Monday, April 19, 2010

Pain Panels

Of course, the Democrats and their sympathetic cheering section cried foul at the Sarah Palin pronouncement that nationalized health care would institute the creation of "death panels."

NPR's Rober Siegel highlighted the comment in a lengthy interview with Bill Adair of PolitiFact.com that found that the death panel comment was "the lie of the year."

SIEGEL: So, in a year that more generally may be remembered as the year of my kid is in that balloon, or we were invited to the state dinner, you've gone through politicians' statements. And you heard it first, the First Annual PolitiFact.com lie of the year is...

Mr. ADAIR: Death panels: The claim by Sarah Palin that the health care bill includes death panels that would make some determination of whether people could live or die. We decided that was the lie of the year because not only was it so inaccurate, but it spread so widely and it became a really important talking point in the debate about the health care bill.

It really helped, I think, define the health care bill for a lot of people, even though it was wrong. And it, in many ways, the Democrats spent much of the late summer and early fall fighting the death panel claim and other falsehoods rather than defining the bill themselves.

SIEGEL: And how well have you done at tracing the origins of this particular whopper, that there are death panels written up in the health care bill?

Mr. ADAIR: Well, it was actually Palin herself - as far as we can tell - who was the first to use the phrase death panels. But the concept that the Democratic plan might somehow promote euthanasia actually goes back to the early part of the year to an editorial in The Washington Times that suggested that.
Yet, when put to the test of economics, it becomes clear that price controls of any product will decrease the availability of the product. When a finite and shrinking resource must be spread about to meet the needs of an existing and growing consumer base, there will be shortages. It was not the creation of a government committee called a "Death Panel" that Palin was pointing to, but rather the inevitable creation of a new machinery necessary to allocate finite resources to a list of potential patients.

If there is not enough care to go around, someone, somewhere, somehow will have to determine who should get the care. That care might be determined by the age of the patient, by the patient's lifestyle, by his time in line, by his political affiliation, or any of an infinite number of arbitrary reasons. The point is, that the shortage of the resource makes it necessary for a choice to be made.

A case in point.

NHS bars woman after she saw private doctor
A WOMAN has been denied an operation on the NHS after paying for a private consultation to deal with her severe back pain.

Jenny Whitehead, a breast cancer survivor, paid £250 for an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon after being told she would have to wait five months to see him on the NHS. He told her he would add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery.

She was barred from the list, however, and sent back to her GP. She must now find at least £10,000 for private surgery, or wait until the autumn for the NHS operation to remove a cyst on her spine.

“When I paid £250 to see the specialist privately I had no idea I would be sacrificing my right to surgery on the NHS. I feel victimised,” she said.
Was Ms. Whitehead the victim of a "pain panel," or was she merely the odd person out in a system that routinely rations surgery by pushing needed operations months down the road?

I would submit she is the victim of both.

h/t Powerline

1 comment:

God Of Bacon said...

Either human life is valuable or it's simply another commodity.

Telling me that my life isn't worth saving because I don't have any money only makes it easy for me to rationalize that other people's lives don't matter. And what else does a terrorist really need?