Wednesday, February 11, 2009

McCaughey on Government Controlled Medicine

Although Tom Daschle is no longer the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, his ideas live on in the boondoggle "stimulus package".

In this Bloomberg News piece, Betsy McCaughey points out how the current stimulus bill calls for a "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research" to essentially dictate how doctors should practice medicine. The government will decide what treatments are "most effective" and should therefore be paid for. If your doctor thinks a different treatment may be more appropriate for you, then he risks losing money and/or running afoul of the authorities.

Advocates of "universal health care" like to say that it would create a "compassionate" system in which money would no longer pose a corrupting influence on medical practice. Instead, doctors would be able to practice in their patients' interests free from economic concerns.

Of course, this is not possible. Any system of "universal health care" merely shifts the economic decision-making from the affected parties (doctors and patients) to government bureaucrats who will not necessarily have the patients' best interests in mind.

Free market health care is reviled by the leftists because it supposedly "puts a price on life". But as Betsy McCaughey points out, it is the government-run systems that actually do put a price on life and will explictly deny care to patients if it costs too much.

This is already the policy in Great Britain, as The Telegraph reported in its August 13, 2008 article, "Patients 'should not expect NHS to save their life if it costs too much'".

If we're not careful, it will soon be the policy in the US.