Rationing Health Care

I finally ran across an article advocating single-payer that openly admitted that there would be rationing. They’re absolutely right. They’re right as well when they say rationing takes place today. The important question is who decides what health care is worth what. If it’s the patient or those around them, that’s fine. The problem is when it’s a disinterested 3rd party that makes an irrevocable choice.

When Canadians need health care (in a timely fashion – instead of waiting for months) They come south of the border and can get it here. Tests and procedures that they may have to wait 6 months for there can be gotten in two days here.

Where will we go if we can’t get the health care we need and want in the US? Go south of OUR border into Mexico?

There’s another issue it brings up as well, and that is the “cost” of a human life. I would like to see that codified in any health care legislation … and in any OTHER legislation that’s supposed to be for our own good. Health standards, product safety, OSHA, and the like. It’s not uncommon to see “safety” legislation costing $50 million to save one life. If it’s your own life or that of someone you know, it’s hard to say that there is any price too high to pay for even just a few more months of life. When we’re all paying that price for someone else that we don’t know, that’s a different matter.

“Even if it’s just one life” is the battle cry, but that’s a totally untenable standard. Even when it gets to the courts, there is a saying: Hard cases make bad law. When you’re looking at the person face to face (or their grieving widow or parents or whoever) and have to say that it just would have cost too much to make that change that would have prevented that 1 in 100 thousand cases from happening to your loved one, it’s had to tell them – so sorry, but life has no guarantees.

Given unlimited funds, there aren’t many patients whose life can’t be extended by a few days, months, or even years. Where do we draw the line and, more importantly, who draws it? Something to think about.

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