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Monday, March 16, 2009

Take One Aspirin, Don't Call Me in the Morning

Everyone from the president on down to local political leaders has been talking about universal healthcare, so this piece in the New York Times caught my eye. Massachusetts began offering nearly universal healthcare to all its citizens three years ago and is  finding it difficult to keep up with the cost. If Massachusetts doesn’t do something “to arrest the growth of health spending” soon, the program will be unsustainable in just 5 to 10 years.

Especially notable:

“Some health policy experts argue that changes in payment practices will not be enough to slow the growth in spending, even when combined with other cost-cutting strategies. To truly change course, they say, the state and federal governments may need to place actual limits on health spending, which could lead to rationing of care.”

Yes. That’s where universal healthcare takes you. Rationing. (Link added 3/17/09)

Universal healthcare replaces tragedy …

“I can’t afford the operation I need, and without it, I’ll die”

… with cruelty …

“We can’t afford the operation you need. Well, actually, we can. But we can’t afford everyone’s operation. So the bureaucrats and I chatted in the backroom. Made a list of all the patients and their needs and their relative value to society based on age and prognosis, checked it twice and decided, well, you’ll just have to die. Nothing personal.”

This will be described as progressive.
 
Or maybe it will never come to that. Hawaii, you’ll remember, could not sustain a universal healthcare program for just 2,000 uninsured children for longer than seven months. The state ended Keiki Care last October as Hawaii started projecting general fund budget deficits due to the economic downturn.

Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 in Permalink

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