Fat Steve's Blatherings

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Final Exams

      Sometimes, I hate being right.

      From the Wall Street Journal Online's Best of the Web Today

Final Exams
In the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times, one Hal Herzog, a "biological psychologist," weighs in on the Terri Schiavo case:

Terri Schiavo's body died Thursday morning. The moral, social and legal issues raised by her case, however, will live on. In recent weeks, there has been considerable discussion of the ethical nuances of persistent vegetative states in the pages of the Citizen-Times. Most commentators, however, have ignored the troubling inescapable financial consequences of severe irreversible brain damage to affected families and to taxpayers.

Here are the facts. According to a 2002 report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, the frequency of persistent vegetative state in the United States is 64 to 140 per million people. Thus, somewhere between 538 and 1,176 North Carolinians are probably afflicted with this condition. At a cost of about $80,000 a year per person, this translates to an annual financial burden to the North Carolina health-care system of $43 million to $94 million--enough to hire between 1,500 and 3,500 additional public school teachers.

Does Herzog really mean to suggest that some people should be killed in order to expand the membership of the teachers unions? What in the world is happening to American liberalism?



  • This confuses me. (No surprise). This seems to assume that all the money is in the same pot no matter who actually pays. I can't believe that the government pays for the treatment of all these people when in actuality some payments will from individuals, some from insurance and some from government dole. If we kill off all these leaches, the money will not automatically become a bonus to the teachers union. ( And just think about all those nurses, doctors and healthcare workers on unemployment). Let's factor in all those unintended consequences as well.

    By Blogger Ralph, at 10:02 AM  

  •       Money is fungible.  It doesn't matter if health care is paid for by the govt., or by "business" as an employee benefit, or out of pocket.  If health care costs go down, the people who want to spend more on the public fool system and other govt. wastes will find it easier to get their hands on the loot.

          Or at least they think they will.  They may well be wrong, but that doesn't mean they aren't thinking about it.

          With govt. spending at the level it has reached, there's starting to be real competition for tax dollars.  IMAO, this is just the begining of a long, ugly fight.

    By Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge, at 10:11 PM  

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