As I blogged earlier, the proposed “universal health care” plans now pending in Congress, if adopted, will replace Medicare. The new plan will provide seniors with much less health care than they get now under Medicare.
But where seniors will really get ripped is in the rationing decisions based on “comparative effectiveness research” which will discriminate against older patients. This discrimination will not be mere happenstance, but by design. Comparative effectiveness will require the bureaucrats who decide a patient’s treatment to evaluate all care based on “quality-adjusted life years” (QALYs). That means that the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years that the patient is likely to benefit. The older the patient, the fewer QALYs the patient has to justify the expense, resulting in a higher cost rating and therefore a lower likelihood the treatment will be approved.
But will that really be what happens? This system is already in place in Britain, where that formula regularly denies treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients. And it’s coming soon to a doctor’s office near you.
If you’re having a hard time finding “comparative effectiveness research” in the proposed bill, there’s a reason. Congress and the Administration hid that provision in a different bill. Worse yet, that bill is the Obama stimulus bill that is already law, the bill that nobody read before they voted for it! Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Congressmen Lacy Clay (D) and Russ Carnahan (D) all voted for it. Sen. Kit Bond (R) and Rep. Todd Akin (R) voted no.
And just to reinforce the point for those who don’t get it, the new government health plan will increase one service to seniors: “end of life” counseling.
Under Obamacare, old people just have a duty to die!