Monday, August 17, 2009

Finite Resources At National Review

Andy McCarthy dissents from the high brow health reform editorial from National Review Online.

Key section:

I don't see any wisdom in taking a shot at Governor Palin at this moment when,
finding themselves unable to defend the plan against her indictment, Democrats have backed down and withdrawn their "end-of-life counseling" boards. Palin did a tremendous service here. Opinion elites didn't like what the editors imply is the "hysteria" of her "death panels" charge. Many of those same elites didn't like Ronald Reagan's jarring "evil empire" rhetoric. But "death panels" caught on with the public just like "evil empire" did because, for all their "heat rather than light" tut-tutting,
critics could never quite discredit it. ("BusHitler," by contrast, did
not catch on with the public because it was so easily

The editors implicitly concede that Palin is on to something. Indeed, from an Obamaesque perch, they find themselves admonishing both "Sarah Palin’s fans and her critics." With due respect, there's a right side and a wrong side on this one. Above the fray is not gonna cut it.

At the very beginning of the editorial, this quote appears: "not everything that might be in a patient's best interest can be done in a world of finite resources". Yes, we do live in a world of finite resources, but a finite amount of steel and cardiologists is not the reason why we would give the 100 year old lady a pain pill instead of a pace maker. If the 100 year old lady receives a pacemaker, it would not mean that the 60 year old heart patient down the hall gets nothing. There are a finite amount of donated organs such as livers, lungs, etc., and we accept that an ethical decision process is in place for such disbursement, but there is no excuse to deny care that comes from renewable resources like the doctors themselves and manufactured medical equipment. It seems to me that advancements in medicine are all about increasing that finite number of resources. What begins as a rare breakthrough procedure may turn into a reasonbly priced, widely used procedure over time. Treatments advance and become more readily available to a larger number of people, and then the legal system kicks in and demands access to such care.

It seems that some have bought into the notion that you CAN put a price on life; and as soon as this happens the moral bankruptcy begins. We are expected to be seen with jaw-dropping expressions when told of the $2+ trillion we Americans spend on healthcare each year. We find that the Blue-dog Democrats are mostly concerned with the unsustainable cost of the proposed health care bill, while they don't bat an eye regarding the bill's infringement on liberty. This high regard for the dollar is what fuels the large number of abortions in this nation; kids are expensive; college first, they say. A price has been put on life. And now, government leaders, so incensed with the high costs of healthcare, and obsessed with the 45 million without health insurance, want to take on the remaining 270 million of us who cover our own healthcare costs, so they can lower that price which bothers them so much? They are overcome by mere dollars and cents, but should we be surprised? One party fights hard for the right of women to abort, while the other does little to stem the tide. For many, it is the dollar before the breath, relegated to a finite life, with little faith in that which is indeed infinite.

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