Annals of Government Medicine

Obamacare is a Trojan horse, intended, as Barack Obama has said, to lead to the extinction of private health insurance and its replacement by socialized (“single payer”) medicine. So it is pertinent to observe how socialized medicine has worked out in countries where it has been in place for some decades, like the United Kingdom. One key feature of socialized medicine, wherever it exists, is the establishment of death panels. Death panels are needed to ration health care by designating those who are not worth treating, usually by virtue of their age. Thus, the Daily Mail reports:

When Kenneth Warden was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, his hospital consultant sent him home to die, ruling that at 78 he was too old to treat. Even the palliative surgery or chemotherapy that could have eased his distressing symptoms were declared off-limits because of his age.

His distraught daughter Michele Halligan accepted the sad prognosis but was determined her father would spend his last months in comfort. So she paid for him to seen privately by a second doctor to discover what could be done to ease his symptoms.

Thanks to her tenacity, Kenneth got the drugs and surgery he needed — and as a result his cancer was actually cured. Four years on, he is a sprightly 82-year-old who works out at the gym, drives a sports car and competes in a rowing team. …

Sadly, Kenneth’s story is symptomatic of a dreadful truth. According to shocking new research by Macmillan Cancer Support, every year many thousands of older people are routinely denied life-saving NHS treatments because their doctors write them off as too old to treat.

The linked article has much more, but the point is simple: the easiest way to cut costs in any socialized system is simply to stop treating elderly people. Further, as the costs of a socialized system rise due to inefficiency, the age at which people are “too old to treat” will inevitably trend downward.

Via Peter Robinson at Ricochet.

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