THE BLOG

Wall Street Journal Reports On Health Care Rationing By US Insurers

09/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Rob Kall Host, Bottom-up Radio Show WNJC 1360, publisher, OpEdNews.com positivepsychology.net and Storycon.org

Right wing health reform opponents would have you believe that Obama's health plan or single payer health care will bring rationing to health care. They suggest that the big, bad Obama plan and the nasty Democrats want to institute health care rationing that will kill granny.

The truth is health care rationing is a usual and customary part of the current health insurance system in the US. Don't believe me, how about one of Rupert Murdoch's publications?

In an article, Mind, as Well as Body, published Monday, August 24th, the Wall Street Journal reported:

"Employers and insurers can choose which disorders to cover, just as they generally do for physical ailments. Experts say that they expect companies to cover schizophrenia, substance-use disorders and other major illnesses, but that some may choose not to cover autism, attention-deficit disorder and some others.

Insurers also are likely to cover only care that is deemed "medically necessary," just as they do for surgeries and other medical procedures."

Is there any way that this can be characterized as something other than health care rationing -- not providing services for certain diagnoses? Of course this isn't a front page or even front section article. It's on page R4.

Funny though, how the truth seeps through. I wonder if the writer of the article, Jane Zhang, will be reprimanded for breaking the wall of disinformation that right has been building.

The truth is that every health care system engages in rationing. Most first world nations provide a minimal "floor" so all people get basic care that is quite extensive. They may not offer expensive dialysis to some over 90. But they at least provide antibiotics and diagnostics to all. Most first world nations see the USA's failure to provide any care at all to tens of millions of its citizens as the height of barbarity. I see it that way but also as incredibly stupid in terms of international trade competition. It astonishes me that the WSJ doesn't routinely discuss the adverse affects of the parasitic health insurance company welfare system we have in the US upon our ability to compete in a world where every other first world nation takes the burden of health care costs off of employers.

It does NOT surprise me that the mainstream media has failed so miserably to accurately put the American health care system's dismal performance and outrageous cost into an international context. It doesn't surprise me because the media have been bought or cowed by a $2.5 trillion dollar industry that has bought the media's protection.