Friday, April 24, 2009

The Bitter Pill A-coming!

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer exposes the road to health care rationing:

"Why do you think the stimulus package pours $1.1 billion into medical "comparative effectiveness research"? It is the perfect setup for rationing. Once you establish what is "best practice" for expensive operations, medical tests and aggressive therapies, you've laid the premise for funding some and denying others.

"It is estimated that a third to a half of one's lifetime health costs are consumed in the last six months of life. Accordingly, Britain's National Health Service can deny treatments it deems not cost-effective -- and if you're old and infirm, the cost-effectiveness of treating you plummets. In Canada, they ration by queuing. You can wait forever for so-called elective procedures like hip replacements ( ."

Krauthammer is, as always, right on the mark...but I wish he'd chosen brussel sprouts instead of spinach for his metaphor!

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