The clip below requires a little unpacking: In answering a flip, but it turns out quite good, question about “death panels,” Paul Krugman claims accurately that the cost/benefit board established over private medicine by Obamacare will be able to impose “more or less binding judgments” refusing care, and moreover, that these refusals will save “a lot of money” in the context of treating the elderly (and others, such as people with disabilities and terminal illnesses).  He says that the panel will prevent treatment that isn’t “medically” useful. But private insurance companies already do that. So do Medicare and Medicaid.

No, the money won’t be taken out of the hide of patients who want physiologically useless treatment, it will come at the lethal cost to patients whose treatment will be refused because it could work, based on the invidious judgment that the patient’s life is not worth the money to support.  In short, Krugman has admitted that contrary to the many mendacious denials by Obamacare supporters, the new regime will impose rationing—just as in the UK with NICE, which is why I bring it up all the time.

This is akin to imposing a duty to die because when we reach a certain point in life, we will not be able to obtain treatment we want that could keep us going. Indeed, for me, this centralized federal control over what will and will not be provided in medicine—and to whom—is the biggest reason (among so many) why Obamacare is wrong.  Repeal. Reform. Replace.  First target—putative death panels.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith


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