ObamaCare: the value of your life

May 1, 2010

This is how a death panel works. In Britain, a man is denied life-extending medicine by the National Health Service because his case wasn’t exceptional:

A CANCER patient has been denied NHS funding for a new cancer drug which could add years to his life.

It means that health specialists will be unable to prescribe Everolimus, which costs about £40,000 a year and can extend lives by up to two years.

Doctors treating Graeme Johnstone, 54, from Middleton St George, near Darlington applied to the local primary care trust for funding for the drug. But NHS County Durham and Darlington rejected the request.

Fully licensed, and widely available in France and Canada, Everolimus, also known as Affinitor, has a proven track record. But so far it is not being made available through the NHS after the body which vets new drugs – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) – decided not to recommend it.

Controversially, Nice uses a formula which calculates whether life-extending drugs represent good value for money.

And just what were they valuing against the cost of the drug Mr. Johnstone wants? Could it be the gentleman’s very life?

Makes you want to run out and apply for British citizenship, doesn’t it?

It’s as sure a thing as the sun rising in the East in the morning: a nationalized health system in which the government determines the price paid for everything inevitably becomes a system in which care is rationed and denied to save money.

Behold the brave new world under ObamaCare.

(via The Jawa Report)


How to rescue ObamaCare

August 28, 2009

Charles Krauthammer argues that the current Democratic proposals for health-care reform are dead. If they want to pass anything that they could call a victory, they need to junk the current schemes and come up with a new plan. Call it ObamaCare 2.0:

…Make health insurance universal and permanently protected. Tear up the existing bills and write a clean one — Obamacare 2.0 — promulgating draconian health-insurance regulation that prohibits (a) denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, (b) dropping coverage if the client gets sick, and (c) capping insurance company reimbursement.

What’s not to like? If you have insurance, you’ll never lose it. Nor will your children ever be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The regulated insurance companies will get two things in return. Government will impose an individual mandate that will force the purchase of health insurance on the millions of healthy young people who today forgo it. And government will subsidize all the others who are too poor to buy health insurance. The result? Two enormous new revenue streams created by government for the insurance companies.

And here’s what makes it so politically seductive: The end result is the liberal dream of universal and guaranteed coverage — but without overt nationalization. It is all done through private insurance companies. Ostensibly private. They will, in reality, have been turned into government utilities. No longer able to control whom they can enroll, whom they can drop and how much they can limit their own liability, they will live off government largesse — subsidized premiums from the poor; forced premiums from the young and healthy.

It’s the perfect finesse — government health care by proxy. And because it’s proxy, and because it will guarantee access to (supposedly) private health insurance — something that enjoys considerable Republican support — it will pass with wide bipartisan backing and give Obama a resounding political victory.

Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? Simple, seductive, almost irresistible. Rather than the bloated, laden with mines legislation now being pushed, Congress simply mandates private coverage for all and provides subsidies for those who can’t afford it. (Never mind the constitutional questions.)

There’s a doozy of a catch, however, a big, fat worm hidden at the core of this oh-so-sweet looking apple. There always is. Read the whole thing to find out. And remember Maine.

TANGENT: Krauthammer’s point three essentially agrees with and validates Palin’s death panel metaphor. So why the elitist nastiness in telling her to “leave the room?”