Monday, July 27, 2009

The nitty gritty of health care

The current controversy over President Obama's health care proposal, distilled to its essences, is this:

Who do you want to determine whether your grandma lives a little longer or not -- Uncle Sam or United Healthcare?

I don't have full confidence in either, thank you.

Health care and, indeed, life itself, has always been rationed and it always will be. Whether we are talking about elders dying on a hunt in Africa, an Eskimo fishing expedition in the Arctic or by the decision of a committee of "experts" in the United States, it all amounts to the same thing -- rationing.

Spartans rationed life for newborns if the newborns were "too weak" to survive. Americans today ration the lives of newborns depending on whether or not the newborns are a financial or a time-consuming nuisance.

Whole social movements sprang up over the idea of health care rationing or the rationing of life itself. The American eugenics movement moved to Nazi Germany and the idea of rationing children was institutionalized by Communist China.

The rationing of health care will always exist.

I don't trust any of its current overseers and "bean counters" all that much. I don't know that I could do much better, either.

The whole issue is a tragic part of the condition of human life. There's no really great solution in sight.

Jay Schechtman
Memphis

Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

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