Friday, September 11, 2009

Rationing: Problems with Obama / Democrat's Health Care Reform Plan

While Obama and Democratic leadership have said again and again there will be no health care rationing under the Health Care Reform bill they are pushing, there are several reasons for us not to believe their claims:

Every other government-run health care program has had health care rationing, sometimes quite severe. Here are some examples from the UK. (Thanks curateipsum)

Cancer patients told life-prolonging treatment is too expensive for NHS
- Lyndsay Moss, February 13, 2007 [The Scotsman]

Wait times for surgery, medical treatments at all-time high: report
- October 15, 2007 [CBC News (Canada)]

Grads fail to slow doctor shortage
- Jennifer O'Brien, May 21, 2005 [London Free Press]

Hundreds on waiting list as hospital pleads for help
- August 23, 2004 [The New Zealand Herald]

Women in labour turned away by maternity units
- John Carvel, March 21, 2008 [Guardian Unlimited]

Dental patients face care lottery
- March 26, 2008 [Metro(UK)].

Top doctors slam NHS drug rationing
- Sarah-Kate Templeton, August 24, 2008 [The Times])
In Canada, a famous American actress died because their health care system couldn't afford the necessary equipment.

Our current government-run health care programs already give rationed, second-rate care. Medicare, veteran's hospitals, Medicaid; every one of these and many more currently government-run health care programs run under massive deficits. Partly this is because the government, as always, spends a lot more on bureaucracy and overhead than the private insurance companies; partly it is because the people these programs serve pay little or none of their own health care costs. Because of the lack of money, these programs notoriously ration and limit care to those under their care.

The Obama administration is already planning health care rationing. 180 degrees from what they are claiming, it is clear that rationing will be an integral part of Health Care reform. Section 1233 of the Health Care Reform Bill (HR 3200) calls for "end of life consultation" meetings with senior citizens that have been dubbed Death Panels by concerned seniors everywhere. And then there is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is a key healthcare advisor to President Obam:
As an example, he and his coauthors proposed a system of valuation that could take into account that "[a] young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses.

In a 1996 article in another journal, Dr. Emanuel similarly hypothesized that "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.
[LA Times]

While Forbes and the New York Times try to minimize the seriousness of health care rationing, the Wall Street Journal says the obvious truth: Health care rationing will be politicized. Care will be given to the people and groups that will be of the most service to the government at the expense of the others. This puts the government in control of your health care--over your life or death, not you and your doctor. That is tyranny.

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