This was the weirdest part of the whole healthcare debate. Did people *really* think that there was no rationing of care, that doctors never had to make life-and-death decisions about treatment? Heck, every *day* somebody finds that their insurance company won’t cover Treatment X (because it’s allegedly “unproven” or costs as much as the insurance company CEO’s Hummer). Every *day* my colleagues in neurology end up battling with insurance companies to get therapy for a particular patient who has an unusual presentation and doesn’t fall into any of the insurance guys’ neat little bins.
It happens even without the insurance companies. Every *day* the guys over in the neonatal critical care ward say “Well, we have 10 of these super-expensive incubators but 12 preemies who need them, so we’re giving ‘em to the ones who are most likely to survive and we’ll keep the others as comfortable as possible.” This is just the obvious consequence of expensive high-tech medical care and limited resources. I’d rather have the docs doing it than the insurance SOBs, but it’s going to happen no matter what.