Rationalizing Rationing

Michael Kinsley’s thoughtful column on rationing of healthcare reveals a basic, unspoken truth: of course the Democrats’ healthcare reform will ration care. Kinsley seems to think that is not altogether a bad thing. He writes:

The administration is investing great hopes (and $1.1 billion of stimulus money) in “comparative effectiveness research.” Because we don’t collect and compare in any systematic way the vast piles of data we have about individual patients and their treatment, we know astonishingly little about which treatments work and which are a waste of money. The administration is touting the figure of 30 percent of all health-care costs as spending that may accomplish nothing.

Nevertheless, he acknowledges that even if this research comes up with the “right” answer about treatment options, there will still be people denied care since some of those treatments deemed less effective do help some people, or might help some people.

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Rationalizing Rationing

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