Rationing WILL Come
By: Warner Todd Huston
It is beyond question that healthcare in America is troubled. Costs have soared, employers are having a difficult time keeping up with the rising costs, and many Americans do not easily get the care they’d like. There are solutions, of course, but the headlong rush to implement a government controlled, top down, cold, autocratic system is the wrong avenue to take.< /p>
One of the scariest aspects of a government controlled system is when government gets between you and your doctor and imposes rationing on you both. Rationing is when government decides what medical procedures or medicines you are allowed to have, when the government takes the decisions away from you and your doctor. Worse, rationing is guaranteed if Obamcare is forced upon us all.
For examples of the arbitrary and mean-spirited results of government rationing of healthcare we can look to other countries that have universal, single payer systems like those that most Democrats and their supporters want to impose on us. Let’s take the case of Mr. Leslie Howard, 76, from Acomb, England. Mr. Howard spent his life in service to his government in the military and the police force.
In order to save his eyesight, Mr. Howard needed a drug treatment to reverse his macular degeneration but was told that government rules stated he’d have to go blind in one eye before the government would permit funds to be released for the treatments. I guess the government felt that half his eyesight was worth saving, but the other half was not cost effective? Perhaps the British government felt it was doing Mr. Howard a big favor by saving at least one eye?
Of course, the decision to make a veteran half blind in order to save some cash was not made by doctors nor by the patient. It was made by some remote, unconcerned, government lackey whose only interest was the bottom line. Sadly, this is the sort of thing that will happen here as it has happened there and in every other country in which universal healthcare is the norm. Health decisions are made by government fiat, not by patients and doctors.
But it looks like a new tactic might be coming from those on the left that want Obamacare to pass. In The New York Times, David Leonhardt tried to calm fears of rationing by saying that, whether we know it or not, we already have rationing. So, the theory seems to go, since we already have what he loosely describes as rationing already, why worry if we get more of it with government healthcare?
But the main problem with Leonhardt’s article is that it obscures the fact that the reason we already experience some of what he describes as rationing is because of government interference. Worse, he also obscures the fact that the sort of rationing we now have can often be alleviated by the current ability of choice in healthcare. Unfortunately for his sanguine assumptions that more government rationing isn’t a big deal, he forgets to mention that the choices we now have that can help us will be summarily eliminated by Obamacare and there will be nowhere to go to get away from government restrictions on our healthcare choices once passed. Far from rationing being no big deal, it will grow apace with the cost overruns and waste that government healthcare will incur.
Yes, our healthcare system has major problems. But creating a government run healthcare plan will make matters far, far worse and far more dangerous to our health.