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The Approach Of Health Care Rationing: You Don’t Get What You Don’t Pay For, Like Pandemic Protection

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My column in the Washington Examiner looks at the rush to radical restructuring of health care, which will indeed bring about rationing, and just after U.S. medicine takes the lead in containing the H1N1 virus. Rarely has so effective a system been so thoroughly punished for its success.

Even as the WHO prepares to raise the worldwide alert on H1N1, there’s a lot of celebration going on around the world as the virus seems very treatable. The deaths in Mexico are being scored against Mexico’s health care system, not against the influenza.

One CDC history of the Spanish influenza includes this chart of deaths by week. Note the initial spike and then the drop to near zero followed by the eruption in October, November and December. Such an eruption is unlikely –though not impossible– because modern technology will turn out a vaccine this summer, as well as the drugs needed to treat the bug that gets through.

But that response is only possible because the U.S. has built the most incredibly responsive health care system in the world. Which Democrats are now going to try and change from top to bottom because they don’t approve of its cost.

You don’t get what you don’t pay for. Once government has taken over health care as it has Chrysler and soon will GM, expect the results that followed the government’s intervention in housing markets. Here’s the chart of the 1918 influenza:

Figure 1.


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