Monday, July 1, 2013

(Related Update): Another step on the road to healthcare rationing

Related update:  According to a special healthcare report in The Washingtonian, the rationing I posted about below is already happening, and to our children! (HT: Glenn Reynolds):
Because of nationwide shortages, Washington hospitals are rationing, hoarding, and bartering critical nutrients premature babies and other patients need to survive. Doctors are reporting conditions normally seen only in developing countries, and there have been deaths. How could this be allowed to happen? 
How? Because the healthcare industries have been slowly socialized over the last 50 years or so.  How? Because of government intrusion, markets in medicine are almost non-existent in the US.  Though horrific, immoral, and evil, the Obamacare Monster is merely the logical outcome of ideas and forces set in motion in this country dating at least back to the late 19th century.  In it's broadest form, it's called statism; in the US in the 1890s, it was called progressivism.  Now, it's called Hope and Change.  In reality, it is neither.
Original Post:  One of the claims opponents of Obamacare (correctly) made was that it would result in the development of centralized oversight of the distribution of healthcare; for shock effect, they used the term "death panels".  Though a bit agressive, the term does capture the idea that Obamacare will lead to healthcare rationing, such as has occured in England with their socialized healthcare system (see here for a scary example of the type of care England's NHS provides).  Sally Pipes, in an article at Forbes, writes about the current shortage of doctors in the US and says, in effect, that we ain't seen nothing yet:
Right now, the United States is short some 20,000 doctors, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The shortage could quintuple over the next decade, thanks to the aging of the American population — and the aging and consequent retirement of many physicians. Nearly half of the 800,000-plus doctors in the United States are over the age of 50.
 Read more here.