A Gravitational Pull

Joseph Ashby
The Dominion Post, a New Zealand newspaper, has a story that may prove prophetic for the future of American medical care.

New Zealand’s vaunted public health care system is in dire financial straits after a decade of high health care inflation. In response, a freshly published government report recommends giving new powers to a new National Health Board and increasing the powers of an already existing board which currently controls pharmaceutical purchases:

[The report] recommends putting the National Health Committee in charge of determining what new treatments should be eligible for public funding "and the conditions under which they should be applied".

"For example, as well as defining the patient group most likely to benefit, a new treatment might only be suitable for trial, or use in tertiary hospitals, or where everything has failed an individual patient.

"As part of its reprioritization process, the National Health Committee should also be asked to identify and assess a number of existing interventions annually that ... appear to be low priority.”

The New Zealand government has already attempted rationing by temporarily denying the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Country after country, all over the world, continues to tell the same story. Under the pretense of compassion, the government begins meddling in the health care industry by partial or complete socialization. The programs then become too expensive. Government’s solution is to bestow rationing power on unelected bureaucracies. As result care become less humane, less effective and reduces a nation’s health and quality of life.  

This health care pattern seems to have a gravitational pull.

Gravity pulls in America too. We’ve seen the creation Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s and their subsequent expansions, the SCHIP creation and expansion and countless state mandates on care. Now that government cannot keep up with the costs, it has created a bureaucratic board to analyze the “effectiveness” of care. If Obama gets his way, can this board’s power to enact draconian rationing be far behind?

The law of gravity would suggest otherwise

Hat tip: Lee Cary


The Dominion Post, a New Zealand newspaper, has a story that may prove prophetic for the future of American medical care.

New Zealand’s vaunted public health care system is in dire financial straits after a decade of high health care inflation. In response, a freshly published government report recommends giving new powers to a new National Health Board and increasing the powers of an already existing board which currently controls pharmaceutical purchases:

[The report] recommends putting the National Health Committee in charge of determining what new treatments should be eligible for public funding "and the conditions under which they should be applied".

"For example, as well as defining the patient group most likely to benefit, a new treatment might only be suitable for trial, or use in tertiary hospitals, or where everything has failed an individual patient.

"As part of its reprioritization process, the National Health Committee should also be asked to identify and assess a number of existing interventions annually that ... appear to be low priority.”

The New Zealand government has already attempted rationing by temporarily denying the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Country after country, all over the world, continues to tell the same story. Under the pretense of compassion, the government begins meddling in the health care industry by partial or complete socialization. The programs then become too expensive. Government’s solution is to bestow rationing power on unelected bureaucracies. As result care become less humane, less effective and reduces a nation’s health and quality of life.  

This health care pattern seems to have a gravitational pull.

Gravity pulls in America too. We’ve seen the creation Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s and their subsequent expansions, the SCHIP creation and expansion and countless state mandates on care. Now that government cannot keep up with the costs, it has created a bureaucratic board to analyze the “effectiveness” of care. If Obama gets his way, can this board’s power to enact draconian rationing be far behind?

The law of gravity would suggest otherwise

Hat tip: Lee Cary