Government rationing of health care not only will happen — it’s already happening wherever government is involved.
When it comes to evaluating the claims of Democrat party leadership and others about rationing and how to deal with grandma, I am guided by that great philosopher, Marx. That’s Groucho, not Karl, who famously said: “Who do you believe, me or your eyes?”
The President and Democrats are promising, promising there are no “death panels” and that no one will “pull the plug on grandma.”
I am not worried about death panels or plugs being pulled. I am worried about expanding government power about what to pay doctors, how to allocate care and telling me (and my doctor) something is ineffective, wasteful or unnecessary treatment.
That’s government rationing. And it will happen.
Both House health and Senate bills require 20 million Americans to use Medicaid for health care coverage. That doubles the number of people on Medicaid while reducing Medicaid’s already low reimbursement rate. Cutting Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals to subsidize the health premiums of Generation X-ers who can afford to pay for healthcare but don’t leads to rationing.
The White House and Democrats have the gall to respond there is rationing by private insurance companies. Yes, companies use what is known as comparative effectiveness research (CER) to decide what new technologies to pay for. By ignoring individual differences and information from the real world, CER studies wind up showing that there is no benefit to any new treatments most of the time.
There is also rationing by government agencies such as Medicaid and the VA system. Yes Medicare. All using CER.
Forget about grandma for a second. How about the kids?
Edith Andrews of Zanesville, Ohio, faced that problem last year when her twin girls, Sara and Samantha, were born prematurely nearly four years ago. Each weighed less than 3 pounds and needed a ventilator to breathe.
According to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer: “To get care she had to take her infants to a Zanesville clinic or an emergency room, where they saw a different doctor every time, if they saw a doctor at all.”
When Sara’s lung collapsed, Edith couldn’t find a Medicaid pediatrician to care for her. “Sarah’s complications got worse and worse, and there was never a doctor around when I needed to talk to somebody.” She finally found a doctor to take her daughters on as patients after a year of searching.
According to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, Nicole Garrett’s three teen-age children lost their private coverage and she enrolled them in Michigan’s managed-care Medicaid program.
When Nicole’s 16-year-old daughter, Jada, needed to see a rheumatologist, the one listed in her managed-care Medicaid plan’s network would not see her. Nicole notes, “When we had real insurance, we could call and come in at the drop of a hat.”
Last week Sen. Chris Dodd was rushed into surgery less than two weeks after his cancer diagnosis. Jada’s wait just for an appointment was a bit longer: The wait to get into a public clinic was more than three months.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?