Posts Tagged ‘attenuated’

ObamaCare Will Bring Abortion Mindset To Treatment Of Elderly

May 13, 2010

D. James Kennedy prophetically said years back, “Watch out, Grandpa!  Because the generation that survived abortion will one day come after you!”

And coming they are.  And coming after Grandma, too, of course.

One of the morally depraved assumptions of abortion is that the baby has a duty to die for the convenience of his or her mother.

And guess what, Grandma and Grandpa?  It’s getting to be YOUR turn to quit burdening us with your useless lives.  It’s getting to be time that you shoved off and “died with dignity.”

May 11, 2010 12:00 A.M.
A ‘Duty to Die’?
Thomas Sowell

There was a time when some desperately poor societies had to abandon the elderly to their fate, but is that where we are today?

One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have “a duty to die” rather than become a burden to others.

This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government.

Make no mistake about it, letting old people die is a lot cheaper than spending the kind of money required to keep them alive and well. If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly.

There was a time — fortunately, now long past — when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Sometimes the elderly themselves would simply go off from their families and communities to face their fate alone.

But is that where we are today?

Talk about “a duty to die” made me think back to my early childhood in the South, during the Great Depression of the 1930s. One day, I was told that an older lady — a relative of ours — was going to come and stay with us for a while, and I was told how to be polite and considerate towards her.

She was called “Aunt Nance Ann,” but I don’t know what her official name was or what her actual biological relationship to us was. Aunt Nance Ann had no home of her own. But she moved around from relative to relative, not spending enough time in any one home to be a real burden.

At that time, we didn’t have things like electricity or central heating or hot running water. But we had a roof over our heads and food on the table — and Aunt Nance Ann was welcome to both.

Poor as we were, I never heard anybody say, or even intimate, that Aunt Nance Ann had “a duty to die.”

I only began to hear that kind of talk decades later, from highly educated people in an affluent age, when even most families living below the official poverty level owned a car or truck and had air conditioning.

It is today, in an age when homes have flat-paneled TVs and most families eat in restaurants regularly or have pizzas and other meals delivered to their homes, that the elites — rather than the masses — have begun talking about “a duty to die.”

Back in the days of Aunt Nance Ann, nobody in our family had ever gone to college. Indeed, none had gone beyond elementary school. Apparently, you need a lot of expensive education, sometimes including courses on ethics, before you can start talking about “a duty to die.”

Many years later, while going through a divorce, I told a friend that I was considering contesting child custody. She immediately urged me not to do it. Why? Because raising a child would interfere with my career.

But my son didn’t have a career. He was just a child who needed someone who understood him. I ended up with custody of my son and, although he was not a demanding child, raising him could not help impeding my career a little. But do you just abandon a child when it is inconvenient to raise him?

The lady who gave me this advice had a degree from Harvard Law School. She had more years of education than my whole family had, back in the days of Aunt Nance Ann.

Much of what is taught in our schools and colleges today seeks to break down traditional values and replace them with more fancy and fashionable notions, of which “a duty to die” is just one.

These efforts at changing values used to be called “values clarification,” though the name has had to be changed repeatedly over the years, as more and more parents caught on to what was going on and objected. The values that supposedly needed “clarification” had been clear enough to last for generations, and nobody asked the schools and colleges for this “clarification.”

Nor are we better people because of it.

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2010 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Don’t think Sowell knows what he’s talking about?

How about lifelong Democrat talking head and economist Robert Reich?

“Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I’m so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that’s true and what I’m going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you,  particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy people…you’re going to have to pay more.

“Thank you.  And by the way, we’re going to have to, if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive…so we’re going to let you die.”

That’s right, young folk.  You get to pay more to have the privilege of one day being euthanized like an unwanted dog at the county animal shelter.  I know I’D certainly happily pay more for a privilege like that.  Pay more for my health care?  And then get to die a slow, painful death of medical neglect because I’ve been considered to be a useless burden like all those millions of babies Democrats have murdered?  Where can I sign?

Oh, I’m ALREADY signed up for it?  Coool.  I just can’t wait until that cancer starts eating holes in my body, and my government health plan offers me suicide in lieu of any actual care.  Or maybe I’ll get REALLY lucky and simply be left to die in my own filth.

