Sunday, July 26, 2009

ObamaCare for the Elderly

An interesting article from the WSJ. I just don't understand why AARP is supporting this.

Since Medicare was established in 1965, access to care has enabled older Americans to avoid becoming disabled and to travel and live independently instead of languishing in nursing homes. But legislation now being rushed through Congress—H.R. 3200 and the Senate Health Committee Bill—will reduce access to care, pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely, and doom baby boomers to painful later years.

The Congressional majority wants to pay for its $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bills with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to Medicare. This cut will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase Medicare enrollment by 30%. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1% of Medicare cuts will come from eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.

The assault against seniors began with the stimulus package in February. Slipped into the bill was substantial funding for comparative effectiveness research, which is generally code for limiting care based on the patient’s age. Economists are familiar with the formula, where the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years (called QALYs, or quality-adjusted life years) that the patient is likely to benefit. In Britain, the formula leads to denying treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients.

I can understand why my parents are nervous about stuff like this. I also wonder what isn't being told to the public in general. These mammoth bills that no one actually reads hands the interested parties whatever they like and unless someone catches them, they just cruise on. I really hope that no bills get to a vote this week, though a house vote would be very informative.

Also you may wish to checkout the possibility that you won't have any ability to purchase any private health insurance that doesn't have the governments seal of approval. You can follow the links from the discussion at Q&O.

And here's a bit of distraction from Mark Steyn on the ObamaCare distraction.

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