“We Need Death Panels”

Why this op ed in the September 16 New York Times didn’t get Americans screaming, I’ll never understand.

Steven Ratner, the Obamaite who designed much of the Affordable Care Act, opens his piece with this:

“WE need death panels.”

So Sarah Palin was right. All the guffaws she endured, allegations of hysteria were correct. She wrote in her August 2009 facebook entry:

“The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Amen. Ratner continued:

“Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.”

Isn’t that how something is always made palatable? Don’t call something what it is. Rationing sounds so much better than death panels, doesn’t it? If I call them dried plums it sounds better than prunes, but they are still prunes. Rationing will equal death for many, however you call it.

More Ratner:

“But in the pantheon of toxic issues — the famous “third rails” of American politics — none stands taller than overtly acknowledging that elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical.”

Why not? And who is to say that they do or don’t? In my book, God. Would that every senior citizen would take a look at that line! When you’re 25, it seems perfectly acceptable to snuff out someone 85; if you’re 85, not so much, Steve.

Ratner continues:

“Most notably, President Obama’s estimable Affordable Care Act regrettably includes severe restrictions on any reduction in Medicare services or increase in fees to beneficiaries. In 2009, Sarah Palin’s rant about death panels even forced elimination from the bill of a provision to offer end-of-life consultations.”

Regrettably? It’s more than regrettable to those involved. As for Palin’s hand in cutting out end of life consultations – bravo, Sarah! Again, who but God can make these decisions? Would you want to entrust your life to a spiteful bureaucrat who has to make his or her quota for the week? I didn’t think so.

Ratner then uses a popular Obama ploy: divert attention to someone else. Basically, I did it, but he did, it, too:

“Now, three years on, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Paul D. Ryan, has offered his latest ambitious plan for addressing the Medicare problem. But like Mr. Obama’s, it holds limited promise for containing the program’s escalating costs within sensible boundaries.”

The op-ed continues:

“To Mr. Obama’s credit, his plan has more teeth than Mr. Ryan’s; if his Independent Payment Advisory Board comes up with savings, Congress must accept either them or vote for an equivalent package. The problem is, the advisory board can’t propose reducing benefits (a k a rationing) or raising fees (another form of rationing), without which the spending target looms impossibly large.”

Translation: It’s Obama’s way or the highway, Congress. But if you don’t like it, blame them anyhow. As for teeth, fangs is more like it.

More Ratner:

“No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. Many countries whose health care systems are regularly extolled — including Canada, Australia and New Zealand — have systems for rationing care.

“Take Britain, which provides universal coverage with spending at proportionately almost half of American levels. Its National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence uses a complex quality-adjusted life year system to put an explicit value (up to about $48,000 per year) on a treatment’s ability to extend life.”

Actually, some people do want to lose an aging parent. There isn’t any sign that Obama gave much of a damn when his mom died. He didn’t even visit her. When his grandmother died, again, he seemed tardy to the party.

As Tom Blumer of Newsbusters points out, “In my view, if all Rattner could come up with as an example of “restrictions on care” is the end-of-life consultation controversy — where cost wasn’t the issue as much as the nature of such “consultations” — then there really aren’t any meaningful “restrictions or reductions in Medicare services” per se in ObamaCare. The real restrictions occur when someone in the trenches has to decide within a fixed budget who gets care and who doesn’t.

“Rattner has only admitted what anyone who has studied the situation already knows: ObamaCare will lead to rationing, which will lead to life-death decisions being made outside of patients’ and their families’ control.”

The big government fans who scream about the government in our bedrooms, has gotten in the hospital bed with us. And here, it’s life, not just sexual activity.

Never in my lifetime did I expect to see a prominent American, American president and media actually embrace death panels. But they did.

All of us should be in an uproar.

... Leave a Reply