Wednesday, August 19, 2009

20 Questions for Your Congressman
14. Do you know the meaning and significance of the term "quality adjusted life year"? (For this question, you will need the answer, which you can supply if your congressman is forced to admit that he doesn't know it-preferable after some stammering and a long, awkward pause. "Quality adjusted life year" is a term used under socialized medicine to determine whether elderly patients are allowed to get expensive drugs or treatments, depending on some bureaucrat's calculation of how many good years they have left. You should ask your congressman: Can you assure us that the same thing won't happen here?)

15. One of the proposals for how the government is going to save money is that it's going to have a panel of medical experts who will dictate from Washington, DC, what the proper medical practices are that should be paid for, and what practices are supposedly "wasteful" and "unnecessary." Won't this mean interfering with decisions that would normally be made by me and my doctor? And won't this discourage innovation by requiring any new idea to get approved by a board of establishment "experts" before a doctor can even try it out?

16. Government-run health-care is not some new, untested idea. In Britain, it has led to a "postcode lottery," where the medical procedures you are allow to get depend on where you live. In Canada, it has led to a shortage of doctors and waiting lists for major surgeries. In America, Medicare ended up costing far, far morethan anyone expected. Massachusetts and Maine spent enormous amounts of money to extend government coverage to very few people. The Oregon Health Plan may not cover your cancer treatment-but it will cover assisted suicide. Given all of this experience, what makes you think that somehow this will be the exception that will avoid all of the problems that government health-care has always led to?