Robert “Third” Reich isn’t the only one pointing out this actually quite obvious central tenet of the Democrats’ health plan.  Obama has appointed at least two other “experts” to advise him on medical issues.  Here’s White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, whom Obama appointed as OMB health policy adviser in addition to being picked to serve on the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

“Attenuated” means, “to make thin; to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value.”  Attenuated care would be reduced or lessened care.  Dare I say it, in this context it clearly means, “rationed care.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel included a chart with his work (available here), which shows how he wants to allocate medical resources under a government plan:

When you’re very young, or when you start reaching your 50s and 60s, you start receiving less and less priority.

Then there’s Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar, who wrote in the Columbia Law Review in January 2004:

“I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar explains:

“If a program would prevent fifty deaths of people who are twenty, should it be treated the same way as a program that would prevent fifty deaths of people who are seventy? Other things being equal, a program that protects young people seems far better than one that protects old people, because it delivers greater benefits.”

There’s a great deal more about Obama’s own advisers’ plans here.

Which very much jives with what Obama himself told a woman concerning her mother:

“At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

We can sum it up quite nicely with the words of Obama’s former senior economic adviser: “So we’re going to let you die.”

Die with dignity.  Or die without it.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters in the brave new world of ObamaCare is that liberals have finally succeeded in turning health care into a socialist boondoggle.  And it will one day be your duty to die in order to sustain that boondoggle.

Advertisements

Wall St. Journal Bursts The Obama Bubble: ObamaCare Is All About Rationing

August 19, 2009

Reading through this article, you begin to come to two conclusions: 1) the problem with the costs of health care is NOT that there is too LITTLE government involvement in health care, but rather too MUCH, namely due to stupid government regulations that end up raising costs by undermining individual responsibility; 2) the people who most stand in the way of legitimate health care reform that would really work is Democrats and their special interest allies, such as organized labor.

ObamaCare Is All About Rationing
Overspending is far preferable to artificially limiting the availability of new procedures and technologies.

By MARTIN FELDSTEIN

Although administration officials are eager to deny it, rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan. The Obama strategy is to reduce health costs by rationing the services that we and future generations of patients will receive.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report in June explaining the Obama administration’s goal of reducing projected health spending by 30% over the next two decades. That reduction would be achieved by eliminating “high cost, low-value treatments,” by “implementing a set of performance measures that all providers would adopt,” and by “directly targeting individual providers . . . (and other) high-end outliers.”

The president has emphasized the importance of limiting services to “health care that works.” To identify such care, he provided more than $1 billion in the fiscal stimulus package to jump-start Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and to finance a federal CER advisory council to implement that idea. That could morph over time into a cost-control mechanism of the sort proposed by former Sen. Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama’s original choice for White House health czar. Comparative effectiveness could become the vehicle for deciding whether each method of treatment provides enough of an improvement in health care to justify its cost.

In the British national health service, a government agency approves only those expensive treatments that add at least one Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) per £30,000 (about $49,685) of additional health-care spending. If a treatment costs more per QALY, the health service will not pay for it. The existence of such a program in the United States would not only deny lifesaving care but would also cast a pall over medical researchers who would fear that government experts might reject their discoveries as “too expensive.”

One reason the Obama administration is prepared to use rationing to limit health care is to rein in the government’s exploding health-care budget. Government now pays for nearly half of all health care in the U.S., primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The White House predicts that the aging of the population and the current trend in health-care spending per beneficiary would cause government outlays for Medicare and Medicaid to rise to 15% of GDP by 2040 from 6% now. Paying those bills without raising taxes would require cutting other existing social spending programs and shelving the administration’s plans for new government transfers and spending programs.

The rising cost of medical treatments would not be such a large burden on future budgets if the government reduced its share in the financing of health services. Raising the existing Medicare and Medicaid deductibles and coinsurance would slow the growth of these programs without resorting to rationing. Physicians and their patients would continue to decide which tests and other services they believe are worth the cost.

There is, of course, no reason why limiting outlays on Medicare and Medicaid requires cutting health services for the rest of the population. The idea that they must be cut in parallel is just an example of misplaced medical egalitarianism.

But budget considerations aside, health-economics experts agree that private health spending is too high because our tax rules lead to the wrong kind of insurance. Under existing law, employer payments for health insurance are deductible by the employer but are not included in the taxable income of the employee. While an extra $100 paid to someone who earns $45,000 a year will provide only about $60 of after-tax spendable cash, the employer could instead use that $100 to pay $100 of health-insurance premiums for that same individual. It is therefore not surprising that employers and employees have opted for very generous health insurance with very low copayment rates.

