December 14, 2009

The Rationing has Started

This really bothers me. With 7.2M jobs lost since 2007, and more Americans looking like they'll be lining up for unemployment benefits the thought that cancer foundations, typically the last bastion of hope for those stricken with what often amounts to a death sentence, are now turning away those who may not otherwise be able to pay for the care a free cancer screening would recommend. The states who's budgets are upside-down and sideways can't seem to muster the cash necessary to take care of those who they've obligated themselves to take care of. Weird, how if you spend more than you have, you can't afford to do what you've promised...

I don't have cancer, and I'm not concerned at this point that I may any time soon. I am, however, at high risk for cancer because it runs in my family. Now, being in the military, I don't have an issue in this regard because I'll either be able to take care of the cancer through military health care, or if I am stricken after I retire the VA will take care of me. The problem is the VA has been known to ration treatment to cut costs, and has been found to actually recommend withhold testing to inhibit the detection of certain indicators that would allow doctors to prescribe expensive treatments.

This is all very disturbing. People who have been told they can rely on the governments they've voted into power are now being left holding their own because the representation they thought they were going to have doesn't seem to be able to balance a check book. That, and if they did balance the check book they'd realize there isn't a way for government to provide services of this nature without a cost, and if people don't have jobs there is no tax revenue to recoup that cost. If this was to be left to the Federal Government then they'd just print more money, increase inflation (costs, prices... you know, out of pocket expenses?) and the end result would be that more people would be out of work because businesses would either pass the cost on to the consumer or simply fail due to their inability to compete. Unfortunately the story speaks of state governments specifically. I live in California. It is illegal for the state of California to have an unbalanced budget, because unlike the Fed, we can't print money. It has to come from somewhere.

They've raised taxes, fees and penalties in order to increase state revenue, but to the end that jobs have suffered, and people are actually leaving the state in order to find work. The legislation here can't seem to figure out that increased costs of doing business means businesses fail or leave the area in search of better conditions. That means government funds supported programs to "help" those who lost the jobs those businesses left behind suffer, and thus the rest of the population with them. If I had a choice in where I could live instead of being where the Coast Guard tells me they need me, I'd go somewhere where the state has figured out this basic rule of economics. Like Texas...

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