I was watching Foxnews the other night and they were talking about Obama's options for universal government health care. One of the main issues they brought up was rationing. That, in a socialized system like Canada's, some procedures and drugs are deemed to expensive. Among the things mentioned was that seniors (who already have socialized healthcare, and have for years) wouldn't be able to get operations like hip replacements and that antibiotics and other drugs might be limited for everyone. This was seen as the horror of horrors, which is the general opinion of everyone I've heard discuss the issue from politicians to news anchors. Liberals don't want to bring it up; conservatives bring it up with relish to talk about how bad it is.
I for one, would like to say that it sounds like a good idea.
Yes, you read that right. I think it's a good idea.
The fact is our country (or at least part of it) is about the most over medicated group of people in the world. For most Americans with health insurance, antibiotics are something you take when you get a sniffle. Steroids are a valid treatment for allergies and they load themselves with both at the first sign of either. Then we stand back and wonder why they are so expensive that people without health coverage can't afford them frequently suffer, sometimes die because of it.
They make up diseases for things like feeling depressed or not being able to pay attention to a lecture and then take psycho active drugs for it - and then we stand back and watch as people with real mental and hormonal problems repeatedly end up in jail or psych ward because they can't afford to stay on similar medication.
A few years ago, my family doctor saw some moles that I had and suspected that they were cancer. He referred me to a dermatologist. I ended up having to switch practitioners in the middle of the whole thing because the dermatologist quit. Where did she go? Full time botox injections. Fortunately, everything worked out fine, and I didn't have cancer, but the long and the short of it is: me and probably a hundred other people with various maladies had to switch practitioners in the middle of treatment because upper class, middle aged women who wanted some little lines removed from their faces could pay more for our healthcare than we could.
And we wonder why we don't have enough physicians?
America isn't short on healthcare. There is plenty to go around but for it being guzzled and squandered by people at one end of the socioeconomic scale.
And that is why I think rationing is good idea.