Foolish Voting Has Consequences. Bonus Feature: Death Panel Math

1
Share

free healthcare

America made a big mistake on November 4, 2008 when it elected Barack Obama president and it repeated that mistake on November 6, 2012. It’s about to make another one.

We can only wonder how a modern nation could be taken in by the Media’s systematic deification of candidate Obama in 2008, by such childishly obvious tactics as both national news magazines repeatedly featuring him on their covers— often depicted with a halo—and the staged fainting of female spectators at his public appearances.

But millions of Americans fell for this con job, and even today, seem to have limitless patience for his Mengelesque experiments on our nation and its people.

America has suffered greatly, as a result of voter recklessness:

Obama has literally broken the spirit of our Nation. Foreign policy achievements? Our Mideast enemies are placated and encouraged, Israel is estranged. Libya and Syria are destroyed; Europe is awash with Muslim migrants and crimes against women. Domestic achievements? Our economy is in tatters from the slowest recovery since WW2 and radical policies like the demented war on coal. And he’s systematically divided the races with his BLM rhetoric. This has cost blue lives.

Yet 57 percent of Americans think he’s doing a good job.

The legacy of a feckless electorate

The worst consequence of foolish voting was Obamacare.

Though Obama promised we could keep our health insurance policies, we saw the forced cancellation of millions of policies—an intentional act, written into the 2010 regulations—to force Americans into Obamacare.

Now, Obamacare premiums skyrocket—an average 25 percent for the benchmark silver plans next year. Insurers drop out: 70 will leave the market by next year; five states will have only one company on the federal exchange.

Mindless voters prepare to strike again

If we are to believe the polls, American voters are ready to make a third mistake, even more idiotic than the mistakes in 2008 and 2012: they may elect Hillary Clinton, having her promise that she will follow the same course as Obama—only more vigorously.

That includes her “rescue” of Obamacare with a public option, which everybody knows is designed to put insurance companies out of business, leaving us with single-payer health care—something she has always wanted.

Dirty Harry Reid admitted in an interview that the plan had always been to eventually move from Obamacare to a single-payer health care system, like the one in Great Britain.

Las Vegas Sun:

“Reid said he thinks the country has to ‘work our way past’ insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program ‘Nevada Week in Review.’

“’What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,’ Reid said.

“When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: ‘Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.'”

What will single payer be like? 

Let’s consult with an Obama Admin evil genius: In 2010 President Obama appointed Dr. Donald Berwick to administer the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He has since resigned under a storm of criticism. This is what he said of the notoriously mediocre British health care system, its National Health Service:

Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must—must—redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate.

I am romantic about the NHS; I love it.

Under single payer, health care will become scarce, as a cost saving measure. How shall we allocate the artificially rarefied care?

For that information, we can consult another of Obama’s evil geniuses: the alleged Architect of Obamacare, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who believes medical care should be meted out according to a system which “prioritizes younger people who have not yet lived a complete life…” This is a doctor who has a problem with the Hippocratic Oath.

In the June 18, 2008, issue of the JAMA, he decried the “overuse” of health care, as mandated by the Hippocratic Oath. His beef with the Oath is that it compels “a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath’s admonition to ‘use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment’ as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others.”

Dr. Emanuel and his coauthors outlined in the Lancet, Jan. 31, 2009, the method for dealing with resources, soon to become scarce under single payer: MRI machines, cutting-edge new drugs, specialists. The language grates on the ears of those who believe doctors should do their utmost to help all their patients:

“Other things being equal, we should always save five lives rather than one.”

“However, other things are rarely equal—whether to save one 20-year-old, who might live another 60 years, if saved, or three 70-year-olds, who could only live for another 10 years each—is unclear…. The complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance [of getting care], whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated…”

Death panel math

Another disturbing application of mathematics to the value of human life is the QALY system, used by Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the system beloved of Obama appointee Berwick, and of the Democrat politicians who well know what we’ll be getting, when they’ve finished their work. NICE’s title puts a positive light on what it does, but the word “denial” should be used instead of “excellence.”

