Saturday, July 18, 2009

Link to Singer's Article on Health Care Rationing

Peter Singer wrote a thought-provoking op-ed in the magazine section of The New York Times this week.

The whole article is worth the read but his main point for those who fear health care rationing is ...


"There’s no doubt that it’s tough — politically, emotionally and ethically — to make a decision that means that someone will die sooner than they would have if the decision had gone the other way. But if the stories of Bruce Hardy and Jack Rosser lead us to think badly of the British system of rationing health care, we should remind ourselves that the U.S. system also results in people going without life-saving treatment — it just does so less visibly. Pharmaceutical manufacturers often charge much more for drugs in the United States than they charge for the same drugs in Britain, where they know that a higher price would put the drug outside the cost-effectiveness limits set by NICE. American patients, even if they are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, often cannot afford the copayments for drugs. That’s rationing too, by ability to pay."


So the key question that must be asked isn't whether we should ration halth care or not but how best to ration it if it is possible.

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