Sunday, August 16, 2009
Health Care Reform and the Chamber of Secrets
Death Panels. Pulling-The-Plug-On-Grandma Clauses. An enemies list. Home health care nurses coming to take away poor families' babies.
Seriously? Is there ANYONE out there who really believes this?
You know, back in the day, decisions whether or not to place a patient on dialysis went through a committee. And, more recently, decisions whether or not a patient met the criteria to receive a heart transplant went through a committee. The decision of whether or not a brain dead patient meets criteria to be an organ donor goes though a stringent algorithm and a committee. And for that matter, the brain death exam itself must be carried out by two different physicians from two separate services. A committee of two, although there are many, many others in the room. Committees are all over the damn place, and they make life and death decisions day and night. In a teaching hospital doctors travel in packs.
For those of us actually doing the work of health care Sarah Palin's allegations and those of her friends are laughable. Unless there are people who actually believe it.
This new found concern for the possible rationing of healthcare is an insult to the now 47 million people who do without any health care at all. I consider that to be very effective rationing. That means no high blood pressure medications, no treatment and monitoring of diabetes, no cardiac assessments. People simply manage until they can't. Then care takes place in the ER or, when critically ill, in the ICU, two of the most expensive places in the system.
These are not the indigent, nor any illegal aliens. Those two populations receive medical care due to federal law. The 47 million uninsured are the "working poor." Those who can find only parttime employment without the benefit of health insurance, generally because of the costs involved for the employer. It's not a new problem. We've known and spoken about it for DECADES.
But someone is making a buttload of money off the bones of the sick and will not give it up without a fight. Social conservatives may be assigned to spread the message, but the vitriolic and fearmongering scenerios are being created by others. I don't know who all stands to lose the most in a healthcare reformed society. My guess would be the insurance companies, but I'm also guessing there are lobbyists and politicians among others on that gravy train.
I think there might be names for them. Jackals, buzzards, vultures come to mind, but those handsome creatures provide a benefit to the natural order. The powers choreographing this barrage of misinformation do so without possessing any positive qualities. Shame on them.
And words of wisdom from yet another committee...