Posts Tagged ‘loser pays’

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.

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Democrats’ Effort To Fearmonger Path To Socialized Medicine Has Been Tried Before

August 18, 2009

In the mainstream media narrative, Sarah Palin is demonized as “about half a whack job” and her statement about “death panels” is literally interpreted in a way I’d love to see them apply JUST ONCE to the Constitution.  Conservatives were denounced as an “angry mob,” as “un-American,” and as exhibiting Nazi characteristics by the Democrat Speaker of the House.

The media loves to talk about rightwing fearmongering.

I’d like to say a little more about leftwing fearmongering.

How about the one that we need to pass health care reform in order to get our economy out of the toilet?

A smattering of various Obama “warnings” fearmongering health care:

– “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

Obama cast retooling the U.S. health-care system as crucial to the nation’s economic success. Reform would help rein in the national deficit and rebuild the economy, he argued, in a way that would help middle-class workers, whose wages have stagnated in recent years largely because of spiraling health-care costs.

– WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States would not rebuild its economy unless political leaders joined him immediately on a perilous political drive for healthcare reform.

President Obama warned Wednesday night that health-care reform is central to rebuilding the economy “stronger than before,” and without congressional action on health-care reform, “We’re guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget.”

And our last Obama “warning”:

“The country has to reform its health care system or else not only are you going to continue to have people really going through a hard time, we’re also going see a continuing escalation of our budget problems that can’t get under control,” Obama told Moran. “I think America has to win it here.”

In the dialogue surrounding health care, Obama warned against “scare tactics,” which he said are fostering anxiety and serving to distract Americans from the plan’s principles.

What’s nice about the last one is that it includes fearmongering on the one hand with warning against “scare tactics” on the other.  Obama tells us one the one hand that our economy will plummet unless we implement ObamaCare, and then demonizes everyone who has a different fearmongering message.

It doesn’t matter that Obama’s urgings that we pass health care “reform” will lower our costs and boost are economy are entirely false:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes” necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pledged to alter the soaring trajectory — or cost curve — of federal health spending, the proposals so far would not meet that goal, Elmendorf said, noting, “The curve is being raised.” His remarks suggested that rather than averting a looming fiscal crisis, the measures could make the nation’s bleak budget outlook even worse.

It also doesn’t seem to matter that, given that the “reforms” Obama is seeking wouldn’t take effect until at least 2013, there is little reason to rush headlong into anything other than opportunistic partisan demagoguery.  And yet Barack Obama was out there rushing “reform” and calling August 1st “the people’s deadline” even as polls showed “the people” overwhelmingly wanting Congress to take time crafting health care legislation.

Interestingly, these tricks of fearmongering health care “reform” in the name of averting economic calamity and trying to rush the process through have been tried before.  Think Bill Clinton, First Inaugural Address, 1993:

But all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail—let me say this again; I feel so strongly about this—all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail unless we also take this year, not next year, not 5 years from now but this year, bold steps to reform our health care system.

In 1992, we spent 14 percent of our income on health care, more than 30 percent more than any other country in the world, and yet we were the only advanced nation that did not provide a basic package of health care benefits to all of its citizens. Unless we change the present pattern, 50 percent of the growth in the deficit between now and the year 2000 will be in health care costs. By the year 2000 almost 20 percent of our income will be in health care. Our families will never be secure, our businesses will never be strong, and our Government will never again be fully solvent until we tackle the health care crisis. We must do it this year.

The combination of the rising cost of care and the lack of care and the fear of losing care are endangering the security and the very lives of millions of our people. And they are weakening our economy every day. Reducing health care costs can liberate literally hundreds of billions of dollars for new investment in growth and jobs. Bringing health costs in line with inflation would do more for the private sector in this country than any tax cut we could give and any spending program we could promote. Reforming health care over the long run is critically essential to reducing not only our deficit but to expanding investment in America.

What’s interesting about this is that liberals depict the Clinton years as the time when the streets were lined with gold and every child went to bed in a warm house with a full tummy.