Since a typical 20% copayment rate means that an extra dollar of health services costs the patient only 20 cents at the time of care, patients and their doctors opt for excessive tests and other inappropriately expensive forms of care. The evidence on health-care demand implies that the current tax rules raise private health-care spending by as much as 35%.

The best solution to this problem of private overconsumption of health services would be to eliminate the tax rule that is causing the excessive insurance and the resulting rise in health spending. Alternatively, Congress could strengthen the incentives in the existing law for health savings accounts with high insurance copayments. Either way, the result would be more cost-conscious behavior that would lower health-care spending.

But unlike reductions in care achieved by government rationing, individuals with different preferences about health and about risk could buy the care that best suits their preferences. While we all want better health, the different choices that people make about such things as smoking, weight and exercise show that there are substantial differences in the priority that different people attach to health.

Although there has been some talk in Congress about limiting the current health-insurance exclusion, the administration has not supported the idea. The unions are particularly vehement in their opposition to any reduction in the tax subsidy for health insurance, since they regard their ability to negotiate comprehensive health insurance for their members as a major part of their raison d’être.

If changing the tax rule that leads to excessive health insurance is not going to happen, the relevant political choice is between government rationing and continued high levels of health-care spending. Rationing is bad policy. It forces individuals with different preferences to accept the same care. It also imposes an arbitrary cap on the future growth of spending instead of letting it evolve in response to changes in technology, tastes and income. In my judgment, rationing would be much worse than excessive care.

Those who worry about too much health care cite the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction that health-care spending could rise to 30% of GDP in 2035 from 16% now. But during that 25-year period, GDP will rise to about $24 trillion from $14 trillion, implying that the GDP not spent on health will rise to $17 billion in 2035 from $12 billion now. So even if nothing else comes along to slow the growth of health spending during the next 25 years, there would still be a nearly 50% rise in income to spend on other things.

Like virtually every economist I know, I believe the right approach to limiting health spending is by reforming the tax rules. But if that is not going to happen, let’s not destroy the high quality of the best of American health care by government rationing and misplaced egalitarianism.

Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal’s board of contributors.

So it’s not private insurance companies’ “excessive profits” that are to be demonized, but the government’s tax rules.  As is usually the case, the reason we’ve got high costs is because government is too involved, and is making things worse.  And again, who is the biggest obstacle to finally fixing the tax rules in a way that will lower costs?  Big labor, a key Democrat ally.

Having Democrats “fix” the system is like having foxes “guard” the chicken coop.

A further culprit in our skyrocketing medical costs are still another powerful Democrat special interest: the trial lawyers.  In exchange for the millions of dollars the trial lawyers give to Democrats, Democrat politicians continue to protect the system that allows lawyers to file frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit.  A simple “loser pays” system – such as the U.K. offers – would cut billions out of the costs of health care.  Instead, not only are doctors’ malpractice insurance costs exorbitant (which doctors must then pass on to patients), but fear of lawsuits leads to a practice known as “defensive medicine.” When 93% of physicians admit to ordering tests, prescribing drugs, or performing procedures to protect themselves from potential lawsuits rather than help their patients, something is just incredibly wrong.

Doctors are literally leaving medicine over the insane costs of medical malpractice.  In certain specialized fields, such as Ob/Gyn, whole regions are losing their doctors.  Insurance premiums for Ob/Gyn doctors are running $250,000 a year – and between higher insurance costs, lower government deductibles, and always high medical school costs, vitally important family care doctors are finding themselves netting less than fast food restaurant managers.

Alan Miller explains another reason why private insurance is absolutely vital to our health care system – and why a government “public option” would be disastrous:

Medicare reimbursements to hospitals fail to cover the actual cost of providing services. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent congressional advisory agency, says hospitals received only 94.1 cents for every dollar they spent treating Medicare patients in 2007. MedPAC projects that number to decline to 93.1 cents per dollar spent in 2009, for an operating shortfall of 7%. Medicare works because hospitals subsidize the care they provide with revenue received from patients who have commercial insurance. Without that revenue, hospitals could not afford to care for those covered by Medicare. In effect, everyone with insurance is subsidizing the Medicare shortfall, which is growing larger every year.

If hospitals had to rely solely on Medicare reimbursements for operating revenue, as would occur under a single-payer system, many hospitals would be forced to eliminate services, cut investments in advanced medical technology, reduce the number of nurses and other employees, and provide less care for the patients they serve. And with the government in control, Americans eventually will see rationing
, the denial of high-priced drugs and sophisticated procedures, and long waits for care.

