08 August 2011
In our near future: Healthcare rationing. Government sucks.
For some utilizing our enlightened modern medical system, stupid federal rules are leading to delay in treatment:
South Carolina health officials are petitioning the federal government to overhaul its "discriminatory" Medicaid rules after a local construction worker was denied coverage for breast cancer treatments because he is a man.
Raymond Johnson, 26, found out about his cancer last month. He visited the emergency room after a pain in his chest became unbearable. He already knew he had a lump there but, "being a male," assumed it was a cyst.
When the tests came back, "I found out I had cancer."
Thoughts flashed through his head, he told FoxNews.com. "Is this gonna be it for me? Am I gonna die?"
He stepped outside, he said, and "talked to the Lord." He resolved to do what had to be done to deal with the disease.
But when Johnson, who is uninsured, applied for Medicaid, he was swiftly rejected. The reason? He is a man.
"To me it's really dumb. ... It's not as common as a woman having breast cancer, but we do have it," Johnson said.
The state of South Carolina agrees with him. Since Johnson applied for coverage, the state Department of Health and Human Services has been in talks with federal Medicaid officials about the possibility of changing the rules. Tony Keck, director of the state health department, said in a statement that the federal position is "discriminatory" and urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to show some flexibility.
"This is a very clear example of how overly rigid federal regulations don't serve the interests of the people we're supposed to be helping," Keck said.
The way medicine used to be in this country, before Medicare started distorting how healthcare was delivered, people paid for their care for routine visits, and carried catastrophic insurance. Doctors worked on a sliding scale, and did some patients for free.
The healthcare insurance applicants were vetted and risk stratified for coverage by their insurance company, as insurance companies do for any other kind of insurance. Insurance companies competed for people to be insured. Prices for both delivery of care and for insurance were much less, and we had the best medical care in the world.
Fast forward through Medicare, Medicaid, Hillary's health care task force, the rise of the HMO's and Kaiser Permanente models, and progressive socialist legislation by both parties, and we are on the verge of a socialized rationed healthcare system, which will eventually collapse.
Central planning cannot efficiently allocate resources. Only the market itself can do that.
Oh, and yes, government sucks.