How Will ObamaCare Bureaucrats Learn to Say "No"?
As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air points out, The New York Times is now getting around to talking about how ObamaCare will ration medical treatment. From the Times:
So figuring out how we can say no may be the single toughest and most important task facing the people who will be in charge of carrying out reform. "Being able to say no," Dr. Alan Garber of Stanford says, "is the heart of the issue."
[Times writer] David Leonhardt goes on to praise ObamaCare as the start of saying "no" to people who want more health care. That's an interesting tack for the Times to take, especially after its screeching over the use of "death panels" by critics, which meant exactly the same thing. Now they admit that the "most important task" of the people running the ObamaCare reform is to deny people medical care — under circumstances where a group of elites decide it's not worth it.
Once again, we have people looking at this from the notion of a shortage, crisis market. If we want to solve the problem of overutilization, which is what ObamaCare purports to do, we're going about it in exactly the wrong manner. We need to restore pricing signals in order to make consumers aware of the consequences of their decisions, not shield those costs even further by having taxpayers subsidize even more of those costs. That would require getting insurance out of the way of normal, routine medical care and using it only for catastrophic issues, and providing tax-free shelters for medical-care funds controlled by individual consumers.
Instead, we're slowly turning the entire medical system into an HMO, only this time with Congress and the executive branch running it.