Friday, June 7, 2013

Republicans Exploiting and Politicizing Health Care via the Plight of a 10 Year Old Girl!

Here’s a story my conservative friend in Milwaukee has been haranguing me about for awhile now. So I looked it up, and oops, he’s wrong again. Big surprise.

And the conservative source taking my Republican friend to task for his reason to hate Obamacare? The National Review. No summary from me, the story speaks for itself, but it does show how conservatives will try to politicize everything, even the life of a ten year old girl:
Mona Charen: The parents of ten-year-old Sarah Murnaghan have made her an Internet and cable-news celebrity in a desperate effort to get her on the adult list for a lung
transplant is completely understandable.


The story, however, has loosed a torrent of demagoguery — some of it coming from the very people who should be most alarmed about the politicization of cases like Sarah’s and of health care generally. Talk radio and TV have been ringing with strident and even hysterical accusations that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is “letting this little girl die,” or “choosing who will live and who will die.” Some are linking Sebelius’s supposed callousness to the terrible, politicized rationing of health care that Obamacare will inaugurate.

This is all backwards. The people calling upon Sebelius to intervene and grant a waiver from the usual rules regarding children and transplants are the ones urging the politicization of medical care — at least in this case. They would be the ones responsible for setting a terrible precedent. The lesson would be this: If you can muster public pressure through social media, the press, and politicians, your loved one can get an advantage over others waiting for a lung or kidney or liver. Photogenic patients or those with media-savvy or even politically well-connected relatives would go to the head of the line. That is exactly what conservatives ought to fear.

It may well be that the rules about eligibility for lung transplants need an overhaul. As Sebelius noted, 222 people are waiting for lung transplants in Sarah’s region alone, including six children aged ten and younger. Nationally, about 1,700 people are waiting for lung transplants, including 31 children ten and younger. Lung transplants are very high risk — only 50 percent of recipients survive longer than five years.

Deciding who among the desperately sick should get a lung or other organ when they become available is managed by a nonprofit called the United Network for Organ Sharing.
The following point made me think of time when an opponent of Obamacare takes Sebelius’ place, and politicizes who gets treatment and who doesn't…for real.
Sebelius has agreed to order a review of the policy that separates pediatric and adult cases, but those pressing her to help one particular patient are corrupting the system. This kind of politicization of medical care is one of the chief objections to Obamacare. Kathleen Sebelius isn’t in control of whether Sarah Murnaghan lives or dies. But if Obamacare is fully implemented, she and her successors will have such power over all of us.

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