Monday, August 10, 2009

Level of productivity in society

In a speech the other day Palni complained that Obama wanted to kill her disabled infant and her parents by having a "death panel" ration health care according to "level of productivity in society".

I'm not sure what all this whining about rationing is. We have to ration health care simply because we don't have unlimited health care resources. Flu shots go first to those at highest risk, that's a form of rationing. Transplants are rationed, primarily according to judgements about probability of success. We ration drugs of all kinds according to who can pay. We ration health care all the time, and the criteria for the rationing depends on the particular care being rationed and the particular and specific circumstances.

So why is rationing a problem? We can't get rid of it. But we can be explicit about the criteria we'll use.

We will ration. I'm pretty sure that "level of productivity in society" will be at least part of the criteria used to ration. But it certianly won't be all of it, probably not even most of the criteria and the rationing won't be done by a "death squad".

If you don't realize that right at the gitgo then you're either insane or an idiot.

Althouse appears to have become insane.
... death will occur as a result of the decisions of cost controlling bureaucrats with the power to determine who can receive various treatments. I don't know why "level of productivity in society" is in quotes, nor do I know whether it is the plan to ration care on this basis. Those are actually serious matters, and I'd like to know the answers. ...

Yes, she used a colorful expression "death panel," but it's a good and fair polemical expression if in fact life-saving care will be rationed on this basis. I have found myself saying, in conversation, "I'm afraid Obama is going to kill me." Now, I'm not picturing him or one of his minions coming over to murder me, but I am afraid that as I get older and need expensive care to keep me alive that I will be told I cannot have it, because at my age, in the government's opinion, there's not enough life left in me to be worth the money that I would take from the system that needs to pay for everything.

Free Republic tells us where the phrase comes from.

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