Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Real Death Panels

We already have death panels determining who lives and who dies. Read about it here. They are run by the insurance companies, and whether you live or die depends on your ability to pay. This is current reality for millions of people in the USA, a common fact of life for our permanent underclass. Wouldn't you know, it's a UK paper that did the investigative reporting on this.

Hat tip to Digby.


rick allen said...

Not at all disputing your point, but part of the current system is the lack of a need for any "panels"--if you lose your job, you and your family go uncovered (COBRA does you no good if suddenly you're broke--it's hard enough to afford groceries).

I am rather at a loss to understand the country's complacency on this issue. Yes, most are covered by insurance at any one time. But most are also apt to lose it all after a layoff.

In the last decade I've experienced just that--some few years when insurance coverage was impossible, and four hospital emergencies involving my wife and daughter. Happily, those emergencies happened to hit when I was covered. When not, I could do little more than lame humor: "OK, nobody's allowed to get sick this month, understand?" Had the timing been off, I would have certainly been bankrupted, at best. I don't like to think about the worst.

It should not be that difficult to convey the notion that what we have now we may not have later--a "safety net."

(and much appreciation for the sequence above on the Classical/Egyptian transition to the Byzantine)

Counterlight said...


I've been there myself, back and forth with having insurance coverage and not having it. But even having it is no guarantee. I remember in the early days of the AIDS crisis when affluent professionals who assumed that they had good coverage ended up dying in destitution when that coverage disappeared with their diagnosis.

I've been (so far) been spared major illness that would require hospital care, and my insurance (so far) is adequate to my needs. But, I'm not so foolish or so selfish to assume that I can get by while leaving my neighbors in the lurch. I will feel more secure when they feel more secure.