By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The blogosphere and the cable news channels are full of outrage at the fact that Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs, Citi, and J.P. Morgan have received thousands of doses of H1N1 vaccine, while shortages across New York City have prevented pregnant women and high-risk children from receiving shots first. Believe me, as a parent of a high-risk child who had a heck of a time getting her a shot last week—I think this is outrageous.
But in the midst of all the anger at the bailed-out bankers getting their shots, no one seems to be noticing that the New York City government health authorities are the ones who sent the vaccines to the banks in the first place, after receiving their share of the state's shipment from the publicly-run Centers for Disease Control. Clearly we have a scarce supply of vaccines, with great demand nationally, and that supply is being rationed by the government.
This is what happens when the government has to publicly ration healthcare. This wasn't an insurance company who turned this into a fiasco, or the vaccine manufacturers, or the doctors' offices. This was the government.
Instead of the H1N1 vaccine going to pediatricians' and OBs' offices for the children, pregnant women, and healthcare workers who needed it most, the government sent it to big businesses. It speaks volumes about what we can expect from publicly-run healthcare, and what will happen when we have to start rationing it to women and children.