Wednesday, May 21, 2008

US Senator Ted Kennedy

Political news in the USA this week has been dominated by the disclosure that US Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. According to today's Wall Street Journal (front page coverage in fact!) the life expectancy for the type of tumor Senator Kennedy has is about 14.5 months so by July of 2009 the last of the Kennedy Brothers political dynasty will have passed into the afterlife.

Now I do not share Senator Kennedy's political views nor his driving record but let me be clear I do not wish him ill. This is tragic news for him and his family but it is also a "learning opportunity" for American voters this November. First, a short history lesson -- when US Senator Hillary Clinton, current presidential candidate, was named by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as director/chairman-in-a-pants -suit of a health care reform commission she was First Lady of course. Via this commission she advocated a complete takeover by the federal government of the entire American health care system to ensure we have universal health care/single payer health care. As most astute observers noted at the time such a "reform" would have ultimately created "health care rationing" such as is practiced in Canada which motivates Canadians to drive across the border into New York State, USA to get MRI tests conducted due to the existence of long waiting lists (rationing) in Canada.

So if the utopia that was to be -- "Hillary Health Care" -- existed today the principles of health care rationing would be applied to people like Senator Kennedy because he is 76 years old with a brain tumor. Senator Kennedy would clearly have to be placed VERY LOW on the waiting list for treatment since he is clearly at the end of his projected life expectancy for white men in America so the government's limited health care resources would be better spent on a 25 woman with ovarian cancer. Doesn't that make sense??

Of course not -- instead of some government health care rationing commission deciding which patients live or die based on the health care rationing regulations, actuary tables, etc. we need to empower family members to make these very personal health care decisions.

So if any readers out there believe the American health care system is completely broken then let's "reform" it completely by getting government the hell out of the system!! No more mandates on insurance companies regarding which services/procedures should be covered. Personally I would like to have massages and yoga instruction paid for by my insurance company since I believe in this form of "alternative medicine" but I am not about to lobby my government to require such coverage nor should another group of people lobby the government to force my insurance company to pay for plastic surgery procedures. Such mandates simply add to the overall cost of insurance thus resulting in insurance premium rates which are too high for a segment of society -- essentially government health care regulations have caused people to go through life with out health insurance.

Rationing is not rational,


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