When we consider that – all protestations aside – some 88 million Americans will be shifted out of their employer-paid private insurance into a “public option” under the Democrats’ plan, we should be very, very worried.

Democrats aren’t doing ANYTHING to reduce the costs of healthcare.  All they are offering is total government control as fiscally-responsible panacea; and that is simply a lie.  Government bureaucracy is not more efficient; it is unimaginably LESS efficient.  The government has never been more efficient at delivering services (remember the $435 hammers? the $640 toilet seats? the $7,600 coffee makers?).  You want efficiency and economies of scale?  How about the government overpaying 618%.  Big government is inherently bureaucratic, inefficient, and corrupt.  And as their costs go up and up and up, the only way they will be able to bring their costs down will be to ration care.

Don’t just listen to me: listen to the man Obama chose to be his health policy adviser, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who said this year:

“Many have linked the effort to reduce the high cost of death with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide…. Decreasing availability and increasing expense in health care and the uncertain impact of managed care may intensify pressure to choose physician-assisted suicide” and “the cost effectiveness of hastened death is as undeniable as gravity. The earlier a patient dies, the less costly is his or her care.”

And:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

Please don’t be so stupid not to think that rationing care – particularly to senior citizens who have already “lived their complete lives” – that rationing won’t be essential to government care.  And we will GET government care unless we rise up now to stop it.

The Proof Of Planned Health Care Rationing And Denial Of Care To Senior Citizens

August 10, 2009

People are being told that the crowds of people who are going to town halls to angrily protest the Democrat health care plan are “un-American” as well as being swastika-carrying fascists.  It is terribly malicious and hateful demagoguery.  It is amazing that Democrats demonize tactics that they themselves are pursuing and have been pursuing for YEARS.  And then we come to learn that not only are Democrats organizing, but they are in fact literally PAYING people to show up and fight for the Democrat health care plan.  Talk about “manufactured outrage“!!!

The Speaker of the House decided to make this a debate about who is more Nazi.  I welcome that argument.  Just look at the Democrats’ own tactics!

But there is a far deeper issue at stake when we talk about “Nazism” than mere political rhetoric.  There is a very real issue of life and death at stake.

Mike Sola angrily confronted his Congressman over his fear that the Democrat system would not cover his son, who is in a wheelchair suffering from cerebral palsy.  He has since received death threats and vandalism at his home from Democrat supporters.

Should people fear for their lives under ObamaCare?  Should people like Mike Sola fear for their loved ones’ lives?

Let’s get away from the rhetoric, and reflect on the words of key Obama health care architects.

Consider a New York Post article:

Start with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change,” he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

Yes, that’s what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.

Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they’ll tell you that a doctor’s job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time.

Emanuel, however, believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ’96).

Translation: Don’t give much care to a grandmother with Parkinson’s or a child with cerebral palsy.

So, yeah.  Mike Sola has every right to be fearful of what will happen to his son.  Just as I have every reason to be afraid of what will happen to my parents.

When Dr. Emanuel says “communitarianism,” it is impossible for me – given the man’s writings – not to think “communist” plus “totalitarianism.”

And Obama appointed this man.  How can he distance himself from a guy who he himself appointed?  As Glenn Beck put it, “I wouldn’t let these people bring me a can of Coke, much less allow them to write a national health care plan.”

In January of THIS YEAR, Dr. Emanuel – who is a principal architect of the Democrat’s health care plan – wrote:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

“Attenuated” means, “to make thin; to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value.”  Attenuated care would be reduced or lessened care.  Dare I say it, in this context it clearly means, “rationed care.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel included a chart with his work (available here), which shows how he wants to allocate medical resources under a government plan:

When you’re very young, or when you start reaching your 50s and 60s, you start receiving less and less priority.

Take Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Regulatory Czar, who wrote in the Columbia Law Review in January 2004:

“I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar explains:

“If a program would prevent fifty deaths of people who are twenty, should it be treated the same way as a program that would prevent fifty deaths of people who are seventy? Other things being equal, a program that protects young people seems far better than one that protects old people, because it delivers greater benefits.”

Which very much jives with what Obama told a woman concerning her mother:

“At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

As I wrote in my last article, “Don’t let the coffin lid hit your face on the way out, Grandma and Grandpa.”

Incredibly, that’s not all.  There are other writings that President Obama’s appointed architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel have said.  I thank Jeff Head for bringing his own blog citing other statements by Emanuel to my attention:

Is the “Final Solution” wording that was added to this revamped Obama Health Care graphic warranted? Some might see it as a simple play on words.

