Human Exceptionalism

Obama Declares Swine Flu National Emergency

President Obama has declared a national health emergency over the H1N1 flu outbreak.  From the story:

President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency and empowered his health secretary to suspend federal requirements and speed treatment for thousands of infected people. The declaration that Obama signed late Friday authorized Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules so health officials can respond more quickly to the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States.

The goal is to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and make it easier for sick people to seek treatment and medical providers to provide it immediately. That could mean fewer hurdles involving Medicare, Medicaid or health privacy regulations.

What does that mean exactly? What roadblocks keep people from necessary treatment? What regulations are being bypassed, and if they need to be bypassed to make the health care system work properly and efficiently, why are they there in the first place?  Is this really a national emergency? I’m not saying it isn’t, but the government is fueled too often by hysteria these days.  We need more information.

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