Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Oath of the Horatii

Thomas Sowell nails the dark heart at the center of progressive health care reform's goal of reducing costs by reducing "end of life" care: The Costs of Medical Care

Letting old people die instead of saving their lives will undoubtedly reduce medical payments considerably. But old people have that option already-- and seldom choose to exercise it, despite clever people who talk about a "duty to die."

A government-run system will take that decision out of the hands of the elderly or their families, and thereby "bring down the cost of medical care." A stranger's death is much easier to take, especially if you are a bureaucrat making that decision in Washington.

At one time, in desperately poor societies, living on the edge of starvation, old people might be abandoned to their fate or even go off on their own to face death alone. But, in a society where huge flat-screen TVs are common, along with a thousand gadgets for amusement and entertainment, and where even most people living below the official poverty line own a car or truck, to talk about a "duty to die" so that younger people can live it up is obscene.

As Sowell says, it's easy to reduce costs by reducing the amount of something. Progressive health care reform ultimately aspires to reduce costs by rationing care; even the President has admitted this in his roundabout faux-professorial way. Voters, at least among the Tea Party Set, realize this instinctively, but there has been a heroic effort among progressives and the media to obscure this. Don't pay attention to the hateful angry racist fascist in the corner, please!

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