Thursday, February 11, 2016

Socialism, When Your Grandchild Dies

Drug Shortages Forcing Hard Decisions on Rationing Treatments - The New York Times:

If we were still a nation that was able to understand enough to self-govern, this is a story that ALL ought read and at least have the tradeoffs explained. In a conservative or engineering universe, EVERYTHING has a cost, and there are ALWAYS tradeoffs. When you vote in socialism you give up your ability to have any control in trying to make life better for those you hold most dear -- in my case, my granddaughter, but you can pick your own. You "outsource" your power and responsibility.

In a "liberal" or utopian universe, "all things are possible" -- perfection is always one more program, tax, regulation, law or "blue ribbon committee" away. The only thing really holding up nirvana are those damned reactionary conservatives!
“It was painful,” said Dr. Yoram Unguru, an oncologist at the Children’s Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore and a faculty member at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. “We kept coming back to wow, we’ve got that tragic choice: two kids in front of you, you only have enough for one. How do you choose?”
The article makes it clear that we are ALREADY at "triage" for even critical drugs for children in medicine. We have regulated, "negotiated", "optimized", drug manufacture to the point where profit margins are razor thin (at best).  Before the move to socialized medicine got it's first purchase in the US with the advent of Medicare in the '60s, the rest of the world could do socialized medicine and have the US as a "market driven backup". That backup is on life support at best now.

The canary is dead folks. (they used to use a canary in coal mines ... if the canary died, it was time to make like a priest and get the flock out of there!).

We have had AMPLE warnings on how socialized anything works. East / West Germany, USSR vs US, current Venezuela, current N vs S Korea. The US was the huge "backstop" that allowed Japan and Europe to go socialist without having to "go gulag". When "regulation" fails to produce what is required, shortages result, and there is no market operating anywhere, then the ONLY choice is "forced labor". The government must FORCE some company to produce the drug at some stated price (to start) ... but after a bit, why should they pay them anything? FORCE them to produce what has been declared as "required" by the centralized power. We KNOW how that "works" ... it doesn't.

When you see critical drugs being rationed for children HERE, then you have NO EXCUSE to not realize that the effects of socialism are not changed by some magic of being applied in this area of N America!

Vote BS, but hoard toilet paper!
In recent years, shortages of all sorts of drugs — anesthetics, painkillers,antibiotics, cancer treatments — have become the new normal in American medicine. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists currently lists inadequate supplies of more than 150 drugs and therapeutics, for reasons ranging from manufacturing problems to federal safety crackdowns to drugmakers abandoning low-profit products. But while such shortages have periodically drawn attention, the rationing that results from them has been largely hidden from patients and the public.

The NY Times naturally LOVES socialism, they are not going to go ALL the way to making the connection for you, but that paragraph does pretty well. The next one adds a bit more ... "economic incentives" ... we are still more fascist than socialist, so those are still involved. Why not just FORCE them to produce what is required? That would get us to "real socialism", which is basically communism. Remember gas lines? Carter was going to "control the price" -- which naturally controls the SUPPLY as well!
Many drugs are made by only one manufacturer, so production or safety problems at a single plant can have big effects. For another company to begin making the products and getting them approved by regulators requires the right combination of manufacturing capabilities and economic incentives.
So, when socialism produces shortages, as it always does, then what is needed is "fairer / more expert / "enlightened" allocation of the now scarce resource. Oh, and they "advised" it ought to be "made public".  Potentially, while there is still enough private pharmaceutical industry left to blame things on, that might be a political winner, but when the last vestige of that is gone and we all KNOW that it is the government making all these production / rationing decisions? Hillary's e-mails are WAY more "public" than that information will be then!
The effort, led by Dr. Unguru, the Baltimore oncologist, recommended that the drugs be rationed based on the ability to save lives or years of life, including curability of a child’s cancer and the importance of the drug in improving the chances. It also recommended that children participating in clinical research should not get priority over those who are not, because of concerns about coercing families into trials. The group also advised that allocation decisions be public.

"The banality of evil" rears it's head again -- THIS is how socialism works! "The vagaries of distribution" indeed! Profit is the price paid for supply meeting demand! Regulate that away and numbers coursing their way through an endless myriad of bureaucratic "clearing houses", "agencies", "offices" and "czars" are supposed to match supply to demand, but never do. Eventually, those "numbers" are people, and they are dispensed with using the same cold logic and pseudo "efficiency" as mere numbers.
The vagaries in distribution and inconsistencies in rationing have led to calls for change. Doctors and others have suggested the creation of a clearinghouse of scarce drugs and voluntary sharing to promote equitable access for patients. Others argue that there should be a registry of patients given nonstandard treatments so the results can be tracked.

Dr. Lurie, the federal health official in charge of emergency preparedness and response, said that the government was working to encourage hospitals to conserve and substitute drugs to avoid a crisis and trying to fill gaps in manufacturing. Steps taken by the Food and Drug Administration have also helped reduce the number of shortages, she said.
IF any Sanders supporters have read this far, I'm sure they are saying, "yeah, sure ... and "capitalism", "freedom", etc are PERFECT!

NO, THEY ARE NOT! That is precisely the point -- they admit that they are NOT PERFECT, but at least they don't institutionalize evil! They KNOW and admit that. The market doesn't have to "wait 4 years to make a change" and you get to "vote" (by buying and selling) typically many times a day!

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