Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Much Is Your Life Worth?

It may be a repugnant question, but it is one that confronts people every day who live under the oppression of socialized medicine. That's inevitably what it boils down to: what price tag does the government put on your life? If you're worth more alive than dead, you'll get the treatment you need; if not, well, you're screwed. Let's take a look at some examples.

According to one model being debated proposed right now, those decisions would be made by a federal health care board. As if Congress isn't tone-deaf enough when it comes to listening to constituents, this board would be made up of people who are not elected.

Think it can't happen here? Take a look across the pond, where it's already been implemented (emphasis mine):
Take the United Kingdom, which is often praised for spending as little as half as much per capita on health care as the U.S. Credit for this cost containment goes in large part to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE. Americans should understand how NICE works because under ObamaCare it will eventually be coming to a hospital near you.

The British officials who established NICE in the late 1990s pitched it as a body that would ensure that the government-run National Health System used "best practices" in medicine. As the Guardian reported in 1998: "Health ministers are setting up [NICE], designed to ensure that every treatment, operation, or medicine used is the proven best. It will root out under-performing doctors and useless treatments, spreading best practices everywhere."

What NICE has become in practice is a rationing board. As health costs have exploded in Britain as in most developed countries, NICE has become the heavy that reduces spending by limiting the treatments that 61 million citizens are allowed to receive through the NHS. For example:

In March, NICE ruled against the use of two drugs, Lapatinib and Sutent, that prolong the life of those with certain forms of breast and stomach cancer. This followed on a 2008 ruling against drugs -- including Sutent, which costs about $50,000 -- that would help terminally ill kidney-cancer patients. After last year's ruling, Peter Littlejohns, NICE's clinical and public health director, noted that "there is a limited pot of money," that the drugs were of "marginal benefit at quite often an extreme cost," and the money might be better spent elsewhere.

Too bad if you happen to have stomach or breast cancer and live in the U.K.! You know how liberals are the ones who are supposed to be compassionate? Well, these liberals have compassionately issued a death sentence upon anyone needing these drugs. But it's not only life-and-death questions. They also decide quality of life issues:
In 2007, the board restricted access to two drugs for macular degeneration, a cause of blindness. The drug Macugen was blocked outright. The other, Lucentis, was limited to a particular category of individuals with the disease, restricting it to about one in five sufferers. Even then, the drug was only approved for use in one eye, meaning those lucky enough to get it would still go blind in the other.
The horrific list goes on and on. Most of these drugs are partially or fully paid by insurance here in the U.S., and new drugs are being developed all the time because of our (more or less) free market system that allows for competition and choice. Under Obamacare, that all goes away, and so does your quality of life, and maybe your life itself.

Hey, it's time to sacrifice yourself for the greater good!

The degree of casual disregard for people that Obama displays is shocking, even wondering in public whether or not his own grandmother should have been given the hip replacement she got. If that isn't the sign of a cold-hearted bastard, nothing is. And yet...the liberals are the ones so plainly talking about this sort of thing, as if it were nothing more than brushing lint off their sleeve.

Bottom line: your life and the lives of your loved ones will literally be in the hands of the federal government.

There's my two cents.

Related Reading:
Did Obama say we should kill the old folks to save money?
Who says no in a government run system?
Kennedy: Let's ration health care

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