The new Socrates Café season opened with the above question. Some participants questioned the need to ration medical care at all and felt that we should reorient our national priorities, stop the tax cuts and stop wasting so much money on the military. Most, however, felt that no amount of money would satisfy a seemingly insatiable desire for healthcare, especially if no limits were placed. Some also observed the queues for routine surgery and diagnostic studies in Canada and Britain and wondered how such a national system would be tolerated here. But if supply is never enough to meet demand, by what criteria should care be rationed?
The group considered age, prognosis and likelihood of cure, the presence of other serious illness. We also questioned the need for coverage for Viagra, technically complex infertility treatments and cosmetic surgery. Finally the group wondered whether those with lifestyle habits that predisposed to expensive medical care should be penalized with higher costs for health insurance, e.g. overeaters, smokers, alcoholics, those who ride motorcycles or who don’t use seat belts.
Don’t miss the real experience of Socrates Café and get an anti-Alzheimer’s work-out. Join us on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7pm.