Those of us who have been paying attention understand already that the Independent Payment Advisory Board has been structured with life and death power over those receiving medical care, and in such a way that its decisions and very existence are immune from congressional or other restraint.
For the first time that I have seen in the public debate, however, Hentoff points out the effect on longevity of destroying medical innovation.
I have long fantasized about a whodunit in which social security and medicare overcommitments are resolved through extermination campaigns against the elderly, possibly disguised as discouragement of medical research, possibly something like graybeard-directed gang violence. But I did hope that it was a fantasy, the stuff of nightmares.
Looks like the fantasy will become reality, sooner than we might have expected. The question is whether reducing life expectancy to, say, 60 years will solve the pending financial disaster. Don’t bet on it.