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The Evolving Message of Health Care Rationining   November 23rd, 2009
The narrative regarding rationing is evolving       


More observations...

Whereas before we've been told that the socialized health care bill working it's way through Congress will not be about rationing nor involve "death panels" deciding when to disconnect grandma, 60 Minutes is now presenting rationing--especially at end-of-live--as if it were obvious. Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn't we?

"The perverse incentives that exist in our system are magnified at end of life," David Walker, the government's former top accountant told Kroft...

By law, Medicare cannot reject any treatment based upon cost. It will pay $55,000 for patients with advanced breast cancer to receive the chemotherapy drug Avastin, even though it extends life only an average of a month and a half; it will pay $40,000 for a 93-year-old man with terminal cancer to get a surgically implanted defibrillator if he happens to have heart problems too.

"I think you cannot make these decisions on a case-by-case basis," Byock said. "It would be much easier for us to say 'We simply do not put defibrillators into people in this condition.' Meaning your age, your functional status, the ability to make full benefit of the defibrillator. Now that's going to outrage a lot of people."

"But you think that should happen?" Kroft asked.

"I think at some point it has to happen," Byock said.

"Every other major industrialized nation but the United States has a budget for how much taxpayer funds are allocated to health care, because they've all recognized that you could bankrupt your country without it," David Walker told Kroft.

Asked if he is talking about rationing, Walker said, "Listen, we ration now. We just don't ration rationally. There's no question that there's gonna have to be some form of rationing. Let me be clear: Individuals and employers ought to be able to spend as much money as they want to have things done. But when you're talking about taxpayer resources, there's a limit as to how much resources we have."

The above would seem to be part of an ongoing strategy to desensitize the population to the concept of government rationing of health care.

The above source indicates that he believes that individuals and employers ought to be able to spend as much money on health services as they like, but that taxpayer-funded health care must be subject to rationing. But with a health care bill going through Congress that will increase government's participation in health care, this means that the billing going through Congress will increase rationing.

He is, of course, right. The government has a limited amount of funds that would need to be allocated, and the result is rationing.

Some would see this as an argument in favor of rationing. I, however, see this as proof of why we need government out of health care, not increasing its footprint in the industry.

Regardless, it's disturbing to see the legacy media helping evolve the message so that people resign themselves to health care rationing where none existed before. This is supposedly progress? This is what we're supposed to pay trillions of dollars for? We're going to increase our costs to lower our costs and institute rationing?

No thanks.

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