You probably agree that the purpose of health care should be at least to keep you alive, and ideally to improve your health and wellbeing. But the designers of single payer healthcare tell us, in their own words, that this is not the case.
Architecting Single Payer Healthcare
Elsewhere at https://centerforindividualism.org, Brittany Hunter has demonstrated the folly and negative consequences of centrally planned healthcare. She points out that F.A. Hayek predicted how bad Obamacare – not in name but in principle – would be for healthcare consumers.
Today, we can shine an even brighter light on the dangers of single payer healthcare, thanks to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who was a leading architect of the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Today, he is an advisor to President Trump on healthcare policy. He describes himself as a “medical ethicist”.
He is clear-eyed about the most significant consequence of the single-payer healthcare system he advocates: when government is paying, healthcare will be rationed. He wrote a revealing article about how he would propose to administer the rationing system: Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions, published in the authoritative medical science magazine The Lancet (www.thelancet.com Vol 373 January 31, 2009).
The Complete Lives System: Have You Earned A Complete Life?
He proposes an allocation principle he calls the Complete Lives System. Briefly, allocation of scarce healthcare will be prioritized for people between the ages of 15 and 40. Prior to age 15, Dr Emanuel believes that society does not have enough invested in that young life, therefore it’s OK to sacrifice it.
“Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. Similarly, adolescence brings with it a developed personality capable of forming and valuing long-term plans whose fulfilment requires a complete life.”
After age 40, according to Dr. Emanuel, people have an insufficient number of “quality-adjusted life years” to contribute to society, and therefore do not merit further investment of scarce healthcare resources.
Dr. Emanuel states:
When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated (figure).
Grading On The Curve.
The priority curve to which the doctor refers is reproduced below. It is exactly as published in The Lancet article, with the addition of the two explanatory overlay panels in blue.
In simple language, if you are aged less than 15, and medical resources must be rationed, the system will let you die. If you are older than 40, in an emergency where medical resources must be allocated, the system will make you die.
Do You Have A Right To Healthcare? Maybe. If You Are In The Favored Group.
We often hear that “Everyone has a right to healthcare.” “How can you deny people healthcare?” Well, Dr. Emanuel has explained how: we’ll pretend to offer healthcare for everyone, then address the unaffordability of that promise through rationing. Let the young die, make the old die, and reserve healthcare for those years when people are working and paying taxes to the government.
Collectivist Healthcare. Don’t Call Us. We’ll Rank You.
All collectivist promises are like that: unaffordable, and requiring government decisions as to who gets what. Individuals in groups that the government favors will gain disproportionately: in this case, taxpayers who are still paying the government money. Those unfortunate individuals without collective support, including infants who don’t yet pay taxes, and the middle-aged and elderly who are in their declining taxpaying years, will be excluded.
That’s one of the consequences of seeing people not as individuals, each of whom has worth, but as members of collectives, which can be ranked in importance by people like Dr. Emanuel.