situation. The government is not here to determine people’s Lastday. The government is here to help!”
Meanwhile the first test recipient of Lifeclock reportedly had his crystal turn black, and is being sought by Federal Medical Police (FMP). He was last seen running through Logan International Airport. The FMP has asked all citizens to be vigilant.