We have really good data that show when you take patients and you really inform them about their choices, patients make more frugal choices. They pick more efficient choices than the health care system does.
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It boggles my mind that the same people who cry 'foul' about rationing an instant later argue to reduce health care benefits for the needy, to defund crucial programs of care and prevention, and to shift thousands of dollars of annual costs to people - elders, the poor, the disabled - who are least able to bear them.
The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total health care bill out there. There is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.
The surest way to return to the people's business is to listen to the people themselves: We need to drop this whole scheme of federally controlled health care, start over, and work together on real reforms at the state level that will contain costs and won't leave America trillions of dollars deeper in debt.
Obama's health care plan will be written by a committee whose head, John Conyers, says he doesn't understand it. It'll be passed by Congress that has not read it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a Treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that's nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?