Emotions and tempers have been high in the wake of landmark health care legislation being pushed through both houses of Congress right now. There’s been a tremendous amount of confusion as to what exactly the implications of this bill passing would bill. Claims have been all over the map on this bill, in what has been a highly polarized partisan debate to this point. Among some of the criticisms of this bill include the likelihood that subsidized health care would be rationed to lower the cost curve. This has been a topic democrats have been trying to beat down for quite a while.
Just recently a new wrench was thrown into the debate when an independent government task force came out saying that routine breast cancer screenings were not needed in women under 50 years old. Aside from the outrage sparked in breast cancer patients and survivors who attribute the routine testing as a lifesaver, this is also being hailed as a potential early sign of rationing for the purpose of cutting costs. What is most shocking about this is that the government would effectively be acting as a third-party telling the doctor and the patient how and when screenings should be used.
Although the task force’s recommendations won’t necessarily take effect, it is certainly alarming that something like that would be considered by the government. Breast cancer tests should be done at the discretion of the doctor, government recommendations of that nature would certainly interfere with that and thus has sparked some genuine concern.
The fear of rationed health care is not all that far-fetched. We’ve heard the politicians stress about looking for ways to cut cost of coverage and you don’t have to read to far into the bill to see where its possible. First of all, there will be fewer doctors for a variety of reasons. Many say that would end their practices under this bill. Secondly all the people thrown on the government plan, and this would include those who don’t have care or those forced off their employer-provided care would drastically increase demand. At the same time we have a government trying to control costs. This trifecta would lead you to conclude that rationing of services will be highly likely. Rationing usually starts with routine tests, like mammograms for instance and then builds from there.
People don’t realize what they are getting themselves into. If you look back through the last century you will see that no government program has truly accomplished what it promised it would and certainly none have cut costs. There is too much room for corruption, there is little if any incentive to get people off programs once they are on them and they become a substantial drag on the system. As a country, if we are seeking economic stability than people better start re-evaluating their priorities.