Friday, August 14, 2009

Sarah Palin Was Right About The 'Death Panels'



One of the controversies in the culture war over Obamacare involves a provision in the various drafts of the bill for so-called 'death panels', what's the bill genteely refers to as 'end of life counseling'.

Anyone doing some serious thinking about this understands what that really means. After all, we have a president that supports infanticide - and no, I'm not talking just about abortion.

And Obama's chief healthcare adviser, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel has openly expressed views about saving money by denying care to the elderly and disabled just this side of the Third Reich.

As a matter of fact, the Nazis had a term for it, 'unw├╝rdig des lebens' (unworthy of life) and used this as a legal designation of policy for their own version of government run healthcare to euthanize thousands of people who were mentally ill, suffering from terminal illness,or were disabled in various degrees.

Governor Sarah Palin was one of the first national figures to pick up on this, and she had a damned good personal reason to do so - she's the mother of a Down's Syndrome baby. She pointed out that there was nothing in Obamacare whatsoever to stop 'death panels' from making binding decisions on who would receive care and who wouldn't, based on age, physical condition or disability.

She was roundly ridiculed for it, especially by Democrats and the dinosaur media.No less than the New York Timesdubbed the talk about death panels 'stubborn and false'.

Except, guess what? Governor Palin was entirely correct, once again.

The New York Times itself quoted the Prevaricator-In-Chief in an interview by David Leonhardt on May 9th, 2009 on the subject, after a discussion about Obama's terminally ill grandmother and typical White Person having a costly hip replacement to avoid being bedridden during the last few months of her life:

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.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why 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.


This was back during the heady days when the president expected Obamacare to sail through Congress, just like the stimulus and Cap n' Tax. He was already talking about an independent group - let's not call 'em death panels now, OK? - to make these decisions.

And now, Obamacare is plagued by 'rumors' about it's going to include guidelines for end of life care (not to mention rationing) in order to cut costs and spread the wealth healthcare around? ( hat tip JustOne Minute.

And oh, yes..the Senate just stripped those supposedly non-existent end of life guidelines provision from the bill. Just a coincidence. Of course.

Score another one for Governor Palin.And a lot of other people.

Here's the latest she had to say on the matter:

I join millions of Americans in expressing appreciation for the Senate Finance Committee’s decision to remove the provision in the pending health care bill that authorizes end-of-life consultations (Section 1233 of HR 3200). It’s gratifying that the voice of the people is getting through to Congress; however, that provision was not the only disturbing detail in this legislation; it was just one of the more obvious ones.

As I noted in my statement last week, nationalized health care inevitably leads to rationing. There is simply no way to cover everyone and hold down the costs at the same time. The rationing system proposed by one of President Obama’s key health care advisors is particularly disturbing. I’m speaking of the “Complete Lives System” advocated by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the president’s chief of staff. President Obama has not yet stated any opposition to the “Complete Lives System,” a system which, if enacted, would refuse to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential. [1] Why the silence from the president on this aspect of his nationalization of health care? Does he agree with the “Complete Lives System”? If not, then why is Dr. Emanuel his policy advisor? What is he advising the president on? I just learned that Dr. Emanuel is now distancing himself from his own work and claiming that his “thinking has evolved” on the question of rationing care to benefit the strong and deny the weak. [2] How convenient that he disavowed his own work only after the nature of his scholarship was revealed to the public at large.

The president is busy assuring us that we can keep our private insurance plans, but common sense (and basic economics) tells us otherwise. The public option in the Democratic health care plan will crowd out private insurers, and that’s what it’s intended to do. A single payer health care plan has been President Obama’s agenda all along, though he is now claiming otherwise. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what he said back in 2003:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan.... A single payer health care plan – universal health care plan – that’s what I would like to see.” [3]

A single-payer health care plan might be what Obama would like to see, but is it what the rest of us would like to see? What does a single payer health care plan look like? We need look no further than other countries who have adopted such a plan. The picture isn’t pretty. [4] The only way they can control costs is to ration care. As I noted in my earlier statement quoting Thomas Sowell, government run health care won’t reduce the price of medical care; it will simply refuse to pay the price. The expensive innovative procedures that people from all over the world come to the United States for will not be available under a government plan that seeks to cover everyone by capping costs.

Our senior citizens are right to be wary of this health care bill. Medical care at the end of life accounts for 80 percent of all health care. When care is rationed, that is naturally where the cuts will be felt first. The “end-of-life” consultations authorized in Section 1233 of HR 3200 were an obvious and heavy handed attempt at pressuring people to reduce the financial burden on the system by minimizing their own care. Worst still, it actually provided a financial incentive to doctors to initiate these consultations. People are right to point out that such a provision doesn’t sound “purely voluntary.”

In an article I noted yesterday, Charles Lane wrote:

“Ideally, the delicate decisions about how to manage life’s end would be made in a setting that is neutral in both appearance and fact. Yes, it’s good to have a doctor’s perspective. But Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it. Indeed, the measure would have an interested party -- the government -- recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.” [5]

I agree. Last year, I issued a proclamation for “Healthcare Decisions Day.” [6] The proclamation sought to increase the public’s knowledge about creating living wills and establishing powers of attorney. There was no incentive to choose one option over another. There was certainly no financial incentive for physicians to push anything. In fact, the proclamation explicitly called on medical professionals and lawyers “to volunteer their time and efforts” to provide information to the public.

Comparing the “Healthcare Decisions Day” proclamation to Section 1233 of HR 3200 is ridiculous. The two are like apples and oranges. The attempt to link the two shows how desperate the proponents of nationalized health care are to shift the debate away from the disturbing details of their bill.

There is one aspect of this bill which I have not addressed yet, but it’s a very obvious one. It’s the simple fact that we can’t afford it. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Doug Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. He told the Senate Budget Committee last month:

“In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.” [7]

Dr. Elmendorf went on to note that this health care legislation would increase spending at an unsustainable rate.

Our nation is already $11.5 trillion in debt. Where will the money come from? Taxes, of course. And will a burdensome new tax help our economy recover? Of course not. The best way to encourage more health care coverage is to foster a strong economy where people can afford to purchase their own coverage if they choose to do so. The current administration’s economic policies have done nothing to help in this regard.

Health care is without a doubt a complex and contentious issue, but health care reform should be a market oriented solution. There are many ways we can reform the system and lower costs without nationalizing it.

The economist Arthur Laffer has taken the lead in pushing for a patient-center health care reform policy. He noted in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month:

“A patient-centered health-care reform begins with individual ownership of insurance policies and leverages Health Savings Accounts, a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged savings account. It allows people to purchase insurance policies across state lines and reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. It reallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into a simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. And it reduces the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws.” [8]

Those are real reforms that we can live with and afford. Once again, I warn my fellow Americans that if we go down the path of nationalized health care, there will be no turning back. We must stop and think or we may find ourselves losing even more of our freedoms.

- Sarah Palin

[1] See http://www.scribd.com/doc/18280675/Principles-for-Allocation-of-Scarce-Medical-Interventions
[2] See http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/white-house-adviser-backs-off-rationing/
[3]See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hsqzSKuC44
[4] See http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2M0ODk0OTNkZjkwNGM4OGMyYTEwYWY3ODUzMzFiOTc=
[5] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703043.html
[6] See http://www.gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=1094&type=6
[7] See http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/07/cbo-sees-no-federal-cost-savings-in-dem-health-plans.html
[8] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204619004574324361508092006.html





2 comments:

rental said...

Sarah palin on the Death panel. she is the mother of the dawn syndrome bay.

Limo Hire said...

Great read!