Jimmy Kimmel is apparently still using the platform of his late-night show to pimp for Obamacare. Earlier this month, he was lionized by America’s stupid and dishonest political and media class for making an incoherent rant filled with inane pronouncements such as this one.
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he declared in his first monologue on the issue. “I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
This time, Kimmel responded to “critics who noted that doctors would do everything they could to save any child who was born with a heart condition, regardless of ability to pay.”
The critics making exactly that point included us. And so what is Kimmel’s response?
The comedian noted that beyond the immediate emergency intervention, there were plenty of follow-up visits, and that those require time off from work.
And so after all these years we finally discover the true purpose of Obamacare–counteracting the scourge of American parents who deny their children essential follow-up treatment because they won’t take the time off from work.
I know that Obamacare regulations run to thousands of pages, but I must have missed the ‘time off from work’ provision.
This Kimmel guy is almost funny enough to be a comedian.
Look, when it comes right down to it, no honest person who knows the facts and has half a brain could ever find any value in Kimmel’s fatuous declarations. That’s why the task fell to a United States Senator.
Thanks to Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, the healthcare policy pronouncements of late night comic Jimmy Kimmel are back in the headlines…Cassidy, a Republican senator opposed to repealing much of Obamacare, subsequently went on television and declared that any changes to the healthcare system should pass what he dubbed the “Kimmel test.”
Oh, and what is the Kimmel test? The man himself was kind enough to define it for us.
“Since I am Jimmy Kimmel I’d like to make a suggestion as to what the Jimmy Kimmel test should be,” he told Cassidy. “I’ll keep it simple. The Jimmy Kimmel test I think should be, no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise because they can’t afford it.”
That test, however, is anything but simple, due to the slippery phrase “emergency or otherwise.” Critics forced Kimmel to acknowledge that everybody already receives emergency treatment when they need it, so for him to continue to pretend to have a valid point, he had to add the “or otherwise” bit. That term, however, raises more questions than it answers.
Specifically, which medical procedures are covered by that vague phrase “or otherwise”? Just how much non-emergency medical care are people entitled to?
The answer cannot be ‘however much that patients want or think they need,’ or even ‘however much their doctor thinks they need,’ because there could never be enough resources available to make that true. That’s why, even in countries with socialized medicine, neither patients nor doctors are ever given blank checks to access as much health care as they want, because to do so would quickly drive the system into bankruptcy.
The undeniable fact is that health care is a scarce resource, and so it must be rationed. Exactly how to ration it is ultimately what the health care debate is about.
One way to ration is through the price system. Another is through government. But having the government take over health care does not eliminate the need to ration. That’s why socialist governments all over the world have set up bureaucracies devoted to rationing. That is, the job of the bureaucracy is to deny people medical care, which is what Jimmy Kimmel says should not happen.
[E]ven if the United States were to migrate to a single-payer system, it wouldn’t necessarily meet the Kimmel standard, because any system has to figure out away to divide up scarce resources – there are only so many doctors and hospital beds and waiting rooms and money available – and there is a variation in competence and quality. So in other systems, government plays a central role in deciding what can get covered and in how care is delivered.
In Britain, the government rationing agency is given the Orwellian acronym NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.) Rationing by NICE goes as far as denying life-extending drugs to cancer patients.
Eight thousand cancer patients are likely to have their lives cut short following a decision to withdraw NHS funding for 25 treatments.
Medication which offers a last chance to patients with cancer a year – including those with breast, prostate and bowel disease – will no longer be funded by the NHS, under plans to scale back spending from April.
Experts said that around two thirds of those who seek NHS treatment for advanced bowel cancer are likely to face an earlier death because of the decision.
Charities accused health officials of taking “a dramatic step backwards” and destroying a lifeline which prolongs the survival of thousands of cancer sufferers.
The bureaucrats decide that eight thousand people have to die. Question: Does that pass the ‘Kimmel test’?
When Kimmel and Senator Cassidy find a health care system that passes the test, I wish they would please let me know. Because without more specifics, the test seems like nothing more than a fatuous denial of scarcity and the necessity of some form of rationing. Denying scarcity is not a contribution to the debate, it’s an evasion of the debate.
In closing, let me just take this opportunity to make a political endorsement. Here at Yet, Freedom! we generally eschew endorsements, but I have decided to make an exception by throwing my full support to Bill Cassidy’s next election opponent, whoever he or she may be. I really don’t care who it is, since just about anybody, even an avowed Trotskyite, would have to be an improvement over Cassidy. The Troskyite would at least be more honest, because he wouldn’t pretend to be a conservative Republican while promoting socialism in America.