I’m a cancer survivor, having beaten the disease twelve years ago. When detected, my disease was more advanced than average for a victim my age. But because I was relatively young, I could withstand more aggressive treatment, and my doctor recommended that course. I also had good health insurance, so I could afford the full range of treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The side-effects were severe, but state-of-the-art therapy helped me keep on schedule and withstand the treatment. I have been cancer-free for over a decade.
But, as most survivors will tell you, once you’ve had cancer, you keep looking over your shoulder, thinking it will reappear. A cancer cell might have survived treatment and could begin multiplying inside my body at any time. Now, under ObamaCare, I face a new anxiety surrounding the possibility of having to fight for my life again.
Under ObamaCare, health care will be doled out to me by government permission. My treatment will be chosen not by my doctor and me based on his recommendations, my decisions, and our agreements, but by a committee of bureaucrats looking at statistics such as my age, my odds, and my needs as weighed against the needs of others.
Should my cancer return, will I have access to the expensive but vital drugs that boosted my depleted red and white blood cell counts and kept my chemotherapy and radiation treatments on schedule and thus more effective? What restrictions will my doctor face in prescribing treatment, and what restrictions will I face in obtaining it? No one knows.
Until government gets out of the health-care business and starts protecting rather than violating the rights of providers, patients, and insurers to contract voluntarily in a free market, my greatest fear is not that I might need treatment in the future—that I could deal with. My greatest fear is that if I do need treatment, I won’t be permitted to receive it.
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Image: Wikimedia Commons