Remember the joke about the man who asks a woman if she would have sex with him for a million dollars? She reflects for a few moments and then answers that she would. “So,” he says, “would you have sex with me for $50?” Indignantly, she exclaims, “What kind of a woman do you think I am?” He replies: “We’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling about the price.” The man’s response implies that if a woman will sell herself at any price, she is a prostitute. The way we regard rationing in health care seems to rest on a similar assumption, that it’s immoral to apply monetary considerations to saving lives — but is that stance tenable?
I recently dug this quote up. The passage is an effective metaphor and describes the U.S. healthcare system perfectly. Both sides of the ideological divide need to read it, rinse, and repeat.
Congress professing the need to cut the federal budget on Monday to save America’s future, while decrying any attempts to trim health spending on Tuesday is hypocrisy. Anyone familiar with healthcare knows growth must moderate, and both sides recognize how they want it done. The right and left, principled in their beliefs and operating philosophies, are certain each will achieve the same result, i.e., more efficiency and less disruption to the healthcare system. There is no mystery in supply or demand side interventions. That is the whole enchilada, and you position yourself in one camp or the other.
However, today the news shows left me disgusted. No political party will accomplish reform on the cheap–or so they will have us believe. Thus, I will skip the idiotic sloganeering we hear and read daily. Yet, getting this quote from both sides defies logic:
“In the real world, the result will be fewer providers accepting Medicare patients, and worse care for today’s seniors.”
We cant eliminate providers? We cant reallocate resources and rebalance our system. Its positively optional?
Very well then, and in the spirit of bipartisanship, I will take it upon myself to make it simple for Congress. Pick path A or B:
Now we have established what to call ourselves. Let us agree on the price.