Obama once complained that the Constitution was a system of negative liberties. Here is a health care system focused on denying care to the old, to the very young, to the sick.

As we know, under our free-market health care system—which has already been damaged by Obamacare—drug companies, for example, must spend well over a billion dollars to develop just one successful drug. They must recoup that, and also make a profit. They have to compete with other drug companies, who have similar drugs, as well. All of that goes into pricing a new drug, not to mention consideration of how much cost the traffic will bear.

Insurance companies negotiate rates with drugs companies and health-care providers. They, too must make a profit. They must factor these costs in with calculations of how many people are likely to get sick, in order to set premium rates.

There is no central authority making decisions; the free-market system runs itself. It’s minutely complex, but, until America voted for Obama, it worked. A booming economy steadily raises the ceiling on how much our health-care system can pay for drugs and providers, and how many new drugs can be developed. Unfortunately, Obama has stifled that economy.

Under a single payer system—which is inherently socialistic—health care costs are paid by the taxpayers. A central authority makes the decisions. It negotiates with drug companies, for example. But since all citizens are eligible, costs will soar, unless there’s some kind of brake on the system. The brake used is to limit access to more expensive treatments, with treatment delays and rationing.

In the United Kingdom, the rationing is accomplished by NICE’s deciding who will get treatments. Of course, some expensive treatments are simply not approved. NICE says it recommends 8 out of 10 drugs and 6 out of 10 cancer drugs. In choosing who gets the care, the QALY system is used to compare different drugs, measure their clinical effectiveness, and their cost effectiveness. The unit used is the “quality-adjusted life years” (the ‘QALY’).

In simple terms, here’s how the QALY system is used to put a dollar value on human life, using quality of life as a yardstick. This will give you an idea of how very different living under this system will be from living under the free-market system Americans are accustomed to.

First: A person in perfect health gets one QALY per year. A person who is not in perfect health gets less than one QALY. Pain level, lack of mobility and not being able to perform one’s usual activities are factored in, so that a person who is bedridden might receive only .5 QALY per year.

To decide how much the system will pay for a given drug, for example, NICE calculates how many extra years of life a person is likely to gain from treatment with the drug, factoring in quality of life. So getting that drug might give a person six extra years of life, but if he’s unable to carry on his normal activities during that time, he might get only .5 QALY a year, which would equal 3 QALY.

Nice has determined it wants to spend between £20,000 and £30,000 per QALY. If the person is not in perfect health, and if he’s only expected to get six years at .5 QALY, from a certain treatment, then NICE will only spend up to £15,000 per year on that treatment, for that patient. If it costs more, he’s not going to get it.

Different treatments are compared. NICE also must decide if certain illnesses should have priority, and takes into account being able to encouraging innovative research in the UK.

Unlike ours, single payer is a “closed system”—all treatment costs come out of a fixed budget. So NICE must make decisions whether money should be spent on things like new cancer drugs for people with short life expectancies:

“Since the cost of the new treatments has to come from somewhere in a fixed NHS budget, funding of drugs under the end of life criteria has important implications for the NHS and patients…. When NICE recommends a new intervention that imposes additional costs on the NHS, the funds required must be found by disinvesting from other interventions. This will inevitably result in health losses for other patients.”

This decision-making by a “NICE”—basically a death panel—is the essential difference between our pre-Obama system and the post-Clinton system.

There’s something irrational about having a central authority like NICE make all the decisions about what will be spent on treatments, and for whom. There’s something monstrous about it, too. But it seems one of the chief functions of socialism is to compel people to submit to rules that are alien to human sensibilities.

This, or something like it, is in our future if we make a third mistake, and Hillary Clinton is elected. If she’s not, and Republicans do their jobs, Obamacare can be repealed and replaced with a free-market system.

Share

Comments are closed.