Medical technology

Allen Smith allens at yang.earlham.edu
Tue Jun 2 00:16:31 EST 1992

In article <50167 at mentor.cc.purdue.edu>, hrubin at pop.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubi
   n) writes:
>>In article <9205282308.AA18139 at rust.zso.dec.com>, french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM writ
>>> In reply to <9205282107.AA23251 at inet-gw-1.pa.dec.com> by
>>> Gerald M. Phillips (Professor Emeritus)
>>        Let's let the elderly pay for such technology if they can afford
>>it. Don't offer the alcoholic a drink; let him decide to use it and pay
>>for it.
>>> A good example is my grandfather.  We sold the family farm to pay
>>> for his medical expenses.  And for what?  Due to Alzheimers disease, he
>>> could not recognize us.  He couldn't even recognize himself!  Now the
>>> farm that I grew up on, the place where my fondest memories came from,
>>> is gone and neither I nor my son will ever be able to enjoy it again.
>>> How did this improve the quality of life?
> This has nothing to do with technology.  There is little which can be done
> for Alzheimer's patients now which could not be done at least 50 years ago.
> And this 100% income and property tax before public assistance comes in
> for medical care is a political problem, and should be treated as one.
> We must recognize that all eligibility rules are taxes, and should be
> treated as taxes, not as reasonable restrictions on availability.

        It's not a tax. It's a user fee. Someone is spending money for a
service, and we pay for that service if they're too poor to afford it
otherwise (or, which I disagree with, they're older than an arbitrary date).

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