nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Short-term memory

The failure mode for government-supported health care which concerns me is that paying for medical care can't help but affect what sort of care gets supplied. I don't fear cost-cutting death panels so much as unpredictable moralism. It's been mere months since most of the people who support a major revision were very angry about the Bush administration making abortion harder to get-- and the Bush administration had a lot less leverage than will be available in a more centralized system. The people you like will not necessarily be in charge forever.

However, Americans have a crazy streak. As nearly as I can tell, the American character has two primary components: It's better to do something, and it's important to be a good person. Thought and kindness are permitted, but they're optional.

This doesn't mean change is necessarily a bad idea. The current system is horrendous and medical care as a right has worked pretty well in other countries. The risk might be acceptable, but I wish the people who support the government guaranteeing health care took the risk seriously.

My nightmare is a medical system where care is withheld if the patient is "non-compliant"-- this could mean not losing weight when ordered to, or not taking prescribed drugs because in one is "self-non-prescribing" because one has the delusion that one is entitled to judge which side effects are tolerable.

But really, the particular way things could go wrong is not predictable because fits of moralism are pretty random. So far as I know, there isn't a rights system built into proposals for medical care, and feedback is by way of pressure groups. This seems pretty fragile.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded