No matter how onerous health care rationing becomes for the majority, the Democrat elites will have the best. No doubt even today in Boston under Romneycare if Elizabeth Warren, Patrick Duval, John Kerry, the royal Kennedys, or even Mitt himself can get same day service with a primary care physician while the average senior waits months for an appointment.
Now that the federal government has rejected the free market it will have to ration services by some mechanism. Expect most life enhancing and prolonging services to be denied to the average citizen over age 75. Expect to see seniors die everday due to delayed receipt of essential services. Consultation with a real MD will become rare for the average citizen who will depend on nurse practitioners, PA’s, and self treatment.
There will also be government regulations regarding priority of treatment in understaffed emergency rooms. When a white 65 year old female citizen insured by Medicare and suffering from a massive heart attack arrives in the emergency room at the same time as a 22 year uninsured male non English speaking undocumented gang member with a gunshot wound, who do you think will be treated first if there is only one MD available? Likely there will be a government regulations defining priority based on age, sex, and race.
One question is how will the elites be identified as having priority for service? When the 75 year non celebrity white Democrat Harvard professor emeritus, former undersecretary of state and frequent contributor to the NY Times editorial page lands in a Richmond, VA urban hospital one evening after suffering a heart attack at a conference, how will the hospital know to give him priority over the 12 year old minority gunshot victim? Will he have a special chip embedded in his arm or will there be a special notation on his Medicare card? Perhaps this is the real reason for the requirement all medical records are being digitized and linked in national databases. As soon as his record pops up, the ER staff sees a special flag that tells them to focus all of their efforts on saving the VIP.
Even more important, if you are a member of the elite class, is how your case is prioritized by the medical community when you need care at the same time as another VIP. For example will Warren Buffett have priority over a retired Leon Panetta or will senior government service triumph over private sector wealth when the best surgeon can only handle one person at a time? Will Jessie Jackson have priority over Hillary Clinton due to his race or will Hillary’s sex and government service give her higher standing? Some government bureaucrat is going to have to write the rules to guide the caregivers because decisions like these are too important to delegate to the health care providers on the front line.
Imagine the rules for allocating organs or medicine when there is a shortage. Will access to the best brain surgeon in the US be limited to the elites only or will there be guidelines allowing her to handle a few cases of medical interest involving average citizens? Perhaps the Secretary of HHS will maintain the appointment books of the top surgeons, oncologists, and medical specialists in the nation.
My point is that health care rationing will necessarily result in the institutionalization of status and privilege defined by political leaders. Not unlike the royalty of Europe assigning titles to the upper crust of society. Perhaps the simplest thing is for us to acknowledge openly the concept of individual equality is now dead and move forward by having the government assign titles of rank to each citizen. The current administration might designate conservative average citizens in flyover country as “untouchable” to the applause of the media and academia.
Nice Op-Ed. I’d like to pass it on if you will.
My point is that health care rationing will necessarily result in the institutionalization of status and privilege defined by political leaders. Not unlike the royalty of Europe assigning titles to the upper crust of society. Perhaps the simplest thing is for us to acknowledge openly the concept of individual equality is now dead and move forward by having the government assign titles of rank to each citizen. The current administration might designate conservative average citizens in flyover country as untouchable to the applause of the media and academia.
Astute. I pray you are wrong, and fear you are corect.
God help us.