Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Icy Incline

A couple of long-time readers of Fraters write to comment on where Obama Care might lead.

Tim leads off:

I have another nutty thought about what might happen if our government starts making healthcare decisions on our behalf. If you think it is time for me to check myself in, I trust that you would tell me so.

Under this health care program that Obama insists we just have to have, I would assume that the decision to give or not give a person needing a liver, kidney, or other organ transplant would come from some sort of government organ transplant approval board. Nothing really disturbs me too much about that because that sort of approval is needed today; a board of doctors routinely decide who is in the most dire consequences and would benefit most from an organ transplant.

But this is where I get a little creeped out by the thought of Obama care. I know this is a reach, but so was $5 gas.

Think about the supply of healthy donor organs. A fair number of organs come from people involved in accidents who had to be put on life support. Do we want the same organization that decides what regular health treatment will be extended to you also be the same organization that decides when you should come off of life support, and the same organization that decides where your organs will go?

Am I the only one that sees a conflict of interest here?

I know this is macabre, but when I saw "Coma" and "Logan's Run" in the theaters, I thought they were just movies, not docu-dramas.

Taken at face value in current circumstances, it's easy to write off Tim's concerns as paranoid. But, as has been stated often before, the problem is that once you turn over control of health care decisions to the government you open the door to a whole range of possibilities. Some may seem crazy to even consider their coming about today. But what about five years from now? Ten? Twenty?

The people writing the plans today may well have no desire to ever see some of the worst case scenarios come about, but their intentions today aren't going to mean much to someone making decisions about how to ration care twenty years from now. And as John Stossel notes, as much as proponents of government care don't like to use term, it is all about rationing:

This brings us back to end-of-life consultation. As the government's health care budget becomes strained, as it must -- and, as Obama admits, already is under Medicare -- the government will have to cut back on what it lets people have.

So it is not a leap to foresee government limiting health care, especially to people nearing the end of life. Medical "ethicists" have long lamented that too much money is spent futilely in the last several months of life. Are we supposed to believe that the social engineers haven't read their writings?

And given the premise that it's government's job to pay for our heath care, concluding that 80-year-olds should get no hip replacements makes sense. The problem is the premise: that taxpayers should pay. Once you accept that, bad things follow.

Bad things that would seem likely to get even worse in the future.

Amy writes to remind us that we don't have to look that far into the past to see that it might be a prologue for what that future holds:

If you think that the Politburo and the Compulsive Liar and Chief care one whit about us Kulaks, you're nuts. They will pass, covertly if they must, some sort of "culture of death" healthcare. It's in their nature.

I find it strange that there are those who are now worried about healthcare and "death panels" when it is their ass on the line (I know, I know, human nature). There were indications a few years ago that were in their face but they chose to ignore it and perhaps even cheered it on. You don't thinks so? I've got two words for ya': Terri Schiavo. Now what?

...let the crying begin.

I don't think it's time for tears quite yet. There's still time to stop the slide.

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