So the point would obviously be, either Clinton was fearmongering health care in a way that did not turn out to be true at all, or the “glorious Clinton economy” is itself a fabrication.  Because somehow Bill Clinton had to flounder along with no health care reform.

We need to put some things into historic perspective: 1) Bill Clinton so mismanaged the country his first two years in office that it led to the largest political tsunami ever experienced in American history as Republicans took over in an unprecedented landslide 1994 election.  2) Many of the benefits that Bill Clinton has received credit for were actually enacted by the Republican Congress (example: welfare reform).  3) Bill Clinton benefited from an economy that was just recovering from a severe recession at the end of the Bush I administration as Clinton took over.  By contrast, George Bush II – like Barack Obama now – had a significant recession handed to him that will count against his average performance.  In President Bush’s case, that recession was compounded by the worst attack on American soil in nearly 200 years  in the 9/11 terror attack.  4) Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment figures were calculated back in 1994 – making comparisons to previous eras appear far more rosy than they really were.  5) The “Clinton Budget Surplus” is in reality a myth.  In actuality, Clinton created a smoke and mirror illusion by transferring “public debt” costs which are calculated as part of the budget over to “intergovernmental holdings” (eg., by borrowing from Social Security) which are not counted as part of the public debt.

I might also point out that Bill Clinton’s famous statement from his State of the Union Speech in January 1996 – “THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER” – tacitly recognized the new Republican era, and which in reality was the ultimate reason why the Clinton economy became ultimately successful.

Democrats were wiped out in 1994 as Republicans swept into power when Americans became fed up with Democrat incompetence and massive spending.  And Bill Clinton was wise enough to recognize the handwriting on the wall.  As a result, he transitioned into a fiscal moderate and avoided the fate of his party.

But now the man who recognized that “The era of big government is over” is back to his pre-1994 ways.  Bill Clinton has joined Barack Obama with the very same big spending, big government socialistic mindset that brought the Democrats to such historic disaster in 1994.

There are many things we can do to improve our health care system.  That goes without saying.  But the Democrat’s presentation that opposing their system is opposing “change” or “reform” is simply asinine.  If any change is better than our present course, than we should just nuke ourselves and be done with it: that would be “change,” after all.  We need to recognize that there is good reform and there is bad reform – and government-run health care is simply “bad” reform.

ObamaCare suffers from massive policy problems that go right to the heart of the greater debate surrounding the size of government, the size of Obama’s unprecedented deficits, and the unsustainable size of our debt.  Democrats have a real problem explaining how they are going to spend $1.6 trillion and yet bring down costs – especially given the CBO’s damning analysis.  They have a problem explaining how they’re going to take hundreds of millions out of Medicare and yet not affect the quality of care to Medicare beneficiaries.  And they have a problem explaining how they’re not going to end up transferring over a hundred million Americans out of their employee-based health care and into the “public option” when good analysis sees exactly that happening (and see also here).

The American people listened to Obama fearmonger his way to the gigantic stimulus package that will ultimately cost Americans $3.27 trillion.  The stimulus has been deemed by the American people as being so unsuccessful that fully 72% of Americans now say “returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it.”  People are turning against what they increasingly recognize as big government socialism.

Obama_Economy_Pork-debt

We need to STOP health care “reform” until it includes tort reform such as loser pays, until it includes an end to state and federal mandates, until it includes allowing our 1300 private insurance companies to compete across state lines.  And we need to STOP health care “reform” until it EXCLUDES giving full medical coverage to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, until it excludes “public options,” excludes “Co-Ops,” and excludes any other device that becomes a backdoor guarantee to government health care.

Obama Increasingly Revealing His Dishonest Side On Health Care

August 14, 2009

It’s kind of funny.  Obama comes out and says:

“Now, let me just start by setting the record straight on a few things I’ve been hearing out here –“

and then proceeds to lie in the name of correcting the record.  Keith Hennesy goes into detail on 20 significant factual errors from Obama’s Portsmouth town hall (the link is to the first of 20 parts)

One of his most blatant lies was his statement about AARP:

– “We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors.  (Applause.)”

– “Well, first of all, another myth that we’ve been hearing about is this notion that somehow we’re going to be cutting your Medicare benefits.  We are not.  AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, okay?”

