Monday, January 24, 2011

A Million a Year - For Your Life?

I listened with disbelief last week to an NPR story that reported:

"...Democrats held a forum Tuesday at which they showcased numerous everyday people whose lives have been improved by the new law: As NPR's Julie Rovner reported for Morning Edition:

'Democrats, meanwhile, let others do their most impassioned talking. They held an informal hearing featuring actual people who are benefiting from some of the parts of the law that have already taken effect.

Among them was Ed Burke of Palm Harbor, Fla., who has hemophilia. His medication alone can run $18,000 a week. That's pushing a million dollars a year. Burke, who was profiled by NPR last fall, has wrestled over the years with lifetime caps on various insurance policies he'd have on the job.

"Once you have reached your lifetime cap, you would be forced to pay the rest of your health care out of pocket or to change jobs and sometimes even careers in order to have health benefits and a new cap," he testified.

But Burke told the Democratic lawmakers he no longer has to worry, thanks to the new law.'"

Wow, that's $900,000 per year for medication only, exclusive of all other medical costs.

I am glad for Mr. Burke, but it deeply disturbs me that we undertake as a nation to provide $1 Million a year in medical payments for anybody as a policy of our government. I assume this doesn't get cured, so this is the level of support we can expect to provide for the rest of his life?

I wonder how many folks we do provide that level of assistance to?

It is uneconomic for a society to allocate resources in this lopsided way. With all due respect to Mr. Burke, whom I do not know, it is a waste to maintain his life for this amount of expenditure. Temporary assistance, perhaps, until he can pay for it himself.

Accurate Reality: It is not the place of the Federal Government to decide who survives and who doesn't based on allocating money for medical coverage. They should not be in the business of providing medical coverage. Nor is it the proper role to force someone else to provide uneconomic coverage.

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