Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”     Benjamin Franklin,    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

March 20, 2011

Quote of the Day – Eyes wide shut?

by Quincy

In making the case for open and obvious centralized rationing, advocates claim that “we” must ration with “our” eyes open. From Beth Haynes at PJM:

That’s why Medicare needs the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Setting a cap on spending is the first step of rationing. The next is deciding who gets what medical care.

“Limited resources require decisions about who will have access to care and the extent of their coverage.” (Berwick, 1999)

As physician-blogger Dr. Richard Fogoros puts it: we can either ration overtly or covertly (“with our eyes open” or closed) — but ration we must.

The only problem with this is that a national central planner (or committee) can have their eyes wide open, yet will still be totally blind. No matter how hard you look, you can’t see a building that’s 3,000 miles away with the naked eye, can you? Centralized planners face the inevitable limitation of vision imposed by distance and the human being’s limited ability to comprehend information.

Technology increases the distance the planners can see, and allows them to comprehend more of what they see. But, contrary to the belief of the planners themselves, they’re still essentially blind. What the planners call careful, scientific decision-making I call groping blindly for solutions based on assumptions and personal preferences.

The fundamental truth forseeing the failure of Obamacare is that only individuals can ration well for themselves. Whatever centralized planners do, it’s with eyes wide shut.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m experiencing schadenfreude. Two generations of greedy geezers have participated in the Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare. For over forty years we’ve heard nothing from them except demands for bigger Social Security payments, more munificent Medicare coverage, reduced premiums, reduced copays, etc. Now the 900-pound gorilla of centrally dictated medical care rationing thumps his chest, and I just sit back and say, “What did you expect? Did you think those Ponzi schemes could last forever?”

    My wife and I are 56 and 55 years old. We started planning our retirement 25 years ago, and we did not factor any Social Security or Medicare benefits into those plans. Both programs will either be discontinued or restricted via means tests during our lifetimes. Those of us who saved for retirement (and contributed most heavily to both programs through payroll taxes) will be screwed out of benefits. But, if our “wealth” makes us ineligible for Medicare, we’ll at least have the comfort of rationing medical care ourselves.

    Comment by Dr. T — March 20, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

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