After years of turning blind eyes to healthcare rationing within the collectivist systems of the UK and Canada, many Americans now are seeing, firsthand and in the news, how government control of medicine sees bureaucrats and politicians decide the “haves” and “have nots.”
In the case of Phoenix, AZ, resident Michael Myers, the confrontation with this reality could have cost him his life, and reveals one of the arbitrary, politically-driven ways in which the US system is starting to operate.
Keep in mind, the ethical, constitutional, and economic points do not center on the “manner” by which the government-claimed resources are divvied out, but that the government claims the resources and the power to divvy them at all. To begin arguing about the criteria under which an immoral system is run is to accept the immoral premise of the system…
Michael Myers explained that he made the mistake of marking his race as ‘white’ on medical intake paperwork rather than ‘Hispanic’ — in part due to his complexion, mixed with the fact that he was raised to not think of himself as Hispanic.
‘Had I put that I was Hispanic they probably would’ve gave [the monoclonal antibodies] to me,’ said Myers. ‘I lost four days [of treatment] getting sicker and sicker. I put down ‘white’ even though I was sicker than a dog.’
Ms. Murdock explains that, despite race not being a major factor in his thoughts, Myers’ choice of box-check showed him that race IS a big deal for the medical center, called HonorHealth. HonorHealth follows federal diktats from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, an agency that exists without any clear tie to the enumerated “powers” in the Constitution), and the CDC, in turn, relies on guidelines from the also Constitution-defying Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of people with “high risk of disease progression.”
In supplemental information on their emergency use authorization (EUA) of monoclonal antibodies, the FDA acknowledged that race and ethnicity ‘may also place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19,’ therefore rendering them valid determinations of eligibility for monoclonal antibody treatments. That’s a conclusion that the state of Minnesota drew explicitly in their ‘Ethical Framework for Allocation of Monoclonal Antibodies during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ published last month.
Myers clearly was ill. Murdock notes that, two weeks prior to Christmas, Myers started suffering from COVID19, and that he went to the HonorHealth emergency room.
But, as anyone who has seen the dark series of events stemming from one simple error depicted in Terry Gilliam’s classic take on “1984” called “Brazil” knows, the tiny box-check was what mattered, and it almost became a death sentence.
Based on Myers’ condition, his health care providers at HonorHealth gave him the option to either receive monoclonal antibodies at their FastPace emergency room nearby or wait for their Scottsdale infusion center’s next available appointment. Myers told AZ Free News that he was so sick that he opted for the emergency room.
After waiting over two and a half hours, Myers was admitted to a room. Just as the IV was placed in Myers’ arm, a pharmacist intervened. The pharmacist informed Myers that he ‘didn’t qualify’ for the monoclonal antibody treatment because he wasn’t ‘high-risk’ enough. Confused and upset, Myers left.
That, despite the fact that he was quite ill. The pharmacist didn't respond to the patient's condition, he responded to the box for ethnicity. And Myers got worse.
He said he was shocked when, on Monday morning, HonorHealth called him for his appointment to receive monoclonal antibodies. When Myers informed the nurse that he’d been disqualified by their FastPace center, the nurse was dismayed and insisted that he receive the treatment based on his deteriorating condition. By that point, Myers had begun to cough up blood. The infusion center’s earliest available appointment was on Wednesday; Myers said he barely made the drive from Glendale to Scottsdale safely because his coughing had worsened and he nearly didn’t have the strength to steer the wheel.
Perhaps, someday, politicians can steer the wheel for him. After all, they already micro-manage our car choices, force wasteful additives into the fuel we use, and want to “steer us” into unreliable electric vehicles.
And, via Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, federal “agencies,” and their “regulations,” and subsidies to state governments that follow DC diktats, the feds already micromanage the healthcare system that no sensible person would ever claim was a “free market.”
First, the government promises to stop “evil” health insurance companies from “rationing care based on discriminatory factors like risk” – which is the point of health insurance. If you are a smoker and habitual sun-tanner, you’re more likely to get cancer, so your risk to the company is greater, and your incentive to stop risky behavior increases as your premiums rise.
Then, the government starts paying, through its new system. And people start using, and using, the system, such that early estimates of government cost are revealed to be far too low, and government places “caps” on payments to doctors for the services, or restrictions on the kinds of services it will cover.
The latter is something many people recognize as a government restriction on their medical care. But the former often remains unrecognized by most of the population.
If government places caps on payments to doctors, then doctors, who no longer are making what they should make for each patient visit, begin to change their behavior, seeing more patients for less time.
This is rationing and it’s the same poisonous approach that sees the US government attempting to control the availability of medicine like monoclonal antibodies, and the AZ HonorHealth system at first deny a clearly ill man medicine, merely because he marked “the wrong kind” of racial category on a form.
The point is not the category of human. Splitting people along such categories opens a dark and wicked path.
The point is control.