But before you decide how to consider that wording, please read the following shocking quotes from Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the chief health-care policy adviser to President Barack Hussein Obama, and (not coincidentally) the brother of Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

From: Principles of allocation of scarce medical interventions, January 31, 2009
Also see: Deadly Doctors, New York Post, June 24, 2009

Strict youngest-first allocation directs scarce resources predominantly to infants. This approach seems incorrect. The death of a 20-year-old woman is intuitively worse than that of a 2-month-old girl, even though the baby has had less life. The 20-year-old has a much more developed personality than the infant, and has drawn upon the investment of others to begin as-yet-unfulfilled projects…. Adolescents have received substantial substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments…. It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old child dies, and worse still when an adolescent does.”

Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. Treating 65-year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.”

“Ultimately, the complete lives system does not create ‘classes of Untermenschen whose lives and well being are deemed not worth spending money on,’ but rather empowers us to decide fairly whom to save when genuine scarcity makes saving everyone impossible.”

“When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated”

Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration’s health-reform effort.”

From: Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008

“Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others”

From: Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008

“Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change,”

From: What Are the Potential Cost Savings from Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide? New England Journal of Medicine, July 1998

(These quotes add new context to the “End-of-Life” Counseling sessions required every 5 years for all seniors over 65 in Obama Care.)

“There is a widespread perception that the United States spends an excessive amount on high-technology health care for dying patients. Many commentators note that 27 to 30 percent of the Medicare budget is spent on the 5 percent of Medicare patients who die each year. They also note that the expenditures increase exponentially as death approaches, so that the last month of life accounts for 30 to 40 percent of the medical care expenditures in the last year of life. To many, savings from reduced use of expensive technological interventions at the end of life are both necessary and desirable.”

“Many have linked the effort to reduce the high cost of death with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. One commentator observed: “Managed care and managed death [through physician-assisted suicide] are less expensive than fee-for-service care and extended survival. Less expensive is better.” Some of the amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Supreme Court expressed the same logic: “Decreasing availability and increasing expense in health care and the uncertain impact of managed care may intensify pressure to choose physician-assisted suicide” and “the cost effectiveness of hastened death is as undeniable as gravity. The earlier a patient dies, the less costly is his or her care.”

“Although the cost savings to the United States and most managed-care plans are likely to be small, it is important to recognize that the savings to specific terminally ill patients and their families could be substantial. For many patients and their families, especially but not exclusively those without health insurance, the costs of terminal care may result in large out-of-pocket expenses. Nevertheless, as compared with the average American, the terminally ill are less likely to be uninsured, since more than two thirds of decedents are Medicare beneficiaries over 65 years of age. The poorest dying patients are likely to be Medicaid beneficiaries. Extrapolating from the Medicare data, one can calculate that a typical uninsured patient, by dying one month earlier by means of physician-assisted suicide, might save his or her family $10,000 in health care costs, having already spent as much as $20,000 in that year.”

“Drawing on data from the Netherlands on the use of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and on available U.S. data on costs at the end of life, this analysis explores the degree to which the legalization of physician-assisted suicide might reduce health care costs. The most reasonable estimate is a savings of $627 million, less than 0.07 percent of total health care expenditures.”

From: Where Civic Republicanism and Deliberative Democracy Meet, Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec.1996

“This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.

[….]

Do not fall for the platitudes and the revisionism or assurances of the people pushing this plan.  It is a radical plan and it will lead to single payer, complete governmental control of health care.  A command economy of health care much more akin to what someone like Karl Marx would implement to go hand and hand with his political philosophies.

The president, in a less-guarded moment before running for the Presidency outlined his true goals with respect to Health Care, and now he has the congress and the advisers he thinks will lead him there.

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we’ve got to take back the White House, we’ve got to take back the Senate, and we’ve got to take back the House.

When you see “angry mobs” of Democrat health care plan opponents, realize that they aren’t angry because of “disinformation” or “fishy” emails; they are angry because of what they KNOW.  They are angry because of what Obama’s own architects have STATED.

Some of what we have seen here has far more in common with Dr. Mengele than with medicine.

