What Media Won't Tell You About ObamaCare: It WILL Hurt Seniors

There's a dirty little secret about ObamaCare the Left and their media minions are immorally hiding from the public: the plan in its current form will definitely harm senior citizens.

Of course, it's understandable politicians are comfortable not telling such a large voting bloc the truth. Just ask Machiavelli.

But the facts revealed by the Wall Street Journal Friday would be in virtually every report about this issue if we indeed had an honest media as opposed to advocacy journalists misrepresenting reality in order to advance an agenda they support (h/t Keith Rasmussen):

[O]nce health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted.

Far from being a scare tactic, this is a logical conclusion based on experience and common-sense. Once health care is a "free good" that government pays for, demand will soar and government costs will soar too. When the public finally reaches its taxing limit, something will have to give on the care and spending side. In a word, care will be rationed by politics.

Here is the really inconvenient truth being withheld from the public:

Virtually every European government with "universal" health care restricts access in one way or another to control costs, and it isn't pretty.

The British system is most restrictive, using a black-box actuarial formula known as "quality-adjusted life years," or QALYs, that determines who can receive what care. If a treatment isn't deemed to be cost-effective for specific populations, particularly the elderly, the National Health Service simply doesn't pay for it. Even France—which has a mix of public and private medicine—has fixed reimbursement rates since the 1970s and strictly controls the use of specialists and the introduction of new medical technologies such as CT scans and MRIs.

Yes, the U.S. "rations" by ability to pay (though in the end no one is denied actual care). This is true of every good or service in a free economy and a world of finite resources but infinite wants. Yet no one would say we "ration" houses or gasoline because those goods are allocated by prices. The problem is that governments ration through brute force—either explicitly restricting the use of medicine or lowering payments below market rates. Both methods lead to waiting lines, lower quality, or less innovation—and usually all three.

A lot of talk has centered on what Sarah Palin inelegantly called "death panels." Of course rationing to save the federal fisc will be subtler than a bureaucratic decision to "pull the plug on grandma," as Mr. Obama put it. But Mrs. Palin has also exposed a basic truth. A substantial portion of Medicare spending is incurred in the last six months of life.

Unless you've been close enough to a dying friend or relative to be aware of the medical costs in those final months, you likely didn't know this. However, seniors do, and that's why media are withholding these incontrovertible facts:  

In Britain, the NHS decides, and under its QALYs metric it generally won't pay more than $22,000 for treatments to extend a life six months. "Money for the NHS isn't limitless," as one NHS official recently put it in response to American criticism, "so we need to make sure the money we have goes on things which offer more than the care we'll have to forgo to pay for them."

Yes, folks: coverage offered by the government involves making such decisions. In fact, Medicare does it now:

Medicare already rations care, refusing, for example, to pay for virtual colonsocopies and has payment policies or directives to curtail the use of certain cancer drugs, diagnostic tools, asthma medications and many others. Seniors routinely buy supplemental insurance (Medigap) to patch Medicare's holes—and Medicare is still growing by 11% this year.
Therefore:

The political and fiscal pressure to further ration Medicare would increase exponentially if government is paying for most everyone's care. The better way to slow the growth of Medicare is to give seniors more control over their own health care and the incentives to spend wisely, by offering competitive insurance plans. But this would mean less control for government, not more.

In the end, there's absolutely no question that seniors will be hurt by ObamaCare. 

None.

That's why it's been essential for media to withhold the truth about this from one of the largest and most consistent voting blocs in our nation.

How sickeningly shameful of them.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.