Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Health Care, Politics, Socialism | Tags: Britain's Liverpool Pathway, Economist Paul Krugman, Independent Payment Advisory Board
Paul Krugman is a man of the Left, an economist of the Keynesian persuasion, and a partisan hack who writes for the New York Times. He has found that writing partisan pieces is way more fun than doing serious economics. Well, I should talk, as I write partisan blog posts, and certainly politics are more divided and more partisan than I have ever seen in my lifetime.
The Holy Grail for the Left has always been single-payer, government-run health care. When government controls your life and death, they probably have your vote as well. And what matters to the Left is not you, or your health, or your well-being, but their power. If you assume that they care about you — you’re wrong.
They are sure that there is a better world out there without all the annoyances of ordinary life and without annoying people who disagree with them; and if they just have the power, they will bring about that perfect government and perfect society. They just won’t accept the untidy real world and the flawed nature of ordinary human beings. And they do not recognize that those who have had the very same dreams and the very same aims have invariably created the most repressive, murderous societies the world has ever known. This time it will be different. They just didn’t do it right. Right. Uh huh.
When the Left embarked on what we now call ObamaCare, the amusingly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), they claimed to be modeling it on Massachusetts Care. Obama’s team of advisers, however, were all enamored (seriously) of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), where physicians are salaried employees, hospitals are run by the “National Trust” and health care is “free” to the patient (except for high taxes), and except in unusual circumstances Labour is consistently reelected to power. I expect that the last part of that last sentence is the important one.
What has transpired with the NHS is that the priority of the medical establishment has become getting paid and following the rules. And the priority of the government is saving money. That sets up a conundrum where the loser is the patient. All is well, when it’s a minor annoyance, but when you are really in need of major medical care, you’re in trouble. If you search the British papers for news about the NHS, over time, it’s frightening. The most recent concerns are with “The Liverpool Pathway” which is designed to cut the losses from expensive care for old folks, by gently easing them out of this world by cutting off their nutrition and hydration, and probably neglecting to tell either the patient or his family that is what they are doing.
So, back to Paul Krugman. He was recently addressing a leftist group, and didn’t realize that he was being videotaped:
Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising… there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give…
We’re going to need more revenue… Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well… We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax…
And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits.
So the snarky version… which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.
So Sarah Palin was right about death panels. The Obama health care advisers pointed out from the beginning that the major expenses for health care came in the final years of a person’s life. They talked about “life years” and “cost-benefits”, and how it was more important to treat young people who had many life years ahead of them, and old folks should just not have expensive treatments that would only extend their worthless lives unnecessarily. They didn’t use those words, or it would all have been over, but that was the idea.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is the 15 member board of bureaucrats that gets to decide what gets paid for and what doesn’t. The Death Panel. They are trying to fill the positions now, but they aren’t getting any candidates.
Everything about ObamaCare is and was a lie. High costs in health care had climbed, but were on the mend as new diagnostic techniques took hold and new medicines saved lives. In Britain, 60,000 patients have been put on the death pathway without being told, but minister still says the controversial end-of life-plan is “fantastic.” Medical specialty groups in this country back repeal of the IPAB. Nothing is “bending down” the cost curve of ObamaCare, instead cost of insurance is expected to triple. But enough. My ObamaCare folder is brimming, My thanks to Paul Krugman for verifying what we all suspected.