The big read-it-over-brunch article this weekend will be Peter Singer’s piece in the NYT Mag about the need to “ration” healthcare.
Singer, a bio-ethics prof at Princeton has always been a controversial character — taking utilitarian beliefs to extremes, which includes a defence of euthanasia for babies born gravely ill.
Not surprisingly, conservatives are all freaking out, using words like fascist, and warning that if Obama’s proposed healthcare schemes come to pass, then this is what we can come to pass. Granny doesn’t get the cancer care, because Obama’s army of bureaucrats is RATIONING!!!
This is absurd. What’s amazing is how un-controversial Singer’s article is. It’s as though the NYT wanted him to write something scary and provocative, but he couldn’t think of anything. Duh, of course there’s going to be rationing. We talk about this all the time. At some point, the government will be drawing the line on late-stage, high-cost treatments with limited effectiveness. To suggest otherwise is absurd.
Now, if we had a radical, laissez-faire system of healthcare, this wouldn’t be a public policy issue at alll, but even private insurers would draw the line somewhere.
Look, if you have your own money to spend, then sure, buy whatever you want to stay alive for two more months. But if your on insurance, Obamacare or just plain old Medicare, then these tricky issues have to be dealt with.
Ironically, conservatives are making the very un-conservative argument that patients have a right to any treatment they want, and that someone else should be paying for it. Basically, conservatives are engaging in their own form of political correctness. How dare he use the r-word! What a fascist! Ignore them.
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