Alfie Evans, off life support

Alfie Evans, like Charlie Gard before him, has lost his case against the British National Health “Service” and was given a death sentence. Rather harsh for an almost-2-year-old, and rather ironic for a socialized medicine system that sells itself as creating better health outcomes. When you replace individual choice with a bureaucracy, this is what you get.

Also, states are running out of money because of 2 large line items in their budgets that are political lightening rods. So when they’re in debt, that have to cut other places, like education and infrastructure.What are those line items?

Mentioned links:

Alfie Evans Survives for 15 Hours After Hospital Yanks His Life Support and Oxygen [as of the writing of these show notes, it’s been over 3 days]

Why Are States So Strapped for Cash? There Are Two Big Reasons

And this is the song mentioned: “What’s It All About, Alfie”, sung by Dionne Warwick. Lyrics below the fold.

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Show transcript

In a Reconsider This segment, this is an update on Alfie Evans, the unconscious toddler who was given a death sentence by the government of the UK for the crime of being sick. Pleas from the Pope, and honorary Italian citizenship were not enough to let the UK’s National Health System loosen their grip on the life of a child.

That may sound overly dramatic, but frankly, it’s not dramatic enough. As with Charlie Gard before him, the parents were not asking the government to pay for his experimental treatment. They and others wanted to give him a shot at possibly life-saving treatment in Italy; not on the UK’s dime.

But the courts said, no. If this is their idea of the meaning of the phrase “the best interest of the child”, someone needs to re-evaluate the morals of letting a bureaucracy determine that rather than the parents.

If anyone ever claims to you that the US health care system before Obamacare was all about the money, just remind them that Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans were two victims of this supposedly “fair”, socialized system. We didn’t take money out of the system; we took compassion and morality out of it. Stuff still costs as much; it’s just a matter of who pays the costs. Whoever that is, they make the decisions.

When you replace individual choice with a bureaucracy, this is what you get. It may not be a single group of people that comprise the “death panel”. It’ll be an entire government that performs this function, but the result will be just as fatal. Paging Sarah Palin. Please call, I don’t know, somebody, anybody.

When talking about how government programs have been increasing to the point that some cities have been declaring bankruptcy, one thing I’ve mentioned is public sector pensions. Well, it turns out that there’s an even bigger line item that, like pensions, comes right off the top before any other spending priorities; Medicaid.

Here are some trends to consider. Since Medicaid started in the mid 60s, taxes collected by state and local governments have risen 190% per capita through 2016. Pensions contributions have more than doubled that pace; 407%. But Medicaid leaves them both way behind. Since its inception, costs to state and local government have risen by 2,158%! Before states begin paying for education and infrastructure, pensions and Medicaid are first in line, taking about 20% of the tax revenue.

Oh, and if think the federal government will consider any reform, think again. If anyone so much as suggests lessening the burden at both the federal or state level, they are sure to run into the wall of people yelling that they want to kill old people. Never mind the inefficiency of it all and the runaway costs; the budget must never decrease.

In the show notes is an example of the problems states face, and what they wind up doing to deal with the costs. In Michigan, in 2012, they were spending $1.5 billion more than they took in, so the governor tasked the budget director to close the gap. They couldn’t touch Medicaid, which then took up almost a quarter of Michigan’s general fund. So the budget director and lawmakers looked for savings elsewhere as they wrote the state’s 2012 budget. Eventually, they agreed to cut $222 million from higher education, $452 million from K-12 education and $105 million from statutory tax revenue sharing with Michigan cities.

When you’re in debt, something has to give. (Well, you wouldn’t know that at the federal level.) No doubt, those cuts “proved” they hated children, at least according to those who don’t have to balance a budget with line items that won’t budge.

I’m going to end with something that could get me a cease and desist order for copyright infringement, but I really need to do this. Listener and former fellow Shire Network News contributor Meryl Yourish posted this on Facebook recently and tagged me. Here’s what she said.

I was going to make up a parody song for “Alfie” relating to the horrible case in the U.K. where the National Health Service is conspiring with the government to allow a two-year-old to die rather than let his parents take him to Italy, where doctors are waiting to care for him and see if his condition improves. But then I didn’t have to, because look at the lyrics.

I’ll post the lyrics to “What’s It All About, Alfie” and a video of the song in the show notes. In the meantime, listen to it.

“Alfie” as written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David….

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?

And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?

As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie
I know there’s something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in

I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day, Alfie

Filed under: Budget & SpendingEntitlementsGovernmentHealth Care