The Nazis had a term, Lebensunwertes Leben, that meant “a life unworthy to be lived.”  The Nazi agenda was not about goose-stepping soldiers; it was about a complex of ideas that de-valued individual human life and exalted the power of the state to control the lives of the people.  And those who were deemed unable to produce sufficient societal benefit were deemed unworthy of life.  And the men who created this system did not regard themselves as evil men; they regarded themselves as doing what was necessary to implement their vision for their country.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel would never agree that he is a Nazi.  He would point out that he is Jewish; how on earth could he be a Nazi?  But his plan comes right out of the heart of Nazi ideology; it is Lebensunwertes Leben rearing its ugly head all over again.  Does he want 6 million Jews to die?  Of course he doesn’t.  But my question is, “Does he not want 60 million senior citizens to die?” And the only difference is that he would prefer to kill them by neglect due to rationed medical care, or due to a more humane but every bit as evil death by suicide.

The Nazis’ “final solution” was to eliminate an alleged crisis by eliminating the Jews; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s “final solution” is to eliminate an alleged crisis by eliminating unhealthy children and senior citizens.

And, again, if Barack Obama doesn’t want this vision himself, then why on earth did he appoint Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel – who has been arguing for this “Complete Lives program” for YEARS, and who has an article urging for it as late as January of THIS YEAR – to write large swaths of the health care bill?  And any of Obama’s protestations to the contrary only fly in the face of what he himself has said and what he himself has done.  Don’t trust him.

A video montage explains precisely how the Democrats have organized behind the scenes to use the currently-proposed plan to necessarily lead into the kind of system that will produce the kind of “care” outlined by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel above.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein tell us what government health care will ultimately look like; and the video explains in Democrat health care strategists’ own words how they propose to get us to that point.

Watch it – and then join the fight against this monstrosity.

Health Care Debate: As Charges of Nazism Abound, Which Side Is Right?

August 9, 2009

Nancy Pelosi upped the ante in the health care debate when she responded to a media question in the following manner:

Interviewer: Do you think there’s legitimate grassroot opposition going on here?

Pelosi: “I think they’re Astroturf… You be the judge. “They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.”

That being in addition to her reference to town hall protesters as “simply un-American.”

Well, first of all, Nancy Pelosi calls health care opponents “Astroturf,” and the propagandist mainstream media have duly found evidence of one or two emails from conservative groups instructing opponents of health care how to have maximum effect.  Overlooked by both Pelosi and her media lackeys is the fact that liberal organizations are literally PAYING people to “defend Obama’s health care.”

The image she tries to project is a bunch of goose-stepping Nazis bringing their beloved swastikas with them like lucky charms.

Conservatives immediately complained: thousands of conservatives have attended town hall meetings around the country, and most of them hadn’t even SEEN a swastika at a town hall, much less carried one themselves.

But even the uber uber uber leftist Media Matters, trying to document that at least SOMEBODY really was carrying a swastika, end up inadvertently demonstrating a very different picture.

So there are your “swastika-toting conservatives.”  A frightening mob of Nazis, they aren’t.

The thing is, what they are clearly saying is that they DON’T want Nazism or Swastikas.  And they’re afraid that we’re seeing something in this health care agenda that smacks of the things they’re afraid of.

So a very, VERY few conservatives have brought signs that express their connection of ObamaCare to incipient Nazism.  Is that so awful?  First let us compare it to how Barack Obama, Dick Durbin, and Democrat protesters have used the word “Nazi.”

Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin compared American soldiers to Nazis:

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”

Barack Obama compared our entire country to Nazism:

“…just to take a, sort of a realist perspective…there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home.”

And of course images linking George W. Bush to Hitler or the devil are a dime a dozen.  Here’s a picture at a liberal protest that manages to do both at once, giving Bush both devil horns and a Hitler mustache:

There’s a rather substantial compilation of Bush-as-Hitler comparisons here.  But given the vast quantity of Bush derangement syndrome, it isn’t – and frankly can’t possibly be – anywhere near complete.

So on one hand you have to simply laugh (as in the kind of intense and sustained laughter that could literally cause you to die) at the sheer galling in-your-face hypocrisy and demagoguery of Nancy Pelosi and the left.  The self-righteous, “How dare you?  How DARE you?” tone doesn’t suit them at all.

But while the above deflates any liberal claim to outrage, it doesn’t justify throwing around Nazi Swastikas or using the word “fascist” at the Democrat’s health care plan.  Do these protesters have any better justification than that?

I believe they do.  And here’s why.

Reason One: Rush Limbaugh added a little gasoline to the fire that Nancy Pelosi started when he pointed out the visual similarity between the ObamaCare symbol and the Swastika.  His point was that if pointing out Swastika symbols was good for the goose, it ought to be good for the gander as well.

