08.31.2009 0

Utopia: The Land of Ideal Health Care

  • On: 09/11/2009 09:30:59
  • In: Health Care
  • by Victor Morawski

    Now boys and girls, I want to tell you a wonderful fairy tale about a talismanic land where only happy endings are allowed. And all you have to do is surrender your “liberty and freedom for all.”

    You all know that Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel was aboard the Clinton Express when it tried to take us to the magical world of universal health care in the early 90s. Sadly, that train broke down on the way and never arrived at Utopia.

    But, not to worry, because now Zeke has boarded another train, the ObamaCare Special. And, it is leaving the station for the same destination.

    Now, you’re probably wondering what you will find in Zeke’s Utopia. How will your needs be met? And what will this live-long life of lollipop and roses cost? Well, again, not to worry. You seek Zeke has already written a wonderful travel guide about his magical land of health care reform. Its title is “A Comprehensive Cure: Universal Health Care Vouchers.” And it reads a lot like “Alice in Wonderland.”

    Zeke’s Utopia is an enchanted place where everyone receives a standard package of wonderful health care services, “regardless of age, income, employment, health, or marital status.” And all you need to pay for any of this is your complimentary “Health Care Voucher.” Once in Utopia, you can take your ticket to any private health plan provider or insurer, and you are guaranteed a basic benefit package.

    How’s that for happily ever aftering?

    Now, I know you’ve heard lots of scary stories about those nasty private health insurance companies turning folks away for preexisting conditions or other enrollment requirements. But Zeke would fix it so that in Utopia, they wouldn’t be able to do this anymore. In fact he would severely restrict and control which companies can accept his special vouchers so that only one in ten would be left when he is finished. And those will either do as there told, or – zip! – it’s down the rabbit hole for them.

    You may be wondering, how can Zeke afford to buy everyone a “free” ticket? Where will he get the money? Well, in Utopia, everyone will help him get the money – including you – by paying a national sales tax [called a VAT] of ten to twelve cents on the dollar for everything they buy. So, the money you save on “free” health care, you’ll be able to turn over to Big Government.

    And that money will also enable Zeke to set up a National Health Board and regional health boards to “define and regularly adjust the standard health benefits to reflect…fiscal realities.” If less comes in from the VAT, fewer health benefits will be guaranteed in Utopia. And Big Government will make the “tough administrative choices to be made.” This is what’s known in Utopia as “rationing.” And it could cost you your life. But, that’s a small matter.

    Here is the best part about Zeke’s plans for your life in Utopia. The 10 to 12 cents Zeke and his pals take out of every dollar you have (after Big Government has already taken the 50 cents it currently takes) will also enable Zeke and his pals to set up an “Institute for Technology Outcomes Assessment.”

    You see, Zeke has figured out that the problem with medical care today is that there is just too much spending that does not produce enough good results. So, in Utopia, Zeke’s new government Institute would compare the “costs of drugs, devices, diagnostic tests, and other interventions” with their relative effectiveness in saving the lives of “participating citizens” to see which benefits will be provided to whom.

    Only those “drugs, devices, diagnostic tests,” and such, that produce enough good results — that is, save the lives Zeke and his pals decide are worth saving: the young and productive, in their eyes – will considered effective and receive Utopia’s Big Government funding.

    For example, let’s think about grandma for a second. And let’s say she was lying in the hospital unconscious on a respirator to help her breath. Now some selfish people (the kind Zeke definitely does not want in Utopia) would let her stay there for months at great expense to Big Government, hoping (and maybe even praying) for a miracle or an advance in medical technology that would bring her back to health.

    But, not Zeke. Being of superior intellect and knowing how to properly evaluate who should live and who should die, Zeke and his Big Government pals would pull that plug so fast granny would have a tag on her toe before you could say “Sanctity of life.” And in Zeke’s Utopia, the word of the government is the unquestioned law of the land. So, there could be no legal challenge to the Institute’s decisions.

    So, there you have it: a Utopian world where everyone is healthy, happy, and in the prime of life. Because, in Utopia, you see, Zeke and his pals will kill off everyone else.

    All aboard!!!

    Victor Morawski is a professor at Coppin University and a Liberty Features Syndicated Writer.

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