Vaunted liberal hack poser and gerbil molester Paul Krugman comes out with one of the most twisted, logically falacious arguments about Health Care that I’ve ever seen, floating with the other turds over at the NYSlimes. This one was WAAAAYYYY to juicy to let go, besides I haven’t dood-me a good fisking in quite awhile.
Earlier this week, The Times reported on Congressional backlash against the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a key part of efforts to rein in health care costs. This backlash was predictable; it is also profoundly irresponsible, as I’ll explain in a minute.
Death Panel Independent Payment Advisory Board shouldn’t be a cause for concern to most folks? I mean it’s not like we don’t have Canada and the UK for a good sample of what these panels do. Where are you going for a minute? I suppose that embarrassing gerbil itch needs some Preparation-H. We’ll still be here when you get back.
But something else struck me as I looked at Republican arguments against the board, which hinge on the notion that what we really need to do, as the House budget proposal put it, is to “make government health care programs more responsive to consumer choice.”
We’d like to see your smarmy socialist ass struck, but I imagine your and our thoughts about what is striking are somewhat at odds. There is nothing sacrosanct about medicine as a consumer choice. We all have differing ideas about what we expect from a doctor or practice or hospital. I’ve been in quite a few doctor’s offices over the last month or so and they all had a gimmick near the check-out areas that allows a patient to complete a customer satisfaction survey. They are obviously responding to patients as customers in an effort to provide the highest level of service and satisfaction. Why shouldn’t we view our choice in medicine as a consumer issue? Of course, I can see where you’re going with this immediately. To accept socialized medicine we must accept what we’re given, when, where and how we get it. We can’t let the proletariat to be bitchin’ about Obama’s ‘free’ health care right?
Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.
Oh my, where to start with you Paul? The doctor-patient relationship is something special. The decisions that we make concerning our personal health are something that should be this way. That makes it imperative that we have choices. A choice to see a particular doctor or use a certain hospital, what we as individuals determine. That’s not a major reform, that’s common sense being injected into the debate. Something this piece is entirely devoid of.
What has gone wrong with us?
52% of the populace decided that hope n’ change, skittles and unicorn farts, were more important than qualifications and ideology.
About that advisory board: We have to do something about health care costs, which means that we have to find a way to start saying no. In particular, given continuing medical innovation, we can’t maintain a system in which Medicare essentially pays for anything a doctor recommends. And that’s especially true when that blank-check approach is combined with a system that gives doctors and hospitals — who aren’t saints — a strong financial incentive to engage in excessive care.
Alrighty then, we went from having a ‘special’ almost sacred relationship with our doctors to it being a bad thing when doctors recommend something specifically for us. That recommendation came about what was medically prudent, with careful consideration of the patients needs and wants as well. You just can’t have it both ways Kluckman. Perhaps a little research is needed there Perfesser K. Just a few factors drive up health care costs. The primary factor is the way we pay for health care costs. The negotiated prices between the medical insurers and providers is almost top-secret. We as consumers aren’t really involved with these deals. Most of us using an employer sponsored system aren’t even the immediate consumer, our employers are. This secretive set-up limits we as end-users from having any say as to what is reasonable, we merely pony-up the deductible. I can say that if we knew beforehand what our portion was, we would shop around for this too. Here’s an example as to why this holds true, take a look at Lasik eye surgery and cosmetic plastic surgery. These procedures are not typically covered by health insurance and the actual costs for them have dropped massively in the last few decades. This is a perfect example of consumer driven choice. Folks are going to shop, and shop hard for the best deal they can for this service because they’re paying the full price. That obviously pushes providers to keep costs down. Probably the next major factor that pressures increasing costs is that of medical litigation. Doctors are paying outrageous malpractice premiums responding to this and that forces the system into practicing defensive medicine. As a result, we use every bit of technology and testing available in patient care, when a 3rd year medical student could make a decision right off the patient’s history and complaint. Reform the tort system, to limit punitive damages and that problem goes the way of the DoDo bird. Krugman is a busy boy, really whomping that straw man together now. He’s completely discounted factual evidence in favor of evil profit making. The real truth is just too damn inconvenient for his sophomoric arguments.
Hence the advisory board, whose creation was mandated by last year’s health reform. The board, composed of health-care experts, would be given a target rate of growth in Medicare spending. To keep spending at or below this target, the board would submit “fast-track” recommendations for cost control that would go into effect automatically unless overruled by Congress.
So now, that sacred relationship of yesteryore has been passed on to health-care ‘experts’? Who gets to pick what kind of expert we’re talking about? He certainly used ‘expert’ intentionally here. That term allows all sorts of mischief. Hell, even an economist would qualify if I could write the job description. Now ole’ Pauly the Phony Prophet of all things Progressive is really coming unglued. He left cogency behind a paragraph ago and is heading to bat-shit insane street. Either that or his inner child is taking over the KB at every other sentence.
Before you start yelling about “rationing” and “death panels,” bear in mind that we’re not talking about limits on what health care you’re allowed to buy with your own (or your insurance company’s) money. We’re talking only about what will be paid for with taxpayers’ money. And the last time I looked at it, the Declaration of Independence didn’t declare that we had the right to life, liberty, and the all-expenses-paid pursuit of happiness.
Just a brief stop at Silly Town on his Excellent Adventure™. We were talking about spending and consumer choice driven medicine. In typical socialist fashion, he gives his pals the rich Uber-Liberals (as opposed to evil wealthy conservatives) an out. Of course, they can spend what they like on their own private policies or even just pay out of pocket. If that wealthy conservative does it, it’s flaunting their wealth stolen from the poor. It’s the rest of us that shouldn’t raise hell about rationing and death panels (one in the same, mind you). It never ceases to amaze me looking at pretzel logic that progressives extract from their colons in an attempt to sound smart. Since when did a lib give a shit about spending taxpayer money? We can pay for crucifixes immersed in urine and anti-semitic broadcast journalism, but hell no, we can’t just pay for all the health care money will buy for the unwashed masses. In the same vein, when was the last time any LC in these parts even mentioned that pliable, outdated Constitution get quoted by a turd like Krugman? Something is going on. We MUST finish work on this man of straw.
And the point is that choices must be made; one way or another, government spending on health care must be limited. [Emph mine]
Piss on government helping us by getting out of the way for individual costs we need to save government bucks for really important things like murdering fetuses and of course, cowboy poetry. Yes choices must be made one way or another, but the plan you’re peddling is a non-starter. It’s almost as if he’s never read anything about lessons learned from the UK’s NHS.
Krugman finishes his construction project a few more paragraphs down, but using an absolutely breathtakingly stoopid construct by casting that somehow emergency decisions are the majority of health care decisions. Simply stunning in it’s lazy logic. Then as an encore he wants us to believe that medical ethics can apparently, only be practiced by government panels. With a finish that something is wrong with us because want to ‘reduce this (health care) to costs. He started this drivel insisting that we must control costs. He then proposes that only government is capable of re-creating that special doctor-patient relationship by inserting panels of bureaucrats into the system in the flippin’ MIDDLE. Then he doubles back on himself and slapping at us for wanting to use consumer choices into the system, to control costs. He really needs to stand back from the burning straw, it might catch that beard on fire and force him into this horrid pre-ObamaCare Hell Care system.
Only in Liberal Land can we both have the same idea, but you are right and we are wrong, simply because you are you.
I could take this one apart almost sentence by sentence, but I’m tired, pissed-off and worst of all having to work tomorrow, so y’all can just go read the rest. Take your Bonine first, that is if your panel has approved it.
Anyone else have a migraine too?