Of course, the mainstream media came completely unglued.  Rush Limbaugh played a rather lengthy montage of talking-point media outrage on his August 7 broadcast.

But apart from the obvious surface artistic similarities that people either recognize or refuse to recognize, there is a somewhat deeper and much more profound  issue: Obama is essentially taking the symbol for medicine, and combining it with his own political campaign symbol.  The result is the ostentatious politicizing of health care as ideology. It truly IS ObamaCare as Obama’s own symbol for it reveals!!! We haven’t seen anything like that in this country since the LAST time we embraced significant elements of fascism in our politics over 70 years ago.  And it is dangerous.

And a growing number of people are realizing it.

Reason two: Politically, there are some rather frightening political developments from within the Obama administration.  Former “journalist”-turned Obama hack Linda Douglas reveals both how corrupt journalism has become and how fascistic Obama can truly be in this pitch:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

When was the last time you were asked to turn in people practicing their free speech rights to the White House?  The White House is asking people to turn in emails, web sites, and even people in “casual conversation.”  Can you imagine if the Bush White House had taken this course to collect information on protesters against the Iraq War?  The New York Times would have run a 300-part series detailing it as rabid fascism.  In this case, the blatant paranoia – and yes, the fascism – is being carried out by Barack Obama.

Reason three: But that’s not the only connection Democrat-activists now have with fascism.  Now there’s also the “new Fascisti” in the form of union thugs who are coming in to intimidate and even beat conservatives at town halls.  In fascist Italy, the Fascisti were the Blackshirted men who broke up opposition rallies with fists and whatever else was needed.  In Hitler’s rise to power, it was the SA Brownshirts.  Now it’s the SEIU Blueshirts.  This certainly isn’t the first time Democrats have relied on union thuggery to accomplish their goals.

After decrying town hall health care protesters as an “angry mob,” Democrats are now bringing in goons to physically intimidate health care protesters.

It was Barack Obama who said:

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

And this former community organizer who is so outraged that communities have been organizing has brought a gun in the form of union thugs to the “knives” of mostly elderly ObamaCare protesters.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused elderly health care protesters “of trying to sabotage the democratic process,” by showing up at Democrat politicians town halls and demanding answers and shouting when they don’t get them.  But look at what’s happening:

Over 1,000 St. Louis Tea Party Taxpayers showed up to attend the Russ Carnahan town hall meeting in South St. Louis. They were Locked Out! But… The Carnahah staff was sneaking in SIEU members in the side door marked “handicapped.”

Is shutting out American citizens and barring them from access to their elected leaders not the REAL “sabotage of the democratic process”?  How is stacking the political deck with your own people while deliberately shutting out your political opponents not fascist?  And as we’ll also see, how is bringing in burly union thugs to physically manhandle people for trying to express their political opinions not fascist?

In Tampa, Fla: Kathy Castor’s burly union thugs manhandled a small elderly man (in the green shirt) with stage 4 cancer and shut the doors on protesters’ faces to prevent opposing opinions from being heard.

The above footage is a little confusing.  One of the protesters who was physically manhandled by the four burly thugs shoving them around at the same event tells his story.

Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative, was beaten by four thugs at another event as he offered “Don’t Tread on Me” flags while trying to get into a town hall meeting in Missouri.

Is that the only thing that prompts people to compare ObamaCare to Nazism via their homemade posters of Swastikas with the red line through of “NO!” through them?

Not even close.

Let us explore the real reason that so many people – both Republican and Democrat – are so virulently opposing this health care plan.

Reason four: There’s more than ample evidence that – contrary to Obama’s and the Democrats’ denials – that they very much DO want a government takeover of health care.  And more and more people are realizing that this massive influx of pure socialism is not the American way.

Nearly three out of four (72%) Americans believe ObamaCare will add to the deficit, according to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll.

The current number being thrown around for Obama’s health care is $1.6 trillion over ten years.  But government routinely massively underestimates its costs, as I’ve documented in the past.  The CBO was off by 633% in its estimate of the cost of Medicare; and off by 10,900% in estimating the cost of Medicaid special hospitals.  A reasonable figure – based on an average of past CBO underestimation of government cost to fund government programs – is that ObamaCare will cost about $13 trillion over ten years.

Our debt has exploded under Barack Obama.  As the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Boskin put it:

Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.

And that explosion is going to have huge consequences down the road.

If we put our health care system under government control, it is absolutely unavoidable that we will have to massively ration our health care resources down the road.  And there’s the rub.

