Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WSJ: How Washington rations (thanks Anna B).


Blogger Larry J said...

On the subject of colonoscopy itself, I had one last year. The procedure itself was quick and painless. The unpleasant part was preparing for the test (think "cleansing"). They found and removed some pre-cancerous polyps on the spot. Since they found polyps, I'll have another colonoscopy in two years and I won't dread it. If the word "pre-cancerous" doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will. I urge everyone 50 or older to get a colonoscopy. With the drugs they give you, you won't even remember most of what happens.

As to how Washington rations, the article made some good points. First, government has proven unable to provide cost effective health care for less than 20% of the population, so who in their right mind can possibly believe they can do it for the whole country. Throw in the lobbying, fraud, and waste and there's simply no way other than rationing to lower costs. Guess who'll get their options limited and who won't.

9:06 AM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger Bill said...

It's rare that I wish I was older. I think it will take between 15 - 25 years for the government to really screw up health care in the British fashion. If I was 70, I'd be dead by then. I'm going to have to live through it, with my body falling apart and no access to decent health care.


12:40 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger goy said...

Larry J - never mind colonoscopies. Socialized medicine will go completely broke its first year on medications prescribed to any "survivalist" types who are stocking up on, well, anything.

DSM-V plans to label "hoarding" a mental illness.

How's that for social engineering?

12:43 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger KCJohnGalt said...

goy - great post and surely they'll apply it to me (you'll see why in a moment).

Bill - that thought often occurs to me these days that my dead parents lived through the best days of this country, but I'm not going to succumb to passive acceptance but rather active resistance (I'm not talking about joining a militia, but about political action).

Larry: I had a colonoscopy a year ago, had one pre-cancerous polyp removed and never knew they'd even done it until I was awakened by my brother. I too did not like the cleansing ritual - why use fluids when all I needed was a Pelosi close-up???

To another point now about hoarding - count me in the Hoard Herd. I've only done it for durable, non-perishable goods like razor blades, non-CFL incandescent light bulbs, shotgun shells for hunting and self-defense, clothes, dental floss, FoodSaver bag rolls, furnace filters, 2-year supply of meat (on sale) in the freezers and dry beans and pasta, etc - NOT for survivalist-type freeze-dried food and the like, since I really don't believe we're looking at an 'end of days' scenario. I scoured the Web and sales to pick up the best deals for the kind of items I'd buy in the future anyway, for the simple reason that I believe inflation is going to hit us hard. I have the cash now, and I use it to only buy sale items at deep discounts, so I also save money that way as well as avoiding inflation's effects. Why park it for a lousy 1-2% interest when I can 'earn' a better return by buying what I will use anyway?

My best hoarding decision so far was a 'lifetime' supply of Kentucky bourbon (Evan Williams) and a 10 year old single malt Scotch (Speyburn), both in 1.75 liters, both on sale and both with an additional 10% discount. Based on my drinking habits over the years, it will last me a probable 20-25 years (I'm 52). Here are the reasons I did so - and believe it or not, yesterday my cardiologist correctly guessed all of the reasons why I did so (and he made NO objection – lol – turns out HE feels like I do as well):

1 - inflation eroding value of cash
2 - likely Kansas sin tax increase
3 - sales tax increase (this already happened)
4 - federal alcohol excise tax increase (currently proposed)
5 - manufacturer price increase (already has happened with several brands in the past 2 months, both high and low-end)

In the event I choose to, I can always sell the sealed cases - they will last indefinitely in my basement. An additional bonus is all the time and gas savings I get by not having to make a trip to the liquor store over the years!

I also plan to get a new car from other than an Obama-owned car company, probably foreign, that can last 20 years with careful maintenance – I’ll croak before I’m forced into a yaba-dabba-Yugo or other government-by-Fiat vehicle, or even a hybrid. Whatever it is, I’ll survive any crash with one of those tin-can death traps!

Finally, I've 'Gone Galt' in a way I've not yet seen mentioned by others doing this - I am obeying EVERY traffic law, especially the speed limit. Gone are the days I automatically drove a measly 5 miles over the limit, because police departments are stepping up their enforcement to get more revenue, which they privately confirm even though they publicly deny it. Last month, a KC resident appeared on a local news channel, bemused that he'd gotten ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 55 zone. My reason for doing this is to deny any more of my money to government in the way of traffic fines (never been fined in KS, btw) or increases in the cost of my insurance.

I am ever more reminded of the following attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller, commenting on the Nazis ...

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

6:15 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

And still there are people who say it can't happen here. And still I say, it IS happening here.

7:45 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger beebs said...

On rationing, my great aunt was 93, and was dizzy with the trots. She didn't think she could walk, and had a friend drive her to the hospital ER.

They examined her, and found nothing wrong, and wanted her to leave. She said, "I'll pay cash to stay here overnight."

The answer: NO, Medicare won't allow it.

1:05 AM, May 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be tiresome to argue with much of what is said here but let me simply point out that whatever govt program is in the planning stages and may or may not be enacted it is NOT a program where the govt will tell you which doctors you can or can not use. At a minimum, before you get overly critical, find out what is being discussed.

10:32 AM, May 21, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

It would be tiresome to argue with much of what is said here but let me simply point out that whatever govt program is in the planning stages and may or may not be enacted it is NOT a program where the govt will tell you which doctors you can or can not use.Nice strawman since no one but you brought up the point of choosing our doctors. The point is that government can and does constrain what treatments they will pay for. This happens today and will continue to happen in the future. These decisions aren't just based on medical effectiveness but on cost and political considerations (e.g. lobbying).

2:48 PM, May 21, 2009  
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