Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The rush to ration your health care

The Democrats have a plan for you and they are in a big hurry. They want to rush it through while everyone is busy with summer vacations. When the government is in charge and the costs have to be reduced they ration - deny care. It is inevitable. See Canada's health care monopoly: A Short Course in Brain Surgery - Single-payer healthcare is cheaper, but for less and poorer quality care - 10 Surprising and positive facts about American health care Hugh Hewitt at Washington Examiner explains the certainly of rationing and the current rush.
The reality of President Obama’s vision for medicine in America is a “single-payer” system, and the reality of “single-payer” is rationing. Because the government is the ultimate provider of medical services, it provides only what it can afford, and when its money runs out, your care ends. Almost anyone familiar with the push for what is euphemistically called “health care reform” knows that many experts on the left believe that far too many dollars are spent on providing health care to people in the final weeks or months of their earthly lives. If controls can be placed on these expenditures, then more of the government’s resources will be available for younger and much healthier people. Thus, rationing’s first target is going to be the expensive demands made by the elderly. The new system will simply scoff at the idea of a liver transplant for anyone over the age of 65. Or 60. Or maybe even 55. Liver transplants are expensive. Rationing’s second target will have to be those very expensive services laid out for the profoundly disabled. Any ideology which rejects the value of even completely healthy late term fetuses (and support for late term abortion rights absolutely means the rejection of that value) is simply not going to be able to support the expenditure of scarce resources on hugely expensive medical interventions on behalf of the severely handicapped. After the easy cuts are made at the beginning and end of life, expect the government to begin to squeeze on disfavored behaviors via the minimization or withdrawal of medical care for, say, lung cancers in smokers or heart disease among the obese. And if you should pass a prescribed number of children, well, surely you can’t expect the government to treat a family of eight the same as it does a family of three –where’s the equity in that? “Equity” is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the holder of the purse strings. If Obama/Pelosi/Reid “health care” reform blasts through Congress on jam-down minimum majorities and with a huge delegation of subsequent rule-writing authority built in, the holder will be the federal government. Most amazing about this debate is that thus far there hasn’t been any. Republicans in Congress have been off-balance on the issue from the summer of 2008. Their confusion has spread to obviously interested parties like the AMA and the insurance industry. The AARP seems not to even understand that most of its membership will be shocked at the prospect of rationing and unsatisfied with explanations that the D.C. staff didn’t see it coming. This is a way of saying that there is as of yet no organized resistance....
Dick Morris has a succinct way to express the big problem of singe-payer. Now when your insurance denies a benefit to you they say "we won't pay for it." You have to option of paying for it yourself. But when Big Government runs the whole show they will say "You can't have the treatment." Just plain "NO," you will have no options.

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