|One of the points that be central to the 2010 campaign debates is the issue of rationing health care. It is completely taboo in America but of course it happens. Suppose you are unemployed and don't have health insurance and only a $500,000 heart transplant can save your life but you don't have the money. What happens next? Answer: you die. That's called rationing. There is no way the U.S. or any other country can provide every citizen with unlimited health care. In particular, somebody has to decide if, of example, it is worth spending $54,000 for a drug that slows the spread of kidney cancer and might increase the patient's life by 6 months, but will increase everyone else's insurance premiums. Nobody ever wants to talk about these tradeoffs in public, but there are there of course. What a health-bill will do is create some kind of committee to make decisions like how much a 6 month life extension is worth for 20-year-olds, 50-year-olds, and 80-year olds. Right now, private insurance companies quietly make such decisions every day. Any health bill will force the process into daylight and cause an uproar.|
I think this is something Obama needs to get out and stress more, that there is already plenty of rationing, even for those who have health care through their employer.