Feb
01
2014

#Obamacare refuses to pay for sick kids’ care in Seattle, Washington. Like it does.

Back when Obamacare was all shiny and new, I was in the habit of calling it ‘health care rationing.’ I did this because I knew that you can’t have ‘less people uninsured’ AND ‘lower prices’ AND ‘improved services’ – and I assumed that the government would choose the first two and let the third go away on the wind. I got out of the habit of using the term ‘health care rationing’ because before the Obamacare launch it became clear that the government wasn’t going to manage ‘lower prices,’ either – and after the launch it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re not going to manage ‘less people uninsured,’ either. In short: the word ‘Obamacare’ itself is sufficient warning.

But it remains true that we’re rationing care now.  Kids’ care, too [link added: sorry!]. 

That’s it. Obamacare is just bad news. Premiums are skyrocketing, the web site launch was full of fail, and people are losing their plans (that they liked!) left and right.

Now Seattle Children’s Hospital is reporting that patients are being denied specialty treatments due to Obamacare regulations. Patients at Children’s — that means that sick kids are not allowed the medical care that their doctors feel is best for them.

(H/T: Instapundit) Note that we’re rationing the care of precisely those who can’t really fight back. That, as I am reluctantly prone to point out, is not a flaw in the system: that is the system. The report notes that the hospital had a 16% response rate for its treatment requests, and a 9.6% success rate. …Look, whatever our differences are on health care, we can surely all agree that sick children with unique medical conditions should be a priority in any rational health care rationing system.

Alas, Obamacare is not rational. It is a political tool that rewards allies of the current administration (I nearly wrote ‘those who are in favor currently at the Imperial Court’), and is more or less malignantly indifferent to those who are not allies.  Heck of a thing when the White House cares more about unions than it does sick kids.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: We will now pause while people attempt to distract themselves from the utter awfulness of their moral and ethical states of being by trying to find examples of sick children not getting care prior to Obamacare.  Which is precisely equivalent to said people admitting that Obamacare was an utter failure – remember, we were promised that everything would be better – and I for one will treat that as such.  And I don’t feel the need to take seriously moral lectures made by people who have decided that a political victory over Republicans is worth a dead child or two.

12 Comments

  • earlgrey says:

    It’s disgusting how Obamacare supporters emerge from hearing these stories with their sense of intellectual and moral superiority intact.

    Oh and under #SinglePayer (the go to defense for Obamacare failures) you wouldn’t hear about people being denied certain treatments because they wouldn’t ever be offered. For single payer: ignorance is bliss.

  • Randomized says:

    This should also stand as a warning for anyone who would, let us say, accommodate Obamacare when we have the opportunity to dismantle it. While the media will quietly bury this story because their people are in charge, in a different administration this would be used as a bludgeon. It would be better to say, we dismantled Obamacare so that kids could once again get access to this hospital.

  • bensdad00 says:

    “…surely all agree that sick children with unique medical conditions should be a priority in any rational health care rationing system”

    Kids with ‘unique’ medical conditions a priority? I wouldn’t agree to that.
    ‘Unique’ is a masking term for both rare and expensive – which I’ll admit is catnip for doctors looking to publish in journals to gain a reputation – but I’d rather see doctors set a hundred broken bones or perform a thousand preventative exams rather than have them deal with a neat cancer or a cool virus.

    • Finrod says:

      I disagree. When doctors can find and solve unique problems, they figure out solutions for future doctors who come across the same thing, and thus the knowledge of the medical field as a whole is improved, so future treatments are better for everyone.

      • earlgrey says:

        I wonder how often treatments developed for one disease/symptom get applied to another. It does happen in other areas of science and technology . Another argument for free market healthcare so you doctors have more freedom to try different techniques.

        • bensdad00 says:

          “doctors have more freedom to try different techniques.” – – – When did a system created or preferred by Democrats ever result in more freedom?

          • earlgrey says:

            In a free market they can try new techniques. Not in govt run system. Govt stifles innovation with rigid protocols and regulations.

      • bensdad00 says:

        Solving unique medical problems isn’t the purview of insurance; It’s the purpose of research institutions, governments and talented amateurs.

        Finance all the fancy research you want with YOUR money, I’ll take the plan lower premiums and deductibles myself.

        • Luke says:

          Medical insurance exists primarily to cover large medical expenses, not minor accidents or routine care.
          Broken bones are generally cheap to set. Preventative care has been shown to be somewhat less than an efficient use of public funds in most cases. Both can generally be easily covered out-of-pocket.
          .
          Now, I am the father of a medically-fragile child, whom we’ve always taken pains to keep insured, even in times of unemployment and other significant hardships.
          You’re effectively saying my oldest child should die, simply because you subscribe to a utilitarian view (which I find repulsive) and have an inaccurate view of what medical insurance is for.
          Tread carefully.
          I don’t react well to eugenicists.

          • bensdad00 says:

            A) Your concept of medical insurance is narrow and repulsive. While many people used to have plans only for use in catastrophic cases and large medical bills (plans the dear Democrats penalized with taxes so severe few if any companies still offer them); other had the option to purchase more extensive full service coverage(plans the dear Democrats penalized with taxes so severe few if any companies still offer them – but I repeat myself).

            B) You are correct, preventative care is an inefficient use of PUBLIC funds. It has always been an excellent use of private funds though.

            C) React poorly to any eugenicist you find, just don’t lump me in with them. A Eugenicist sees your child (or any severely handicapped person) as defective or useless and actively wishes them dead, and will use the coercive power of the state to enforce their view.
            How you found eugenic sympathies in an argument for LESS government interference I’ll never understand.

          • Luke says:

            You state the role of medical insurance is not to cover “rare and expensive” medical care.
            That is, in fact, the purpose of medical insurance.
            Paying cash for routine healthcare is significantly less expensive than buying an insurance policy plus paying all applicable co-pays and deductibles.
            Yes, because of tax considerations, your employer can effectively give you a raise by prepaying some routine healthcare expenses in your insurance policy. But this is an expanded benefit, one you cannot choose for yourself, and one that a sizable percentage of the population has never had access to.
            .
            You stated that children who would die without specialized and expensive care should not be covered by insurance, and that treating the severely or chronically ill was a poor use of resources.
            The distinction between this, and “wishing them dead”, is so fine as to be invisible.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Look again at the way that this was postulated: obviously a health care rationing system is *bad*, but advocates for it have a particular obligation to explain how their scheme won’t result in more at-risk children than does the current state of affairs. They won’t be able to do so, of course, but their squirming will in itself be useful.

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