Obama DOESN’T have AARP – one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the country – “on board.”  AARP has pointedly stated that they haven’t yet endorsed ANYTHING.  Obama’s press secretary says Obama merely “misspoke.”  But it was a profoundly self-serving “misspeaking.”  It’s like the grocery store or the bank: why do the errors always seem to be in their favor?

Obama’s out there “addressing ‘outlandish’ and ‘misleading’ claims about health reform.  But my God, he’s one the making the outlandish and misleading claims.

I mean, GEEZ!  This former community organizer has been angered that communities have organized.  And the Democrats are out demonizing conservatives for organizing even as Obama starts up his new “Organizing for America.”  Free speech was the highest form of dissent until Democrats took over everything and started demonizing any dissent.  Where do you go to get such naked chutzpah?

At his incredibly organized Portsmouth town hall event, Obama said:

“OK, I’ve only got time for a couple more questions.  Somebody here who has a concern about health care that has not been raised, or is skeptical and suspicious and wants to make sure that — because I don’t want people thinking I just have a bunch of plants in here.  All right, so I’ve got one right here  — and then I’ll ask the guy with two hands up because he must really have a burning question. (Laughter.)  All right, go ahead.”

The event was so scripted and so packed with Obama-friendly attenders that he literally couldn’t FIND someone who had a critical question.

What he got was this:

Her question:  “I saw — as I was walking in, I saw a lot of signs outside saying mean things about reforming health care.  How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?”

And if a little girl that cute says that people “outside” are mean, then how can you possibly NOT believe here?

The Boston Globe reported:

Eleven-year-old Julia Hall asked: “How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?”

The question opened the door for the president to respond to what he called an “underlying fear” among the public “that people somehow won’t get the care they need.”

Well, who was this little girl, who had been “randomly chosen” to ask a question after being “randomly picked by a computer” to attend the event?

Julia’s mother [Kathleen Manning] was an early Obama supporter and donor in Massachusetts during the presidential election, so she had previously met First Lady Michelle Obama, the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden.

In fact, she actually was a top mucky-muck in the Massachusetts Obama campaign operation.

What a shock that such a little girl with such a liberal Obama-supporting pedigree would be “randomly” selected to ask such a blatant set-up question (How come you’re so wonderful and the people who oppose your plan so evil?).  What are the odds that THAT kind of a coincidence would occur?

What are the odds that all the mean people with the mean signs somehow didn’t end up getting their names drawn in that “random” drawing so they could be INSIDE instead?

Given the fact that Obama is so scripted that he doesn’t even sneeze unless he’s told to by his teleprompter, pretty darn good.

The blatant audacity of hypocrisy.  These people are demonizing folks who are coming out to tell anybody who will hear them that they don’t want this terrible heath care bill as “plants” and “orchestrated” and “organized” (not to mention “angry mobs” and “racists” and “Nazis”).  But the plant simple truth is that these people are so phony that they can only assume that everybody else must be as phony as they are.

As I’ve mentioned before, we get Obama attending a phony, controlled, contrived, choreographed, orchestrated, organized, “Astroturf” town hall filled with plants even as his attack dogs demonize protesters as being “plants” and saying things like:

“I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter”

when he is on record having said:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.”

and he is on the record as having said:

“The very first promise I made on this campaign was that as president I will sign a universal health care plan into law by the end of my first term in office.”

“I was for that thing before I said I had never been for that thing.”

You keep on clearing up them “misconceptions” from the other side, Barry Hussein.  Never mind all of your lies.

According to a Gallup poll released yesterday, the demonization of ObamaCare protesters has made 34% of Americans more sympathetic to the protests, versus only 21% who are less sympathetic of the protests.  Independents are sympathetic to the protesters by a more than than 2-1 margin.  And 61% of Americans believe the protests are “appropriate.”  Sorry, Nancy Pelosi.  I guess your riding in on that broom of yours to throw out swastikas and call Americans “un-American” isn’t working so good for you.

Harry Reid, the corresponding Democrat leader of the Senate, called town hall protesters “evil mongers,” and was clearly quite proud of his creativity.  I hope he’s as proud of his next job after he gets voted out of office.

