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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Death is cheaper

It is well known that most of a person’s medical expenses occur near the end of life. So a medical system that really wants to control costs has an easy target: when people get seriously sick, let them die.

When I was young medical care was cheaper … a lot cheaper. It was also a lot less effective. For you youngsters, old people like me retired at 65, got a gold watch, were put out to pasture which lasted perhaps two years. The people who attended your retirement party attended your funeral a few years later.

Heart disease or pneumonia or cancer took you away and the care that you received was bed rest until you died.

With the advent of modern technology and medical procedures, we are now able to repair hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys. We can replace crippled limbs, hips and knees. We can scan the body to discover ailments that left the last generation of physicians puzzled as their patients died. With all these wonders, how can a society that promises universal health care at no “cost” to you control the cost of providing you all these services? Simple: the wait list.

Limiting the supply of services, (we have to control costs somehow) but promising their delivery has an easy and cheap solution. The cost of putting you on the wait list means that death, the cheap answer to controlling health care costs, will take you before the expensive treatments need to be delivered.

That’s the answer to the medical cost problem in Canada. If universal health care is enacted in the US, it will be the answer here.

UPDATE: Another commenter has noted that this also solves a lot of other problems ...
It would also solve medicare, medicaid,social security.

And if enacted would give govt 50% of your estate upon death.

What a payoff, and citizens are clamoring for it to be enacted

Perhaps dying is patriotic.

1 comment:

Francis W. Porretto said...

Indeed. It's already explicit policy in Britain not to render any sort of treatment to persons who are over a certain age and suffering from one or more of a list of conditions. One hospital interpreted "treatment" to include food and drink. The patient involved sued...and lost, on the grounds that the hospital was the best judge of his "quality of life."

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