In the wake of a “stealth regulation” end-run where the medicare guru (Dr. Berwick, who was recess-appointed in July 2010, thus bypassing Senate confirmation) approved end-of-life consultation payments in spite of it having been pulled from the Obamacare legislation I commented on that and now another thoughtful piece appears that bears consideration:
[Previous media carping was made] to avoid reckoning with this inexorable rationing reality that President Obama has himself implicitly acknowledged. In a 2009 interview with ObamaCare advocate David Leonhardt of the New York Times, he called for “a very difficult democratic conversation” about the costs that are incurred in the last six months of life. The President even mused about whether his own grandmother’s hip replacement following a terminal cancer diagnosis represented “a sustainable model.”
As this article mentions, health care rationing is part of the president’s thought pattern. The notion is one that ought to be confronted with less political rhetoric (I know, good luck on that one!). It seems that everything this administration and (at least the now-ending) Congress does is not with any real policy principle in mind, but on pure politics. The article concludes:
The real problem is the political claim that Medicare and other entitlements are imposing on the culture of U.S. health care. Everyone, on the left and right, now behaves as if every medical issue is a political matter that the government or some technocratic panel can and should decide. No wonder “the ‘death panel’ myth” has such currency among Americans who won’t be doing the deciding.