Well, no. That's not quite true. The boys there say we're already rationing care, so what's the big deal?
Beware of 'ration' scare tacticsA few points:
Don't be fooled. Our system already rations care. Those who can afford it and those who, by happenstance of good geography, live near an abundance of specialists receive fine care. Those who can't afford it, like the 46 million uninsured Americans* and millions more of underinsured, have rationed care. So, too, do those living in rural or underserved areas where health care resources are scarce and the wait long.
Even those of us with company-provided health insurance often engage in battles with insurance companies that wish to ration the care our doctors order. And most Americans are just a pink slip away from severing our ties to affordable health care. [link]
1) It's true that health care today is rationed, most notably by insurance companies. That's why they're despised, right? You attempt to have services performed and your insurance company cites in its policy (which is made clear up front, if you were to inquire) as reason for rejection of payment. Indeed, that's a form of rationing.
But the government has, over the years, circumvented that process, has become the arbiter-at-the-point-of-a-gun, and increasingly mandates that which health insurance companies must cover. Thus the runaway costs.
2) It's true that poor people have their care rationed because of their inability to pay for services. But (a) that's a great reason to not be poor and (b) they receive adequate care for free anyway. Ask anyone who works in an emergency room.
3) You don't like the way your insurance provider rations its coverage? Get a different provider.
"What? That would require that I change employers. I can't do that."
Then you have no complaint. The decision is yours. You accept the way your provider rations.
4) The most important take-away from this editorial:
"'The choice isn't between rationing and not rationing,' New York Times business columnist David Leanhardt wrote last month. 'It's between rationing well and rationing badly.' Make no mistake, we ration badly."
Perhaps. Though it is rationed more effectively than any other system on the planet, if one considers the end result and not the equality of dispensation.
But the point that I made regarding the future of America's health care delivery system - the best ever devised by humankind - that rationing is a necessary part of our future, is a point that is avoided - oddly - by those who wrote the editorial.
"We already ration, so shut up" is not a viable argument.
What is the government going to do to control costs? That is, after all, Obama's number one priority in coming up with his plan, right? Those runaway costs?
There can be only one answer. He'll ration care.
5) You at least have some option available to you today if you don't like the way your provider rations your coverage. See above. When the government is the only provider, what options are available to you? The government plan or death. Or a new home in the Caymans.
"It's between rationing well and rationing badly." Think what you will about the way health care is rationed today. But if it's bad now, as Canada and Britain have irrefutably proved, it'll be a lot worse when some hourly government bureaucrat in some building in Washington decides your fate.
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* I'm getting really annoyed at people who toss out that 46 million figure like it means something. The vast majority of those 46 million uninsured are either wealthy enough to own coverage but choose not to, or are uninsured but will soon have coverage (they're between jobs, for example), or they're illegal immigrants. The remainder all have coverage - in the emergency room - for free. It ain't perfect. A problem? Only if you want it to be.