When the government provides “free” healthcare, it has to ration the amount it provides, because the demand for a “free” service is virtually unlimited. The government does its rationing through a static bureaucratic evaluation of costs, treatments and prognoses. Expensive drugs, that prolong the lives of cancer patients, go on the chopping block. Expensive surgeries, that improve the quality of life of old people, go on the chopping block. Expensive treatment for children born with special needs go on the chopping block.

When the chopping is under control of bureaucrats, you get “Death Panels” who make anonymous decisions on who may get treatment and who must be denied.

The problem with the “static bureaucratic evaluation of costs, treatments and prognoses” is that it is static. But we have countless examples of how extremely expensive procedures and medications have become increasingly affordable under free-market conditions. Heart transplants are now almost routine; the janitor at the last apartment building we lived in had had one. AIDS was a fatal disease and we lost dear friends to it. But now AIDS is a chronic disease easily controlled by modern drugs. Static bureaucracies do not understand that leading edge treatments start off expensive, but get cheaper as free market forces drive down costs, improve access, and improve the chances of success.

When you ration expensive treatments, you remove the incentive to find cheaper alternatives.  Those who do the rationing, sentence to death those denied treatment, and countless more, who would have been saved, had the free market been given the incentive to develop cheaper cures.

There is a reason why the US has led the world in medical innovation; it still had a private component to its medical system. Under Obamacare, that will be lost.

Sarah Palin was right to warn against “Death Panels”; as the covers come off Obamacare, we see, more than ever, how right she is.

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