Currently, the insurance companies essentially decide, for many of us in the US, who lives and who dies -- though with enough money, you can decide these questions yourself.
But with their new "healthcare" program, the Obamanistas and their Clintonite retreads will need to appoint experts to do that now.
Ah, but don't take my word for it. From Health-Care Rationing Is Inevitable, by Knight Kiplinger, Editor in Chief, Kiplinger publications, February, 2010:
Rationing remains the ultimate taboo in the health-care debate. Nobody -- including me -- likes to be told by a health-care funder, whether private or public, that it won't pay for treatment. But I believe that formal rationing will someday take hold in the U.S., regardless of whether pending health-care legislation is enacted. It's a matter of simple affordability. The high cost of wonderful new medical treatments will far exceed our nation's ability to pay for them.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that, at its recent rate of annual growth, the cost of Medicare and Medicaid -- not including privately funded health care in the U.S. -- will triple from 4% of the nation's gross domestic product in 2007 to 12% in 2050, then surge again by half to 19% of GDP in 2082. That 19% would be about the same share of our economy that Washington spends today on all functions of government -- pensions, defense, education and so on.
More ominously, the biggest factor in this crisis won't be the increasing number of Americans on the Medicare and Medicaid rolls. It will be the ever-higher per capita consumption of health care -- people seeking more miracle drugs, more replacement of joints and organs, more of everything. Curbing wasteful medical practices, squeezing doctors and hospitals, and controlling drug prices won't save nearly enough. If unchecked, this situation portends higher taxes and premiums for private insurance, plus the starvation of other societal needs.
Someday, the parties that pay for health care in the U.S. -- rarely the individual patient, most often an employer, its insurer or the government -- will have to create carefully considered cost-benefit analyses for every kind of medical care that might be sought by patients at every stage of life, from prenatal to old age.
These analyses will be crafted by knowledgeable experts -- doctors, economists, bioethicists and actuaries
So, a patient and a doctor will not be making life-or-death decisions, with the patient having the freedom to go to another doctor if she or he does not like the answers of the current doctor. Instead, the government-assigned doctor will consult with economists and other experts as to what is best for society.
Who should live and who should die? What is best for society? Isn't this how the Holocaust really got started?
Ah, but pardon me for interrupting:
These analyses will be crafted by knowledgeable experts -- doctors, economists, bioethicists and actuaries -- with all of us looking over their shoulders and kibitzing. They will decide which therapies are effective or ineffective. They will decide whether society's limited resources should be concentrated -- as now -- on the last stages of long lives or focused on improving the health of children and young adults, who have many more years ahead of them.
The very way that polemic is phrased kind of gives you an idea what answer has already been decided, doesn't it?
(Sorry, Grandpa & Grandma!)
The process will be contentious, but from it will emerge standardized, rational policies for approving or denying payment for a wide variety of medical procedures and drugs, based on the patient's prognosis and age. That's rationing, and most other nations do it now. Patients who want to undergo a procedure that has not been approved will be free to do so in an open, global health-care market -- and pay for it themselves, if they can.
"That's rationing, and most other nations do it now."
So now, instead of trying to be the greatest nation on earth (which every country should seek to do!), we're going to run with the herd, aiming to be no better than Castro's Cuba.
They do (with a note of hope) point out that patients can go to the "global health-care market", and pay for it themselves.
But, they already explained how most other countries ration healthcare, so where can you go? Oh, I forgot -- Cuba.
And, in any case, how can they pay for it on the "open" (socialized) world market, if the government is taking even more of their wealth to pay for an economist to tell them that it is not economical for the government doctor to try to cure them?
Yes, some of our perceived medical needs -- and many of our wants -- won't be met under rationing. Knowing that in advance, perhaps more of us will change the way we live now to reduce our future demand for scarce resources.
Change the way you live now to reduce your future demand for scarce resources.
That's what this is really about!
Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.
And if you choose to smoke, drink, etc., then your demand for scarce resources will go unaddressed.
For the record, I am pro-life, anti-abortion, and undeterred.
However, to those of you who want abortion on demand, consider the following:
Fertility treatment and "social" abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.
Through socialized healthcare, Obama will stab you "pro-choice" people in the back on the abortion issue -- again!
(By the way -- why should we be "pro-choice" when deciding whether a child is born, but not "pro-choice" when deciding what doctor we want to go to?)
It is not medical care that is immediately at stake here. First to go will be your freedom, as they start dictating what doctor you go to, and what lifestyles are unacceptable for those who receive mandatory government medical care.
Next the quality of medical care will go, as medical staff have their salaries cut by the government which employs them, to keep costs down, and as the government decides what treatments you can receive, and what treatments are too costly.
As all this happens, the yearly deficit will skyrocket, and the federal debt will skyrocket (even more so than now) as much of the economy which currently pays taxes will instead be supported by taxes: fewer tax dollars in, and greater expenditures out. This program will be an enormous burden on our society, far greater than any war we've ever fought, far greater than the current welfare state... but wait, there's more!
These skyrocketing costs will lead us to Step Three, when government experts decide who should receive healthcare, and who should just be euthanized -- ah, excuse me, "allowed to commit assisted suicide".
The first victims of the Holocaust were the incurably insane, people suffering from dementias, and so on; they were never going to get better, and they were deemed a "burden on society": why should resources be devoted to them, which could be used to feed healthy Nazi supermen?
And that is what Obamacare will really lead us to: deciding who is a "burden on society", and getting rid of those people. And they have already set the stage for the elderly to line up among the first victims.
America's Holocaust has begun this week -- and it began on our watch.
And that history will be the burden on American society.