Posts Tagged ‘physician-assisted suicide’

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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Obama Lies About AARP Endorsement At Bogus Town Hall Event

August 12, 2009

Obama has told so many lies regarding health care that it is positively unreal.  But here’s yet another:

Rachel Martin and Jake Tapper report:

President Obama today suggested that the health care reform legislation for which he’s pushing has been endorsed by the American Association of Retired Person.

“We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors,” the president said.

At another point he said: “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?

The problem?

The AARP hasn’t endorsed any plan yet.

The country’s largest advocacy group for Americans over 50 issued a statement after the event saying, “While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate.”

AARP is a lot less likely to be rushing in to endorse anything after getting their heads bit off by their own membership:

Last week, AARP officials speaking at a forum in Dallas walked out after several seniors interrupted the meeting with critical questions and comments.

Some AARP members say they are so outraged that they’ve taken to tearing up their membership cards and firing off heated letters to the organization’s CEO.

Recent polling by FOX News shows seniors, many of whom are on Medicare, don’t want a major overhaul — 93 percent rate their current coverage as good or excellent, and 56 percent say they oppose the creation of a government-run option for all Americans.

Other groups representing seniors say they aren’t surprised by the recent backlash.

“We get letters every single day from people that are very upset about this bill and about the AARP supporting it,” said Stuart Barton, president of the American Seniors Association. “So I don’t blame them for coming back and saying they are going to tear up their AARP cards.”

It’s understandable that many members would get the mistaken impression that AARP is backing the ObamaCare plan, given their frankly weaselly behavior as they waffled one way under White House pressure, and then waffled the other under their memberships’ pressure.  But they don’t have a massive White House staff to sort out the actual facts, and they aren’t expected to be held accountable the way the President of the United States of America is to be held accountable.

President Obama is supposed to tell the truth; not advance falsehoods.

Obama is trying to say, “Seniors don’t have to be worried because AARP wouldn’t endorse a plan that hurts seniors.”

And number one, even AARP’s own members clearly don’t accord AARP that much integrity and good will.  And number two, AARP HASN’T endorsed Obama’s plan.  So I guess we’re back to, “Seniors should be worried.”

An older woman at Arlen Spector’s town hall today said:

I’m sick of the lies.  I don’t like being lied to.  I don’t like being lied about.

But the Democrats just keep lying, and keep lying about the people who they’re lying to.

We get Obama attending a phony, controlled, choreographed 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.”

It’s one thing for a president to say one thing, admit his mistake, tell the American people that he has changed his mind, and then specifically tell us what he will do and what he will now not accept.  But that’s not what our weasel-in-chief does; rather, he lies about what he’s in fact said without ruling the previously-said thing out.  Instead, concerned citizens are left to worry about whether the president was lying earlier, or whether he’s lying now.  An they have every reason to believe he’s lying now.

Obama said:

Well, the — I’ve seen some of those signs. (Laughter.)  Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here.  The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for “death panels” that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t — it’s too expensive to let her live anymore.  (Laughter.)  And there are various — there are some variations on this theme.

But, again, Obama just dismissively laughs off something that is actually quite serious.

Maybe he shouldn’t have told a woman regarding her aged but healthy mother:

“Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

He won’t pull the plug on grandma; he’ll just withhold lifesaving surgery and give her a pain pill.  It’s not active euthanasia – at least not yet; it’s passive euthanasia.  But grandma ends up just as dead.

During an October debate with John McCain, Obama said, regarding his foreign policy:

Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.”

So when we want to know what Obama wants in his foreign policy, we have to look at who he is associating with, and who he is surrounding himself with in the White House.  And Barack Obama has surrounded himself with some people who hold some pretty terrifying ideas concerning health care.

Obama has to explain why he appointed Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel as both his health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and as a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.  Emanuel has said JUST THIS YEAR:

“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.”

He explained:

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.”

Dr. Emanuel has said:

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.

“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 he has said:

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.

Then there is Cass Sunstein, whom Barack Obama appointed to the position of Regulatory Czar.  Sunstein 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 explained:

“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.”

Let us not forget Obama’s director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, who has openly advocated forced abortions and sterilizations as a population growth solution.  Seriously, is it a stretch that he likewise supports the passive euthanasia advocated by Emanuel and Sunstein to control population growth?

I am willing to entertain the notion that the final health care bill will not include “death panels.”  But, given the people Obama has appointed who are serving as architects of the health care legislation, he certainly shouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt.  Because these men whom Obama appointed have written some very frightening things that very much suggest a “death panel.”  Ezekiel,  Sunstein, and Holdren are just three very real Obama officials who have written some very real things that would entail the very real deaths of many very real American citizens.

And Obama’s mockingly laughing at “death panels” is not very funny given his appointments of Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein.  Mr. Obama, don’t you dare mock us for being afraid over the writings of men that you appointed.

The prospect of bureaucrats having more power to make more decisions over more vital aspects of peoples’ lives is frightening.  It should not be glossed over.  Obama and Democrats assuring us that they won’t accept any plan that creates a deficit when the plan they left behind in August creates another trillion dollars in deficits (and probably many times that, given the CBO’s tendency to massively underestimate costs) is frightening.  And nonchalant promises don’t hold any water.  Assuring Americans that a “public option” won’t push people into government care when the bill in fact does the exact opposite is immoral.

And Democrat politicians who casually dismiss these issues and others are the reason for all the anger.  People are realizing that there lives may literally be at stake – and they are in absolutely no mood to be played with.

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.