Is ‘death panels’ charge over the top?
Posted: August 18, 2009
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As for a “death panel,” no politician would ever use that phrase when trying to get a piece of legislation passed. “End of life” care under the “guidance” of “some independent group” sounds so much nicer – and these are the terms President Obama used in an interview with the New York Times back on April 14.
He said, “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there.” He added: “It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. That is why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.”
But when you select people like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to give “independent” guidance, you have already chosen a policy through your choice of advisers, who simply provide political cover. The net result can be exactly the same as if those providing that guidance were openly called “death panels.”
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The gooferment has no business in health care, health insurance (other than to prevent fraud), or anything like it.
The FDA should be shut down. People, in consultation with their doctors, should decide the efficacy and safety of drugs.
We got into this mess because of Medicare. Unfortunately, time for that to go. We should be spending our energies on how to unwind that mess.
It all comes down to the definition of insurance. What is the purpose of wealth at end of life.
Insurance is not for routine maintenance (i.e., you don’t insure your car’s oil changes) and for predictable stuff (i.e., the car reaches the end of its useful life). Insurance is for the unpredictable catastrophes. People, all subject to the same random risk, band together to minimize the impact. That’s why insurers talk about “pools”. If I have a pool of ten people who all share the same risk (e.g., a meteor will strike ONE car this year), then the premium is 10% of the car’s cost plus administration. Very smart actuaries figure it all out. And, it seemed to work fine for decades. Think Lloyds of London. But, now the gooferment says “insurance has to pay for hair replacement”. What if I don’t want to insure that risk. Too bad; you’re screwed. Live in NJ; can’t buy NY insurance. Can’t buy multi-year insurance. No 20 year level premium term insurance in health care. Argh!
And, when I come to the end of my life, and I begin to spend my wealth in my declining years, who’s business is it anyway. What did I save it for? If not to extend or make my life comfortable?
Let’s send the gooferment back to the drawing board. They should stick to figuring out how to honor the camel. Wasn’t it a horse designed by a congress critter committee?
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