About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The QALY Surprise In BO's Healthcare Insurance Reform Plan

Below is a message sent to us from a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net regarding some of the problems many seniors will encounter with BO's healthcare insurance reform plan.  In this case the person described below is about to run afoul of the cost-benefit principle known to health economists as the quality-adjusted life year (QALY).  Many people who today receive medical treatment will be denied it after BO's plan is enacted into law because of this principle - the cost of the intervention is not warranted by the benefit to their remaining quality of life.  The value for money for medical intervention will be denied in favor of hospice counseling. 
BO's budget stats & claims regarding paying for his healthcare insurance reform plan without adding to the deficit count very heavily on QALY in effecting the $475 billon in cuts to Medicare over the next 10 years.  QALY is a good way to decrease costs.
Now I was reminded that the devil is in the details of all of this after a recent conversation with a friend who retired early in South Carolina.  Readers of this blog will know full well just how shocked I was when she told me that she thinks BO is doing a good job.  It didn't take long to find out why - she does not have adequate healthcare insurance & she hopes BO's plan passes so she will get it.  Her personal desire for healthcare insurance trumped the importance of every other issue BO is pursuing to America's detriment without considering or realizing what affect they will have on her life.
Now my friend was never very enlightened regarding economics or too interested in politics but I can only wonder how she could retire (especially early) without determining how to pay for healthcare in her senior years.  The real bad news for people who are counting on BO providing them healthcare insurance is that the benefits will not go into effect until 2014 & lack of coverage based on QALY will be another unpleasant surprise.  Once again "you only get what you pay for."  Also letting someone else pick or limit your coverage is a pig in a poke which is a fitting description of BO's plan.
Thomas Sowell asks "why would you expect someone else to provide for you what you do not provide for yourself?"  Dr. Sowell's question most certainly applies to those who are now expecting the government to provide first class healthcare insurance for them when they did not take the steps needed to provide any for themselves. 
Rec'd this from a good friend of ours in Corpus who was diagnosed with cancer last year.  See what his doctor is saying....
Wednesday, I was at the doctor whom I have been going to since we moved down here (he is the one who discovered my cancer).  I have to get a very expensive shot every 3 months ($3000) that is designed to keep the PSI down and help to prevent a recurrence of the cancer.  Has some uncomfortable side effects, and I was questioning the need to continue with it, which he assured me was necessary.  
He then asked how old I was, and when I replied 70, he said that if this legislation goes through as intended by the powers that be, that I probably would not be able to get it next year, as that would be money better spent on someone else with greater longevity.  I would be referred to someone to "counsel" me.

I asked him why the AMA had recently endorsed the plan.  He replied that 
only about 15% of the nation's doctors were members of AMA, and most of them were not really on the front lines of doctor hood but in some other areas of medicine.  He said he was a member, but would not be after this membership year.
This man got part of his training in
London, and practiced in Canada for 16 years before coming to the US, and he has no use for socialized medicine, regardless of how you wrap it, or what kind of bow to put on it.  He said that we have a shortfall of around 400,000 doctors at the present time
, and many of today's doctors are of the baby boomer generation who are nearing retirement and/or will decide to hang it up rather than deal with the results this is sure to bring.

In England no one over 59 can receive heart repairs or stents or bypass because it is not covered as being too expensive and not needed

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