September 5, 2009
Government Controlled Health Care means:
5) Rationing by a Federal Panel of “Experts”. One of the silliest questions in the Government Controlled Health Care (GCHC) debate is over whether there would be rationing or not. Everything that is bought or sold or traded in the world is rationed, hence GCHC will also be rationed. The only real question is the methodology of rationing.
Rationing for most things bought and sold in the world is through a free market, or a quasi free market. In the free market hundreds of millions of Americans every day make decisions as to what car to buy, clothes to buy, computers to buy, food to buy, etc. Sometimes the government interferes with the free market. For example, taxes interfere with the free market, making some things artificially expensive. In health care, state mandates, various government regulations, generous compensatory and punitive court awards in court cases, and the actions of HMOs and insurance companies alter the cost of insurance, usually making it much more expensive. GCHC would take the free market out of health care completely, simply because a “single payer” system means that the one who pays (the government) is the one who makes the decisions. No other non-governmental persons would have any decision-making power regarding the distribution of health care resources. This means you and me. The experts in the government panel(s) set up for this purpose would tell us what would be covered for whom, as well as when and where. You would have no recourse other than to sue the government. How many people do you know who have successfully sued the government?
If the government takes over health care it will have to limit the cost of the GCHC system because the Federal government is deeply in debt. Our deficit this year is 1.6 Trillion dollars, and the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are estimated to be close to 100 Trillion dollars. There is no money to spare.
This brings up the question as to why anyone in Washington would want to take over health care, considering the dire financial condition of the nation. It is not to improve health care, it couldn’t possibly be. It is to centralize power in the Federal government. But as they centralize they will have to save money on health care costs.
The money would be saved mainly at the beginning and ending of life. This is simply because that it is at the beginning and ending of life that most health care dollars are spent. This then means that there would be more pressure for abortion of children who have birth defects. (See # 2 above –last week.)
Most money would be saved at the end of life. This is because most health care dollars are spent in the weeks and months before a person dies. Most “savings” would have to be found then in limiting care at the end of life. Those who contend that this is not so are either not thinking, or they are lying to you. So you and I, under GCHC, would not be deciding whether or not to try such a treatment for grandma, rather the government would tell us what they will allow. It is quite obvious that this would mean the limiting of treatments that would lengthen the life of the elderly.
Remember: the government has no interest in lengthening the lives of retirees. They don’t produce anything, they simply take. (Yes, I know, they have given their all when they were working, but that was then and this is now. You have to start thinking like a government bureaucrat!) So if hospital stays are shorter, and if treatments likely to lengthen life are omitted, then the old person will die earlier and money will be saved. An extra bonus for the government is that a dead person does not take a social security check. More next week.