In response to a blog that I published recently on KevinMD.com regarding rationing in healthcare as a logical outcome of a limited supply and an ever-increasing demand, I was asked what I meant by the following: “If I am making my own decisions, as any free individual should, then I am likely to utilize only what I value above price, using funds I have earned, or in the case of charity, have given voluntarily. This self-imposed rationing is done freely and of my own will with my own property and my own discretion and not at the political whims of others for whatever reasons they choose.”
I was asked: Did this mean dismantling Medicare, did this mean that “everybody is on their own?” Or did it mean, heaven forbid, “rationing based on ability to pay?” I was admonished that the responder did not see what the above quoted statement I made had to do with “self-imposed anything, or freedom for that matter.”
What it has to do with is the freedom to choose for oneself. If I choose to be charitable then I will be. I have no choice with respect to paying taxes, which in and of itself is a charitable contribution for the country. That I choose to be charitable in my community is a reflection of my ethic and my sense of duty to my fellow man. It is not for Government to impose such charity upon me! This in position is met every April 15th.
The “everyone is on the wrong” conclusion is not logical to this scenario. Why is it that people always go to the extreme to make a counter-point, and automatically assume that the suggestion to which they respond is radical?
Rationing will occur even more and does occur currently in all types of coverage from commercial to state sponsored. This is the rationing of money. What will follow is the rationing of time, expressing itself in increased waiting for care that we currently take for granted today.
The truly needy deserve support; no one can dispute that in a just society. For those who are not truly needy, the chronic abusers of “the system”, there needs to be a “pay as you play” plan. You need to work and earn what you receive. This is a basic societal pillar that has been steadily eroding away since The Great Society in the vortex of what we call “fairness.” It has morphed into the cancer called “entitlement.” Well, as I used to tell my child, life is not fair. Period.
There is only a fixed amount of funding available for healthcare. Given this fact, those who are chronic takers from the system, but who are not truly needy and contribute nothing in return are, de facto, stealing from others who ante up to the public pot labeled “money reserved for health care.”
When money goes to these people to treat a disorder of their own making and subject to their life-style decisions and their personal choice, such as diabetes, obesity or heart disease, they are stealing healthcare funds from your children and your family. They are stealing from the child with a long term disability or from the wife and mother awaiting a heart transplant or breast cancer treatment. There is less money in the communal pot for all these disease states affecting so many more people. Is that right? Is at fair?
What say you then to these people, these abusers, if it is your daughter who requires a liver transplant, but this former cohort of non-taxpayers has drained the global funding available for it? What happens when the “shoe is on the other foot?” How fair-minded are you going to be if you are the parent of that particular child? “That’s far-fetched,” you say? Tell that to the Canadians and Brits who come to the United States seeking organ transplantation or a bypass procedure or a total hip arthroplasty because the waiting times in their own countries are so absurdly long!
Life is not fair. If you are of able body you must earn what you reap. Destroy this basic premise of societal behavior and order and you will surely destroy the society in which you impose this absurdity… in any form it takes.
Nero fiddles, and Rome burns!