Obamacare: I Live, You Die
For those who scoffed at the idea of death panels under Obamacare, a shortened euphemism for the government deciding who lives and who dies, this story broke yesterday, with a followup today.
Ten year old Sarah Murnaghan has cystic fibrosis. She has three to five weeks to live unless she receives a lung transplant.
Due to a policy rule under Obamacare, rules made by DHHS head Kathleen Sebelius, Sarah is placed at the bottom of the waiting list because of her age. She is on a list waiting for a pediatric donor, but she is at the bottom of the list of those waiting for an adult donor whose lung can be modified for children. She is on that list because the cutoff age is 12.
That is the policy decided upon by DHHS.
Sebelius went before Congress and said “I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies.”
Sebelius is right. It is an incredibly agonizing situation. Its sad whenever any child has a sickness, especially one that is terminal. So much promise snuffed out in an instant.
But the problem here isn’t so much what Sebelius said as to the policy itself. I’m not arguing that an exception needs to be made for this girl, but the policy needs to be changed.
Because she is below a certain, arbitrary age, she is only eligible to wait for a pediatric lung according to a bureaucratic policy decision.
Being put on a list of those waiting for an adult lung, while it does not guarantee that she will get one, greatly increases her chances of receiving one and surviving.
Cystic Fibrosis is a horrible disease. Those afflicted with it are slowly suffocating to death.
I once knew a girl who suffered from the disease (I was dating her mother at the time). She was 12. She was full of joy and happiness, not letting the fact that she was dying bring her down. Her mother and I broke up, and I still think of that girl fondly. She always brought a smile to my face. Unfortunately, I have no idea if she is still living or not. She would be 22 today.
A Federal court ordered Sebelius to make an exception to put the girl on the other list, opening the door for others to force DHHS to do the same for them.
This is a shining example of why bureaucracy should not be allowed in our healthcare. It isn’t that we will be hauled in front of them for them to rule on what treatments we receive.
That’s already being done through the 20,000+ pages of rules and regulations that DHHS has created. And policy is rigid. There is no bending of the rules, except for important people with money.
We, the little people, just have to suffer.