Quietly, Washington policymakers have begun to concede the need to weigh mobile technology’s benefits against its costs if our country is to avert fiscal ruin. That costs must be counted against benefits is common sense in other domains — and among information technology professionals. But it's anathema in public discussion of smart phones. To silence talk of tradeoffs, politicians invoke the “R word” — rationing.
Crazy, right? In a free society citizens are free to collectively “waste” vast sums on iPhones, iPads, boats, motorcycles, fishing lure collections; pretty much anything they want. After all, it’s their money.
Unless it isn’t anymore.
The quote above is actually pulled from an editorial in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, with the topic of mobile technology substituted for health care to make a point. Freedom is suspended in the matter of health care because the government is progressively replacing millions of individuals making decisions according to their own priorities for "Choosing Wisely" as people smarter than you administer a fixed national budget for medical care.
And no matter how hard you try, you will definitely have skin in this game.
Politicians, whether invoking the “R word” or not, are largely irrelevant. They have already hired the bureaucrats who take our money, set the rules as they like – e.g., co-payments for cardiac stents but not for intra-uterine devices--and then allocate millions of individual health needs against the output of their Potemkin market.
ObamaCare delenda est.