Every poll is showing that support for the Democrats’ health care bill is plunging by the day.  Polls are showing that Obama’s own numbers are plunging massively, primarily as a result of his support for ObamaCare and for his demonization of average Americans who oppose his plan.  Obama now has only 47% support.  He no longer speaks for the country.  And he won’t listen as the country shouts at him.

But the less support Obama and the Democrats have, the more rabid they are in demonizing more and more and more ordinary Americans who oppose their agenda.

Democrats keep pounding on conservatives for “organizing.”  But 65% of independent voters now disapprove of Obama’s performance.

The Democrats are lying about their health care bill, and they are lying about the people who are increasingly opposing it.

Obama said:

Now, one of the things you’ve been doing in your campaign to change the situation is you’ve been striving for bipartisanship. I think it’s a wonderful idea, but my question is, if the Republicans actively refuse to participate in a reasonable way with reasonable proposals, isn’t it time to just say we’re going to pass what the American people need and what they want, without the Republicans?  (Applause.)

But not only have Republicans offered a plan for health care reform, but Fox News reported the irony that a Republican was actually offering a proposal at the very moment that Obama was claiming Republicans weren’t offering “reasonable proposals.”  And as for “reasonable,” there frankly aint a whole ought of Americans left who think YOUR proposal is reasonable, Mister President.

What do Republicans want?  They agree on seeking to implement cost control measures.  They want Congress to reign in the out-of-control and about-to-become-the-Titanic Medicare before we try to nationalize the remainder of our health care system.  They want to introduce “tort reform” such as “loser pays” or limiting huge “pain and suffering awards” (while keeping awards for actual damages) to prevent the lawsuits that are eating our medical industry alive.  They want to allow private insurance companies to be able to compete with one another across state lines.  There are 1300 private health care insurers; why not provide them with competitive incentive to lower their own costs?  They want to limit access to free health care to citizens rather than illegal aliens.  Republicans would like to see an end to federal and state mandates that require (as one examples) single males to purchase prenatal care and pap smear coverage which add to the costs of plans.  It’s not like the Republicans don’t have plenty of proposals; and it’s not like they’re not quite “reasonable” for a statist who wants government control above anything else.

Right now, the Democrats and Barack Obama are doing virtually everything they can – portraying Republicans as offering nothing, demonizing protesters, holding carefully orchestrated events of their own, ridiculing the notion of “death panels” while ignoring the fact that their plan WILL lead to rationing of care and passive euthansia – rather than actually BOTHERING TO DEAL WITH THE FACTS ON HEALTH CARE.

Sarah Palin was demonized for using the term “death panels,” but the egg is on the faces of those who demonized her:  she won, they lost.   The “death panel” language has been dropped from the Senate version.  And word is coming out that many Democrats are backing away from the government system that would actually result in “death panels” altogether.

But you have to understand that Barack Obama is the president who told a woman that her mother might be better off “taking the painkiller” than having life-prolonging surgery.  Barack Obama is the man who said this about his own grandmother having a hip replacement that would prolong her quality of life:

Q: And it’s going to be hard for people who don’t have the option of paying for it.

THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

Q: So how do you — how do we deal with it?

THE PRESIDENT: …you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

In other words, a death panel.

It’s buried deep within the beaurocracy, but don’t think it won’t become a part of any “public option.”

Health-Care_Democrats-plan-Charted

And Barack Obama is the man who appointed top level officials such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, John Holdren, and Cass Sunstein.  Cass Sunstein, by the way, has introduced a concept known as the “nudge.”  Nudging and tweaking the vaugeries of the law to impose the socialist agenda.

They can blame Republicans all they want, but given their total control over government, it’s THEIR OWN FAULT that they don’t have a health care bill that isn’t anything but a twisted ideological monstrosity.

Stop the lies and the demagoguery, Mr. President.  Stop the partisan ideology.  If you really want to reform health care, stop demonizing the authentic outrage American people and actually listen to them.  Make your reform geninely bipartisan, and don’t offer any more “change” than the people are willing to accept.