Somebody is going to suffer from neglect down the road, as scarce medical resources are allocated to some rather than others.  And the elderly – who 1) are no longer represented in the work force while 2) consuming the lion’s share of medical resource – are going to start getting the short end of the stick.

The Obama administration may not want to admit it, but they have already embraced the idea of denying medical care to senior citizens, given their president’s choice of czars and top advisers.

Take Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (White House Chief-of-staff Rahm’s brother) – PLEASEDr. Emanuel is the health-policy adviser at Obama’s Office of Management and Budget and is also a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

In January of THIS YEAR, Dr. Emanuel – who is a principal architect of the Democrat’s health care plan – wrote:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated… The Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

For those of you who don’t know what “attenuated” means, let me save you from heading for your dictionary.  It means, “to make thin; to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value.”  Basically, in Dr. Emanuel’s usage, it means, “Time to make room for the next generation and shove off, Grandma and Grandpa.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel included a chart with his work (available here), which shows how he wants to allocate medical resources:

When you’re very young, or when you start reaching your 50s, you start becoming toast.

Take  Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Regulatory Czar, who wrote in the Columbia Law Review in January 2004:

“I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar explains:

“If a program would prevent fifty deaths of people who are twenty, should it be treated the same way as a program that would prevent fifty deaths of people who are seventy? Other things being equal, a program that protects young people seems far better than one that protects old people, because it delivers greater benefits.”

Which very much jives with what Obama told a woman concerning her mother:

“At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

Don’t let the coffin lid hit your face on the way out, Grandma and Grandpa.

Glenn Beck brought out these statements on his August 6 TV program, adding that he wouldn’t let these men bring him a can of Coke, much less give them the power to make health care policy and determine who lives and who dies.

Right now the decision as to how to allocate medical resources is divided up between innumerable people and organizations, both government and private.  But if the “public option” wins the day, it will be centralized by men like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein.  And as the government takes over health care, and as debt eats up government funding, men and women like Emanuel and Sunstein are going to be choosing death by denial of medical resources to increasingly more and more people.

THAT’S your big Reason.  Rationed care.  Denial of resources to the elderly.  Death by neglect.  THAT’S why health care protesters are screaming and shouting.  THAT’S why people are carrying signs saying NO to the Swastika symbol of Nazi fascism.  And with all due respect, it is a damn good reason to be frightened and pissed off to no end.

Keep your damned fascist paws off my parents’ health care, Obama.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, liberal judicial activist of liberal judicial activists, had this to say about valueless life on the younger side (as opposed to Emanuel’s and Sunstein’s valueless life on the older side):

Ginsburg: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae – in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel wrote in 1996:

“Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed.”

Enter Eugenics right out of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and right out of Adolf Hitler, the architect of Nazism.  Enter the reason why so many Planned Parenthood clinics are STILL primarily located in black neighborhoods all over America – i.e., “growth in populations we don’t want to have too many of.”  Enter the reason Planned Parenthood is STILL comfortable with the idea of selectively aborting black babies.

And lest you forget, the infamous 1930s-era Tuskegee experiment – the racist and eugenics-based study that studied the effects of syphilis on deliberately untreated black men – ran straight through FDR’s New Deal, and through the course of his entire presidency.

Democrats are working to build a state in which it is the state which decides whether or not classes of people have the right to life, or the right to health care resources.  They want to centralize decision-making, and make health care decisions for everyone so they can further control the economy (health care is 1/6th of the economy) and further control individual behavior.

The late (and very, very great) Dr. D. James Kennedy once prophetically said:

“Watch out, Grandpa; because the generation that survived abortion will one day come after you!”

One need only look at Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s chart depicting the odds of receiving medical care versus age to see that the day Dr. Kennedy warned us about is now coming with a vengeance.

So who’s right in throwing out comparisons of Nazism?  If the choice is between Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and the health care plan they’re pushing versus the angry crowds showing up at town hall meetings to oppose the plan, it’s not even close.  First of all, let no one forget that “NAZI” stoof for the “National Socialist German Workers Party.”  It was national socialism, as in the sort of socialism health care protesters are afraid of.  Ronald Brownstein, senior writer at the National Journal, said recently that “The defining gamble of Barack Obama’s presidency is that the public today is willing to accept more government activism…“.   Don’t think for a second that the Nazis did not build a vast government health care system, which they then used to advance their political agenda.  And the German national government medical system under Nazism looked far more like the system that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi want to impose than anything that the people shouting at town halls want to see.