Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Since when is more bad stuff an improvement?

If there's one thing I get tired of...okay, there are lots of things I get tired of. I can't pick one. But one of the things I get tired of in listening to liberals and pseudo-conservatives talk about health care is the exceedingly stupid argument, "We already have that." For example, "Your HMO already sets reasonable and customary costs, so we already have rationing." So how does it make it better to have one committee making all such decisions for the whole country? This is beyond me. At least now, if an employer gets fed up with the HMO he has for his employees, he can, you know...change! Or if, like some friends of mine, you are self-employed, you can buy catastrophic-only insurance. Or even, shocking thought, live for a while without health insurance and try to stay healthy. People have options. Nationalized Obamacare means way fewer options. Saying that we already have some micromanaging bureaucrats messing with our health care on an HMO-by-HMO basis is hardly an argument for going much, much farther in the same direction and putting everybody under a single health care Kommissar.

Or how about this one? "If your employer's insurance company pays for abortion and you have to pay part of your premiums, you are already paying towards other people's abortions in some sense, so why shouldn't federal government money cover abortions?" Um, because there is now at least the possibility for some people to get out of this. If you own your own business, for example, or have a say in the health care plan you choose or that your employer chooses, you can maybe get one without abortion coverage. Federal coverage means no options. It's that simple.

Here is a good, properly alarmist column giving a possible future scenario in which a person pleads for his life before a death panel. Now, I'm going to go one better on the liberals. I'm going to anticipate them. Here we go: We already have death panels before which people plead for their loved ones. They are called hospital ethics boards. Yep, that's right, and you've probably heard horror stories like I have about ethics boards trying to cut off life support for loved ones. So far the stories I've heard have been of ventilators and of difficulties getting PEG surgery in the first place. (I remember one case where a baby was kept on an NG tube, pretty apparently because the hospital was hoping she would die before they needed to put in a PEG tube. She did die, as I recall, but at least she had food in her tummy.) But worse things are no doubt coming.

But does that mean it would be better to have one committee for everyone? By no means. We can still hope that some hospitals and hospices are better than others. It isn't all handed down from On High.

This "argument from present system junkiness" is itself a piece of junk and should be scrapped.

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