Published 4/10/12 in The Fiscal Times
Last week, physician groups representing nearly half of America’s doctors issued guidelines that would limit Americans’ access to allegedly unnecessary medical tests and procedures. The public reaction was noticeable for the one thing that was missing – a public outcry against rationing.
That was reserved for the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on a completely separate issue. The Republican majority last week cast another symbolic vote against what it calls rationing in the health care reform law better known as Obamacare.
Continue reading “Rationing Redux: The Dog That Didn’t Bark”
Posted 12/08/11 on Common Sense Family Doctor
In February, I predicted that Don Berwick would not survive the partisan politics surrounding his recess appointment as administrator of CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and regrettably, Dr. Berwick indeed stepped down from that position last week despite a number of notable accomplishments in his too-short tenure. Speaking yesterday at the annual national forum of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which he led for nearly two decades, Dr. Berwick struck back fiercely at politicians who have used the myth of “death panels” to oppose health reform efforts, and others who he called the “true rationers” of health care. In his own words:
Cynicism grips Washington. It grips Washington far too much, far too much for a place that could instead remind us continually of the grandeur of democracy. … Cynicism diverts energy from the great moral test. It toys with deception, and deception destroys. Let me give you an example: the outrageous rhetoric about “death panels” – the claim, nonsense, fabricated out of nothing but fear and lies, that some plot is afoot to, literally, kill patients under the guise of end-of-life care. That is hogwash. It is purveyed by cynics; it employs deception; and it destroys hope. It is beyond cruelty to have subjected our elders, especially, to groundless fear in the pure service of political agendas.
Continue reading “Striking Back at Care’s True Rationers”
This column is a collaboration between KHN and The New Republic.
Originally published 1/04/11 on Kaiser Health News
I respect honest disagreements about policy. You think health care reform is a bad idea? That it will run up the deficit or make it harder to find a doctor? I think you’re wrong, but that’s a reasonable debate and I’m happy to have it, just as long as you’re truthful about what you are arguing and make some good faith effort to learn the facts.
Continue reading “The Avastin Decision: A Rational Decision Or Rationing?”