Two sad cases were reported lately – one by Medgadget in which a young child with Treacher Collins syndrome was denied a special bone-implanted hearing aid. Children with this genetic syndrome usually have normal intelligence, though their appearance reflects underdeveloped facial bones. Apparently her insurance company would pay for the procedure to install the hearing aid, but the $15K device was not covered in her parents’ insurance policy. Her parents could not afford the device, and the child has little hope of developing the ability to speak normally without the aid.
The second case was of Britain’s most elderly woman – a 108 year old who was told that she’d need to wait 18 months to receive a hearing aid from the National Health Service. Mrs. Beal is wheelchair bound, and unable to communicate without a hearing aid. Her favorite hobby is listening to music. Doctors say that she is unlikely to live long enough to receive the new hearing aid.
These two cases demonstrate that care is rationed in both a free market healthcare system, and a government run single payer system – and that rationing affects the disabled and the elderly first. This is the sad inevitability of limited resources, with only the independently wealthy enjoying the best of what healthcare can offer. Perhaps charity alone will hear the cries of these hearing impaired individuals?This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.