First time in a while. Last week, I na?vely waded into the health care debate and got the Barney Frank treatment (no, not like that, so don't go there). Most responses posted both to the Web site and those sent to me personally included personal experiences with end-of-life issues, most often with an elderly father or mother. NBC News political chief Chuck Todd said over the weekend that ObamaCare is in trouble because the president has only told the American public what they will lose, not what they will gain.
"Health care is a deeply personal issue," Todd said. "And Americans are selfish. They don't want to give it up." Selfish because they want the best possible care for their families? Is he kidding? We're told we have to sacrifice more. I suppose that now means what ... potentially our children's health? This notion of sacrifice for the greater common (and collective) good has hit absurd new heights.
One reader sent the following:
"You said there is the provision that divides the amount of money a particular procedure will cost by your life expectancy to arrive at a formula that tells government officials whether or not you get the procedure. Where did you see this provision and where can it be seen now?"
It sent me back to review (what I could) of the plan, and found no such formula. The equation I was referring to was part of cost containment efforts at the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The organization has denied drugs that doctors desperately want on the ground they'e too expensive for the benefits they provide. They cap end-of-life care at $22,000 if the patient is expected to live less than six months. In this country, the administration established its Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (sounds like something straight out of an Ayn Rand novel). The Wall Street Journal notes, "The Administration's new Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research currently lacks the authority of [its British counterpart]. But over time, if the Obama plan passes and taxpayer costs inevitably soar, it could quickly gain it."
I apologize for last week's incorrect information, especially given the hyper-charged environment in which we currently reside. But I'll ask again - does any of this make you feel better?