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Drag Me To Health

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Drag Me to Health
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Why We Must Ration

You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?

If you can afford it, you probably would pay that much, or more, to live longer, even if your quality of life wasn’t going to be good. But suppose it’s not you with the cancer but a stranger covered by your health-insurance fund. If the insurer provides this man — and everyone else like him — with Sutent, your premiums will increase. Do you still think the drug is a good value? Suppose the treatment cost a million dollars. Would it be worth it then? Ten million? Is there any limit to how much you would want your insurer to pay for a drug that adds six months to someone’s life? If there is any point at which you say, “No, an extra six months isn’t worth that much,” then you think that health care should be rationed.



The neo-cons should know how horrible having universal health care is, since they have it. grrr!

This is an interesting question. My daughter's heart surgeries have cost 1.7 million so far and has been paid almost in full by my office's excellent insurance. We are lucky, others are not so.

I have often thought, even about my own amazing daughter. What if this money went to a different end?

So, we give back any way we can. We create blood drives and carry her around to get people out of their cubes(1 unit can save 3 babies). We were part of the first Single Ventricle Trial in history, and this data will help other kids. We have the nurses who helped her for months on Facebook. They loose a lot of kids and pics of our daughter laughing on the beach keep them motivated to keep working hard no matter the odds.

So yeah. 1.7 million, and she has only had two of her three surgeries.

But.. 'rationed health care' is what we ALL get. We don't get every crazy test or procedure, just the ones Doctors can justify and sometimes not even those.

About a year ago, while debating the merits of universal healthcare during the election, I argued that any publicly funded program would eventually force the issue of rationing.

At the time, these concerns were dismissed as "delusional conspiracy theory". I had read Orwell too many times; I was being paranoid.

Now that the New York Times raises the same point, I hope this concern will be considered more honestly.

Considered more rationally? Our health care is rationed now, that's the whole problem. Politicians have refused to consider an alternative to corporate rationing until now.

I would rather have state Healthcare commissioners that take part in public debates on when healthcare should be denied rather than corporate boards giving us the thumbs down like we were gladiators that just lost a fight in the Colosseum.


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