Friday, June 26, 2009
Michael Jackson would be alive today if ...
we had a health care plan with a public option.
Think about it.
Shit that's cold.
jms: Sorry, wasn't meant to be so.
I'm not one of those Jackson-bashers and think that overall his biography is a sad one. The Genesis for the post was from reading about how a doctor may have applied procedures to Jackson that would not pass a review by an outside agency (e.g. single payer). So the post was an (apparently failed) attempt to get people thinking - in light of Jackson's ability to pay any amount and yet not get good service - about how much of medicine is, or could be, standardized, leading to lower costs and wider coverage.
Right now here in Illinois we have a scandal where the University of Illinois had a special secret admissions list for politically connected families whose students didn't qualify based on their grades and school records.
If politicians and bureaucrats are unable to keep from being corrupted in college admissions, what makes anyone think that they won't be just as corrupt when it comes to government decisions as to who gets the hip transplant, and who gets the pain killers instead, to paraphrase Obama. When the loved ones of the rich and well connected get sick, and the Obamacare bureaucracy decides that they don't qualify for treatment because they are too old, or too sick with other conditions, there are going to be off the record phone calls, and the decisions will magically change.
Michael Jackson would have gotten his surgery. It's just that it would have been an exceptional decision by a review board, or it would just have magically happened, with no paperwork to show for it and no evidence of who did it where.
That will obviously be completely unfair, and will result in an enforcement regime. Today the enforcement of medical standards means that investigators look to see that doctors are doing a good job. Under Single Payer, the enforcement of medical standards will mean that investigators spend their time making sure that people don't get access to illegal (unauthorized by the government) medicine.
The enforcement shift will drain resources away from monitoring quality of medical treatment towards the much more politically powerful monitoring of medical access. The result will be poorer medicine and will mean that old and sick people will end up going to "back alley" doctors to get the operations and drugs denied to them by the government.
That medical database isn't intended to help you get better medical treatment. It's intended to help the government track your medical consumption and decide when you are cut off.
I don't think that people really understand how Single Payer is going to change medicine. I remember reading an article by an airline regulator who joined in 1978, just as the airlines were being deregulated. He found that some 70%-90% of the regulation activity was enforcement. Agents were being paid en masse to call up travel agents and try to induce the agents to sell them an airline ticket below the government mandated minimum price. The exact same thing is going to happen with medical care. The government is going to spend inordinate amounts of resources trying to keep people away from medical treatments that they want, but the government has decided they are not allowed to have.
Jackson would have gotten his surgery; he probably would not have lived to be 50 though.
Yay! Another of jms's paranoid screeds.
Reading that drivel was a waste of a minute of my life I'll never get back.
mj aside, we need a vietnam wall to list the names of all the people who've died because
they lacked insurance
their insurance provider failed to cover them as promised.
it was jackson's father who killed michael.
Shorter Screamin' Demon:
la la la I can't hear you la la la